Spiritual Sites in Kyoto, Japan

Geisha in Japan with umbrellas
Kyoto street scene (Lori Erickson)

Kyoto is the ancient imperial capital of Japan. Visitors can visit a wide variety of spiritual sites in Kyoto, from Buddhist temples to serene meditation gardens.

With more than 1500 temples and shrines, the city’s spiritual landscape is a prime draw for visitors. It’s known as Japan’s most beautiful city, having been fortunate to escape bombing during World War II.

Best of all is simply wandering the streets of the city, absorbing the sights, smells, and sounds of this remarkable city whose history stretches back more than 1400 years.

As a writer, I feel a certain humility in trying to describe Kyoto.  It is an exquisite place, elegant and complex and filled with layer upon layer of subtle meaning. You could spend a lifetime trying to describe it and not do more than scratch its surface.

That said, I spent three luminescent days in Kyoto and will give you some highlights of my experiences there. It was one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever visited, a must-see among the world’s spiritual sites.

Click on the links below for more information on some of the spiritual sites in Kyoto:

Major sites in Kyoto

Shisen-do Temple

Temple Stay Program in Japan

A Temple Stay at Myoshin-ji in Kyoto

The Temple Bell at Myoshin-ji

Our Lady of Kyoto

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan



Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of the Near the Exit: Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.



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