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Temples and admission fees

Milan, Italy
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1,073 posts
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Temples and admission fees


while planning our visit to Kyoto, we will have to make some choices on what to visit "properly", what to visit "quickly" and what to skip, due to obvious time constraints (about 2.5 days). Based on recommendation in previous posts, I'm carefully reading information on this website (in addition to guidebooks), which is very helpful and detailed:


I see that most temples charge a fee, which is generally moderate or very reasonable, so I'm happy to pay for visiting the most interesting ones, but of course, when visiting many places fees sum up and that could be quite expensive in the end.

What I would like to understand is whether the indicated fees are for the interiors of the temples (i.e. for entering inside the buildings), or also for access to the temple grounds.

As I said, I'm happy to pay for quite a lot of places, but in some cases - for time constraints and budget reasons - we may only want to see some of the 'minor' places quickly, watching the buildings from the outside: would that be free?


Brisbane, Qld
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11. Re: Temples and admission fees

As always thank you Kagakiwi. Now have it noted.We will be in Kanazawa on the 3rd of April and leave on the 6th for Tokyo.

San Francisco...
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12. Re: Temples and admission fees

I think you're on the right track--seeing fewer temples and shrines will give you more time to experience those you do visit. My opinion is that if you only have time for a quick "exterior view and run," it's best to skip that temple and be in less of a rush generally. Try to visit a mixture of the most popular sites and some less-popular sites which might provide an opportunity for quiet contemplation.

Frommer's Japan guidebook could be helpful--they rate all points of interest!

Edited: 27 January 2012, 00:42
Kyoto, Japan
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for Kobe, Kyoto
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13. Re: Temples and admission fees

But some of the ones that are free from the outside are still interesting to take a walk thru without having to pay. As someone said above, you can actually see quite a bit of Nanzen-ji without having to pay for the other areas.

Heian Shrine is one that you can see quite a bit of if you do not want to pay to enter the garden in the back.

Chion-in Temple is mostly free and the small area in back where you have to pay can easily be skipped. In Chion-in Temple, you can enter the huge main hall for free which is very interesting and then the 2 side buildings as well. Also, it has the largest temple bell in all of Japan up a hill and around the back which always impresses people on my tours and that is free to see as well. The main gate of Chion-in is also the largest wooden temple gate in Japan.

All of the above are free and you aren't losing out by avoiding the other parts which charge a fee. If you are here during a blossom season of some sort then the garden at the Heian Shrine is worth the fee though.

14. Re: Temples and admission fees

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