In Japan, Shrines and Temples abound. They are places of worship of the Shinto and Buddhist religions and are an integral part of Japanese culture and lifestyle. Since they have many common architectural characteristics, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference, can you?
Actually, at some point in the history of Japan, Shintoism and Buddhism were merged so that Shrines and Temples became more similar. Shintoism and Buddhism were split again during the Meiji Restoration. However, not all Temples or Shrines returned to their original faith. Some Shrines became Temples, and some Temples became Shrines. It is therefore very difficult to distinguish some of them on an architectural standpoint. One major hint is the presence of Buddha statues which appear only in Temples! I recently came across this interesting post which lists the differences between Temples and Shrines! One notable difference is the presence of Pagodas in Temples and of Torii gates in Shrines! This article also lists common differences between Shrines and Temples, notably the presence of purification fountain in Shrines and incense burner in Temples.
Leave your opinion on Japanese Shrines and temples below!