JAPANESE SHRINE

Japanese Shrine (Shinto) Guide lists 86 Japanese Shrines with details and many pictures. Japanese Shrine description of the purpose of Shinto Shrine buildings and sites.

Japanese Shrines are sacred buildings of the Shinto religion, an indigenous religion to Japan. The primary objective of a Shinto Shrine is to store and protect sacred objects, kami. These objects are said to be enshrined. Most Shinto Shrines feature a honden, the primary building where the sacred objects, kami are stored. An exception to this is where the sacred object is a mountain or similarly large object. Some shrines contain halls for worship, known as haiden.

Shinto Shrines are sometimes located near Japanese Temples, which share some common history.

Japanese Shrine - Itsukushima Shrine

Japanese Shrine - Itsukushima Shrine

There are estimated to be 100,000 Shinto Shrines throughout Japan, however some of these are small or miniature shrines, hokora, which are located along pathways or roads. There are some very old Japanese Shrines which were established over 1,200 years ago. Today some of these very old wooden shrines still survive, however many have been destroyed by lightning, fire, earthquakes, storms or war and have been rebuilt over the years. Many of these rebuilt shrine buildings are hundres of years old. All the Japanese Shrines that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites are listed below and highlighted in yellow.

JAPANESE SHRINES BY PREFECTURE

Aichi Prefecture

Atsuta Shrine

Atsuta Shrine
Atsuta Shrine (Nagoya) is a particularly important Shinto Shrine with over 4,000 relics and National Treasures. Atsuta Shrine attracts over 9 million visitors a year...

Fukuoka Prefecture

Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine

Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine features some very beautiful Japanese gardens....

Kushida Shrine

Kushida Shrine
Kushida Shrine is a grand tutelary shrine, widely known as Okushida-san, in Hakata (Fukuoka). Kushida Shrine dates back to 757, when Emperor Koken reigned and Tairano Kiyomori designated Hak...

Sumiyoshi Shrine

Sumiyoshi Shrine
Sumiyoshi Shrine in Hakata (Fukuoka) is believed to be the first of the approximately 2000 Sumiyoshi Shrine throughout Japan. Sumiyoshi Shrine was officially designated in ancient times as o...

Gifu Prefecture

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine

Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in Takayama is famous for its festival called Takayama Matsuri, which is held on the 9th and 10th of October every year and is one of the three most beautiful fe...

Hiroshima Prefecture

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture. Itsukushima Shrine was first constructed in the 6th century, but the current buildings date to the 12...

Kiyomori Shrine

Kiyomori Shrine
Kiyomori Shrine is built right down on the waters edge on a small island formed by the river on one side and the sea on the other. Kiyomori Shrine was built in 1954 to eulogize the achieveme...

Senjokaku Shrine

Senjokaku Shrine
Senjokaku Shrine, also know as the The Hall of a Thousand Tatami Mats, is on the island of Miyajima. In 1587AD Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the warlord who unified Japan during this era, ordered the ...

Hokkaido Prefecture

Hokkaido Shrine
Hokkaido Shrine is a Shinto Shrine within Maruyama Park in Chuo (central) Sapporo. Hokkaido Shrine enshrines the soul of Emperor Meiji and a famous explorer of Hokkaido, Mamiya Rinzo. Hokkai...

Hyogo Prefecture

Ikuta Shrine

Ikuta Shrine
Ikuta Shrine is the most popular shrine among Kobe People, where many people visit here for a New Year prayer. Ikuta Shrine is in Sannomiya....

Minatogawa Shrine

Minatogawa Shrine
Minatogawa Shrine was built in 1872 by the order of Meiji Emperor. Minatogawa Shrine Kobe enshrines Kusunoki Masashige who was a famous warlord in 14th century....

Ibaraki Prefecture

Tokiwa Jinja Shrine

Tokiwa Jinja Shrine
Tokiwa Jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Mito Ibaraki Prefecture, next to Kairakuen. Tokiwa Jinja Shrine was established in 1868 to enshrine Tokugawa Mitsukuni and Tokugawa Nariaki....

Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishiura Shrine

Ishiura Shrine
Ishiura Shrine is believed to have been built in the 8th century, making it the oldest shrine in Kanazawa. Ishiura Shrine was relocated from Shimohonda-cho to its current site in 1880, where...

Kanazawa Shrine

Kanazawa Shrine
Kanazawa Shrine was established in 1794 by the order of Maeda Harunaga, a feudal lord of Kaga Clan. It worships Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar, poet and politician in the 9-10th centur...

Oyama Shrine

Oyama Shrine
Oyama Shrine is a beautiful Shinto shrine with distinctive main gate called the Shinmon (God Gate). This main gate was designed by Dutch and has a mix of Japanese, Chinese and European archi...

Sugawara Shrine

Sugawara Shrine
Sugawara Shrine is in the Higashi Chaya Geisha district of Kanazawa....

Kagawa Prefecture

Konpira Shrine

Konpira Shrine
Konpira Shrine, also known as Kotohira-gu, is a Shinto Shrine half way up Mt Zozu, in the city of Kotohira Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Konpira Shrine is famous for the large ...

Kanagawa Prefecture

Hakone Motomiya Shrine

Hakone Motomiya Shrine
Hakone Motomiya Shrine is part of the Hakone Shrine complex and is on the summit of Mt Komagatake....

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine
Hakone Shrine is a very popular shrine in the Hakone region. Part of Hakone Shrine complex (Hakone Motomiya Shrine) is on the summit of Mt Komagatake and the other part is on the edge of Lak...

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine
Tsurugaoka Shrine is the most significant shrine in Kamakura. Tsurugaoka Shrine is a shrine complex with many shrines on the one site....

Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine
Zeniarai Benten Shrine is the most popular shrine in Kamakura and is famous for doubling the value of coins washing in its waters....

Kyoto Prefecture

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (Kyoto) made famous in countless photographs and movies including Memoirs of a Geisha for the thousands of vermilion torii lining the paths to the shrine....

Hashihime Shrine
Hashihime Shrine, in Uji (Kyoto Prefecture) is closely related to Uji Bridge and "The Tales of Genji". Hashihime Shrine is dedicated to guardian angel of bridges Seoritsu-Hime and the god of...

Heian Jingu Shrine

Heian Jingu Shrine
Heian Jingu is a Shinto Shrine in Kyoto. Heian Jingu is famous for having the largest torii in Japan and its beautiful Japanese Pond Garden (chisen-shoyu-teien or shinden-zukuri), which is o...

Hirano Shrine
Hirano Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Kyoto which is famous for its gardens and trees. Hirano Shrine is a popular place to view cherry blossom in late March and early April. Hirano Shrine was ...

Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine

Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine
Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine is one of the three government supported honoured shrines. Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine (Kyoto ) is a designated Important Cultural Property....

Jonangu Shrine
Jonangu Shrine is famous for its four gardens which represent four different styles from the four periods; Heian, Muromachi, Momoyama and Heisei. These Japanese gardens feature ponds, tea ho...

Kamigamo Shrine

Kamigamo Shrine
Kamigamo Shrine part of a pair of shrines in Kyoto. The other part of the pair is Shimogamo Shrine. Kamigamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ...

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara Michizane, the god of scholarship which gives it the popular name of Tenji-san. Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, in Kyo...

Matsunoo-taisha Shrine

Matsunoo-taisha Shrine
Matsunoo-taisha Shrine was founded in 700AD making it one of the oldest shrines in the Kyoto region. Matsunoo-taisha Shrine is at the base of Mt Arashiyama where a natural spring brings wate...

Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine

Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine
Nyakuoji Jinja Shrine, also known as Kuma Nonyakuoji Shrine, is particularly popular for its Autumn leaves when the leaves of the surrounding trees have turned various shades of orange and r...

Otoyo Shrine

Otoyo Shrine
Otoyo-jinja Shrine (Kyoto) is one of the shrines along Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk. Otoyo-jinja Shrine is popular with Japanese who seek health, cure for illness, good fortune, long life and ...

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine
Shimogamo Shrine is part of a pair of shrines in Kyoto. The other part of the pair isKamigamo Shrine. Shimogamo Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is a UNESCO World Heritage Si...

Toyokuni Shrine

Toyokuni Shrine
Toyokuni Shrine (also read as Hokoku Shrine) is the Shinto Shrine, in Kyoto, built to enshrine Toyotomi Hideyoshi after his death in 1599 and features the first tamaya (alter for ancestor wo...

Ujigami Shrine

Ujigami Shrine
Ujigami jinja Shrine was originally built as a guardian shrine for the nearby Byodoin Temple. Ujigami jinja Shrine, in Uji, Kyoto, is believed to be the oldest shrine building in Japan, dati...

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in the historic Gion district of Kyoto. Yasaka Shrine was established in 656AD and is famous for Gion Matsuri festival which takes there....

Mie Prefecture

Ise Grand Shrine
Ise Grand Shrine is a Shinto Shrine complex in Ise Mie Prefecture, which is considered to be Shinto's most important sites. The Ise Grand Shrine complex includes 123 shrines focused around t...

Miyagi Prefecture

Osaki Hachiman-gu Shrine
Osaki Hachiman-gu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Aoba-ku Sendai. Date Masamune ordered the construction of the main shrine building (shaden), which was completed in 1607 and in 1952 it was des...

Nagasaki Prefecture

Sanno Shrine
Sanno Shrine in Nagasaki is famous for its one legged torii, which was created when the other leg was blown off during the nuclear blast. Sanno Shrine is only 900m from the atomic bombs hypo...

Nara Prefecture

Himurojinja Shrine

Himurojinja Shrine
Himurojinja Shrine is opposite Nara Park and is dedicated to the God of ice. During its Ice Dedication Festival, in May each year, a pole of ice which is packed with carp and breams is prese...

Kasuga Taisha Shrine

Kasuga Taisha Shrine
Kasuga Taisha Shrine is the head shrine for around 3,000 Kasuga Shrines throughout Japan and is within Nara Park, Nara. Kasuga Taisha Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of...

Kimpu Shrine
Kimpu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Kimpu Shrine was established in the 10th century. Kimpu Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of t...

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine
Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine is the first branch of Usa Hachimangu Shrine (Usa-shi, Oita-ken), which was established in 749AD in order to protect Todaiji Temple. Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine...

Wakamiya Shrine

Wakamiya Shrine
Wakamiya Shrine is a Subordinate shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine and a complex of 12 small shrines. Wakamiya Shrine was established in 1135. The Main Hall, Oratory, Kaguraden (music hall) and...

Yoshimizu Shrine
Yoshimizu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the top of Mount Yoshino in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Yoshimizu Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Go-Daigo and samurai Kusunoki Masashige. ...

Yoshino Mikumari Shrine
Yoshino Mikumari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on the top of Mount Yoshino in the Yoshino District of Nara Prefecture. Yoshino Mikumari Shrine was established around 806AD and dedicated to mikum...

Okinawa Prefecture

Naminoue Shrine
Naminoue Shrine is a shinto shrine in Naha Okinawa. Naminoue Shrine was founded in 1890 on a site that had been sacred in the Ryukyan religion. Naminoue Shrine is set on top of bluff looking...

Seifa-utaki Shrine

Seifa-utaki Shrine
Seifa-utaki Shrine is the most sacred site in Okinawa and a World Heritage Site. Seifa-utaki Shrine consists of some striking natural rock formations including an arch formed between two mas...

Osaka Prefecture

Hokoku Shrine

Hokoku Shrine
Hokoku Shrine (Hokoku Jinja) is a Shinto Shrine in Osaka Castle Park. Hokoku Shrine is one of several Toyokuni shrines built in honor of shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi....

Horikoshi Shrine

Horikoshi Shrine
Horikoshi Shrine was built by Shoutokutaishi when he built Shitennoji Temple around A.D 590. Horikoshi Shrine is found in Tennoji Osaka....

Ishikiri Shrine
Ishikiri Shrine, in Eastern Osaka, was established in 658, (normally called Ishikiri Shrine) is well known to Osaka people as 'Ishikiri-san' or 'denbo no kamisan (god of curing lumps)'....

Katsuragi Shrine
Katsuragi Shrine is near the top of Osaka's highest mountain, Mt Kongo. Katsuragi Shrine was established in 665AD by En-no-gyoja, who also established the nearby Temporinji Temple....

Kishiki Shrine

Kishiki Shrine
Kishiki Shrine, in Kishiwada city in Southern Osaka Prefecture, is famous for Kishiwada Danjiri Festival 'The Fighting Festival' held in mid September, which involves up to 1,000 people pull...

Kureha Shrine
Kureha Shrine, in Ikeda Osaka, was originally built in 77 then rebuilt in 1969. Kureha Shrine enshrines Emperor Nintoku and Kurehatorinohime, who brought weaving skills from China....

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Osaka Tenmangu Shrine hosts Osaka's biggest festival Tenjin Matsuri, which is one of the greatest boat festivals in the world. This has made Osaka Tenmangu Shrine the most famous of the Tenj...

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine

Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the most famous shrine in Osaka, not only because of its religous importance, but more for the shrines distinctive Soribashi (Taikobashi) Bridge. Sumiyoshi Taisha ...

Tsuyunoten Shrine
Tsuyunoten Shrine (Ohatsu Tenjin) is a tranquil oasis among the noise of busy Umeda in central Osaka. Tsuyunoten Shrine was established in the 6th century....

Yasaka Shrine
Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Ikeda Osaka. Yasaka Shrine was established in 978AD and rebuilt in 1610. Yasaka Shrine is a designated Important Cultural Property....

Shiga Prefecture

Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Otsu (Shiga Prefecture) near Kyoto. Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine was established around the 8th century, however the original building were destroyed by ...

Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine
Nagahama Hachimangu Shrine is famous for its festival which is held annually around the 13-16th of April. The festival features brightly decorated floats and kabuki theater performed by boys...

Tenson Shrine
Tenson Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in the city of Otsu, near Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture (close to Kyoto). Tenson Shrine was established in 782AD and later purified by Emperor Heizei in 806AD ...

Tuskubusuma Shrine

Tuskubusuma Shrine
Tuskubusuma Shrine is a Shinto Shrine on Chikubushima Island in Lake Biwa Shiga Prefecture, near Kyoto. The Honden (Main Hall) was a special guesthouse in Fushimi Castle to invite the Empero...

Shimane Prefecture

Izumo Taisha Shrine
Izumo Taisha Shrine, also known as Izumo Oyashiro, is considered to be one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Japan. Izumo Taisha Shrine is in Izumo of Shimane Prefecture, which is clos...

Tochigi Prefecture

Futarasan Shrine

Futarasan Shrine
Futarasan Shrine is one of the most significant Shinto Shrines in Japan and dates back to 766AD. Futarasan Shrine in Nikko, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Shrines and...

Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Toshogu Shrine is famous for the sculptures of the Three Wise Monkeys who 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil' and its rare highly decorative gate. Toshogu Shrine, in Nikko, is a UNESC...

Tokyo Prefecture

Asakusa jinja Shrine
Asakusa jinja Shrine is a Shinto Shrine next to Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa District of Taito Ward of Tokyo. Asakusa jinja Shrine is dedicated to the three men who established Sensoji Temp...

Chingodo Shrine
Chingodo Shrine is a Shinto Shrine next to Dempoin Temple's pond, in the Asakusa District of Taito Ward of Tokyo. Chingodo Shrine is dedicated to tanuki, the raccoon dog figure which is depi...

Hanazono Shrine

Hanazono Shrine
Hanazono Shrine is a Shinto Shrine which is tightly surrounded by modern buildings in Shinjuku. Hanazono Shrine dates back to the middle of the 17th century....

Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a famous Shinto Shrine in the Koto Ward of Tokyo. Kameido Tenjin Shrine enshrines Sugawara no Michizane, a deity of scholarship. Kameido Tenjin Shrine, established i...

Koishikawa Shrine
Koishikawa Shrine was separated from Ise Shrine on 7 March 1966. Koishikawa Shrine is in the central Tokyo ward of Bunkyo and it blends with tall buildings surrounding it. Koishikawa Shrine ...

Meiji Jingu Shrine

Meiji Jingu Shrine
Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the most popular shines in Tokyo. Meiji Jingu Shrine is in the middle of large evergreen forest of 120,000 trees which is surprising given it is in Harajuku. Mei...

Nezu Shrine

Nezu Shrine
Nezu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Bunkyo Tokyo. According to legend Nezu Shrine was established over 1,900 years ago in Sendagi by Yamato Takeruno Mikoto. In 1705, the 5th shogun Tsunayoshi ...

Oji Inari Shrine
Oji Inari Shrine is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the deity Inari, who is the patron of fertility, rice, agriculture and foxes. The Oji District in Kita Ward Tokyo, had been a major rice grow...

Togo Shrine

Togo Shrine
Togo Shrine is a Shinto Shrine built in 1940 to enshine Admiral Togo Heihachiro. Togo Shrine is in in Harajuku....

Toshogu Shrine

Toshogu Shrine
Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 is considered to be valuable for its historical architecture, Grand Oishi Torii Gate and bronze garden lanterns. Toshogu Shrine is open every day of the year...

Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine is Shinto Shrine which houses the souls of some 2.5 million people killed in Japan's wars. Yasukuni Shrine is controversial because it houses the soles of convicted war crimi...

Yushima Tenmangu Shrine
Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, also known as Yushima Tenjin Shrine, is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the god of wisdom, Michizane Sugawara. Yushima Tenmangu Shrine is in Bunkyo Ward Tokyo. The grou...

Wakayama Prefecture

Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Shingu on coast line of Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture. Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine is part of the three Kumano Shrines which are ...

Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine
Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine is a Shinto Shrine in Tanabe on coast line of Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture. Kumano Hongu Taisha enshrines Kumano Gongen. Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine is part...

Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine is a Shinto Shrine along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in Nachikatuura Wakayama Prefecture. Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine is part of the three Kumano Shrines. Kuma...

Niukanshofu Shrine
Niukanshofu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine first established in 816 and in Ito District of Wakayama Prefecture. Niukanshofu Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Sacred Si...

Niutsuhime Shrine
Niutsuhime Shrine is a Shinto Shrine also known as Nibutsuhime Shrine, in Ito District of Wakayama Prefecture. Niutsuhime Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Sacr...

Yamagata Prefecture

Sukawa Onsen Shrine

Sukawa Onsen Shrine
Sukawa Onsen Shrine is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the God of Onsen. Sukawa Onsen Shrine, founded in 873AD, is in the famous onsen (hot spring) and ski resort town of Zao Onsen in Yamagata ...

Yamanashi Prefecture

Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine

Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine
Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine is the oldest shrine around Mt Fuji. Takeda Shingen is worshiped in this shrine. Every April, the Spring festival called 'Hana Matsuri' (Flower Festival) is held at ...

Fuji Sengen Shrine
Fuji Sengen Shrine, formerly known as Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja, is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to Mt Fuji, and historically the starting point for pilgrims climbing Mt Fuji. The main ...

Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine
Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine was bulit in 865 to enshrine the Konohana Sakuyahime goddess. Today the shrine is famous for the Chingono mai (the children dance) during the Magomi matsuri festival ...

Japanese Shrine - Kamigamo Shrine

Japanese Shrine - Kamigamo Shrine

Author: Craig Fryer

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