6 Kyoto Shrines And Temples You Just Have To Visit

by Gavin Darvell

Silence can be golden, but you wouldn’t know it in our 24-hour, all-consuming, face in screens lifestyle. Where switching off our phones for a few hours is enough to send us into an irrational panic!

Wouldn’t it be nice to drag ourselves away for a few moments and just let the silence consume us? Absorb the tranquillity and calm. No better place to achieve this than in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital.

Once Japan’s political and cultural capital until Tokyo took the role in 1868. Kyoto is a sanctuary for peace and quiet.  Work your way around the Zen gardens and sacred sites, immerse yourself into the Japanese culture and you’ll get the most out of a Kyoto experience. With 2000 temples and shrines to choose from and 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sights that’s not an easy task.  Let us help you select the best places! Here goes!


Tofuku-ji Temple

This temple is home to the 15th Century Zen-style gate, includes 23 sub-temples, beautiful designated gardens and is shy of the swarms of tourists! (Let’s keep it as a secret between you and me!) It’s the ideal place to find that peace and quiet.

Address: 15-778 Honmachi Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-ken

Open: 9am – 4pm

Entrance free




Famous for its white gravel garden with its 15 strategically placed rocks, which remain a mystery to their origin and reason for being there. Let your mind drift and appreciate its serenity.

Address: 13 Ryoanji Goryonoshitacho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto

Open: Mar – Nov 8am – 5pm    Dec – Feb from : 8:30am – 4:30pm

500 Yen entrance fee


One of Kyoto’s most visited temples, Kinkaku-ji or Temple of the Golden Pavilion is the ideal location for a stroll through its beautiful garden. Visit at the right time, and the gold colour of the Pavilion reflects on the lake that surrounds it. Stunning! 

Address: 1 Kinkakujicho, Kita, Kyoto,

Open: 9am – 5pm daily

400 Yen entrance fee




The Silver Pavilion with its sand garden. Worth visiting just for its intricate details, clean lines, and sculptured trees. It’s a site you need to just embrace and enjoy at a leisurely pace.  

Address: 2 Ginkakujicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto,

Open: Mar – Nov 0830am to 5pm   Dec – Feb 9am to 4:30pm

500 Yen entrance fee

Fushimi Inari Taisha

10,000 vermilion tori gateways to heaven! Well, at least to the top of the wooded mountain! Wind your way through the gates and up the pathway. It’s one of those special Instagram places you have to capture.

Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

Open: 7am – 6:30pm

Entrance free




It’s the place you’ll most often see in travel brochures, a temple complex that changes hue with the seasons. Cherry blossoms in spring, rich, vibrant colours in autumn. Very busy, but a must-do.

Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

Open: 6am – 1800

300 yen entrance fee


It’s hard to believe if you arrive at Kyoto’s central station that these tranquil, beautiful places exist. Modernism gives way to the ancient. Explore the temples of Kyoto, and you’ll have had an enriching experience. I promise! 

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