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Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Shrines and temples

On this page: Puzzles - "What's the difference between a temple and a shrine?"

Puzzles

2016 pieces

Kinkakuji
© Epoch
Position map

2016: Kinkakuji

Perhaps the most famous of Kyoto's temples, this is the "Gold pavilion." It was originally built in the 1300s, and given to the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, but was destroyed in an arson attack in 1950. Rebuilt in 1955, the gold leaf covering was only completely restored in 1987. Like the "Silver pavilion," this is only a nickname, and the formal temple name is Rokuonji.

What does the name mean?
kin
gold
kaku
pavilion
ji
temple
Detail

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2016 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E23501 (23-501 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.36 €19.69 £18.12)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Seiganto temple and Nachi falls
© Epoch
Position map

2016: Seiganto temple and Nachi falls

Near the southern tip of the Kii peninsula below Kyoto, this pagoda, just part of the temple complex, enjoys a commanding view of the impressive Nachi falls. Although the falls are actually across a valley, a suitable viewpoint brings them into the same picture.

This is a very tasteful photograph, and the touches of mist will probably make the large area of forest and cliffs slightly easier rather than harder.

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2016 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E23062 (23-062 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.04 €23.62 £21.74)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Tôshôgu, Nikko
© Koichiro Kitaoku
Position map

2016: Tōshōgu, Nikko

This spectacular entrance, Yômeimon, is the central feature of this World Heritage site in Nikkô (Tochigi). The whole site is a Shinto shrine (Tôshôgu) built in the early 1600s to honour Tokugawa Ieyasu, the very first Shogun of the Tokugawa era. Since he was the most powerful man in Japan at the time, perhaps it is not so surprising that for a Shinto building this is unusually ornate.

Detail

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2016 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E24101 (24-101 on box)
Retail price ¥3500 (approx. US$32.71 €27.56 £25.36)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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2000 pieces

Kinkaku-ji
© Epoch
Position map

2000: Kinkaku-ji

Perhaps the most famous of Kyoto's temples, this is the "Gold pavilion." It was originally built in the 1300s, and given to the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, but was destroyed in an arson attack in 1950. Rebuilt in 1955, the gold leaf covering was only completely restored in 1987. Like the "Silver pavilion," this is only a nickname, and the formal temple name is Rokuonji.

* This puzzle has TINY pieces!

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2000 pieces; 53 x 38 cm (21" x 15")
Code: E54001 (54-001 on box)
Retail price ¥2000 (approx. US$18.69 €15.75 £14.49)
Shipping from ¥900 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$8.41 €7.09 £6.52)
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1000 pieces

Hônen-in
© Mizuno Katsuhiko
Position map

1000: Hônen-in (Mizuno)

This temple was built in the Edo period (roughly 1600-1850) to honour Hônen, who was a much earlier Buddhist teacher. This is the central court, the "yard" of the temple head (not quite literally a yard, but hôjô, a square of side ten Japanese feet); the bridge over the pond symbolises the interval between "this world" and "the other world". The rooms we see feature some spectacular screen paintings, and are sometimes used as a venue for concerts.

What does the name mean?
hô
law
nen
thus
in
temple

Sorry: the gloss is rather mysterious, but after all, it is a personal name.

Born in Kyoto in 1941, Mizuno Katsuhiko earned a degree in literature from Doshisha University in 1964. Since 1969 he has worked as a freelance photographer, in a lifelong quest to capture the essence of Japanese tradition in his native city, and resulting in publication of some one hundred books of his photographs.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10315 (1000-315 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.36 €19.69 £18.12)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Myôman-ji
© Mizuno Katsuhiko
Position map

1000: Kôdai-ji (Mizuno)

An unimaginable amount of effort goes into making the rocks in this garden look as though they got where they are naturally!

What does the name mean?
kô
high
dai
stand
ji
temple

Born in Kyoto in 1941, Mizuno Katsuhiko earned a degree in literature from Doshisha University in 1964. Since 1969 he has worked as a freelance photographer, in a lifelong quest to capture the essence of Japanese tradition in his native city, and resulting in publication of some one hundred books of his photographs.

Not available
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10318 (1000-318 on box)
Retail price ¥2500
Ginkaku-ji
© Mizuno Katsuhiko
Position map

1000: Ginkaku-ji (Mizuno)

Built in 1482 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, this was intended to be the silver counterpart to the even more famous Kinkaku-ji ("Gold pavilion"), but somehow they never got round to putting the silver foil on, so it's just wood. The "Silver pavilion" is really a nickname, and officially the temple is called Tôzan-jishô-ji.

What does the name mean?
gin
silver
kaku
pavilion
ji
temple

Born in Kyoto in 1941, Mizuno Katsuhiko earned a degree in literature from Doshisha University in 1964. Since 1969 he has worked as a freelance photographer, in a lifelong quest to capture the essence of Japanese tradition in his native city, and resulting in publication of some one hundred books of his photographs.

This temple is very famous: just do a Google search for 'ginkakuji' to find out lots more about it.

Not available
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10334 (1000-334 on box)
Retail price ¥2500
Kinkakuji
© Beverly
Position map

1000: Kinkakuji

Perhaps the most famous of Kyoto's temples, this is the "Gold pavilion." It was originally built in the 1300s, and given to the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397, but was destroyed in an arson attack in 1950. Rebuilt in 1955, the gold leaf covering was only completely restored in 1987. Actually, "Gold pavilion" is only a nickname, and the formal temple name is Rokuonji.

What does the name mean?
kin
gold
kaku
pavilion
ji
temple

* This puzzle has TINY pieces!

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: BM81835 (M81-835 on box)
Retail price ¥2000 (approx. US$18.69 €15.75 £14.49)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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Itsukushima shrine
© JTB Photo
Position map

1000: Itsukushima shrine

Registered since 1996 as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and famous as one of the traditional "Three sights of Japan", this is the great torii, or Shinto ceremonial gateway of Itsukushima shrine, submerged by the tide. This is actually a very unusual view, looking in from the sea, and emphasising the massive scale of the structure.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E10776 (10-776 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.36 €19.69 £18.12)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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All about ordering (please read first)
Tōshōgu, Nikko
© Beverly
Position map

1000: Tōshōgu, Nikko

This spectacular entrance, Yōmeimon, is the central feature of this World Heritage site in Nikkō (Tochigi). The whole site is a Shinto shrine (Tōshōgu) built in the early 1600s to honour Tokugawa Ieyasu, the very first Shogun of the Tokugawa era. Since he was the most powerful man in Japan at the time, perhaps it is not so surprising that for a Shinto building this is unusually ornate.

* This puzzle has TINY pieces!

Out of stock
More stock expected November 22
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: BM81856 (M81-856 on box)
Retail price ¥2000 (approx. US$18.69 €15.75 £14.49)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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All about ordering (please read first)
Itsukushima shrine
© Beverly
Position map

1000: Itsukushima shrine

The classic view of the Itsukushima shrine, looking out into the bay at the great torii. This Shinto ceremonial gateway was completed in 1875, and is unusual in being sited in the tidal part of the bay.

This is famous as one of the traditional "Three sights of Japan" - and since 1996 has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 72 x 49 cm (28" x 19")
Code: B51203 (51-203 on box)
Retail price ¥2800 (approx. US$26.17 €22.05 £20.29)
Shipping from ¥1100 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$10.28 €8.66 £7.97)
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Kirishima shrine
© Epoch
Position map

1000: Kirishima shrine

Restrained, yet shapely, this large Shinto shrine complex nestles in graceful woods. Its full title is Kirishima-jingû, indicating a more important location than the usual -jinja, and indeed this site holds a number of national treasures.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E10725 (10-725 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.36 €19.69 £18.12)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Tōshōgu, Nikko
© Epoch
Position map

1000: Tōshōgu, Nikko

A view of the steps leading to the entrance, known as Yōmeimon, to the Shinto shrine of Tōshōgu. This very ornate Shinto shrine was built in the early 1600s to honour Tokugawa Ieyasu, the very first Shogun of the Tokugawa era, and the most powerful man in Japan at the time.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E11442 (11-442 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.04 €23.62 £21.74)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Chusonji
© Motohashi Komei
Position map

1000: Chusonji

This temple in the north of Japan was originally founded by the monk Ennin, who hailed from Tochigi (home of the Imaginatorium) in around 794 AD. But this building, Konjikidō (lit. "gold-coloured hall", being decorated with gold leaf), was originally built in the 12th century and is now protected by a modern outer shell building which we see here, in its beautiful mountain setting.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E11385 (11-385 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.04 €23.62 £21.74)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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Ginkaku-ji
© Epoch
Position map

1000: Ginkaku-ji

Built in 1482 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, this was intended to be the silver counterpart to the even more famous Kinkaku-ji ("Gold pavilion"), but somehow they never got round to putting the silver foil on, so it's just wood. The "Silver pavilion" is really a nickname, and officially the temple is called Tōzan-jishō-ji.

This tasteful photograph will be a nice challenge, yet not tedious because of the variations in tint and texture of the green pieces.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E10739 (10-739 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.36 €19.69 £18.12)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
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759 pieces

Ninna-ji temple
© Epoch
Position map

759: Ninna-ji temple

This temple is famed for its collection of 200 or so cherry trees, here seen in full bloom. Originally founded in 888, most of the buildings in the Ninna-ji precinct date from the seventeenth century.

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

Not available
An Epoch puzzle: 759 pieces; 53 x 38 cm (21" x 15")
Code: E57503 (57-503 on box)
Retail price ¥1600

300 pieces

Kamigamo Shrine
© Beverly
Position map

300: Kamigamo Shrine

This is one of two associated Shinto shrines on the Kamo river in northern Kyoto, its name meaning "Upper Kamo shrine" — the other is Shimogamo ("Lower Kamo"). The two have a very long history, going back to the Heian period (c. AD 800), but as is the tradition the structures themselves are maintained and rebuilt as necessary. This is the ornate main gate (rōmon), seen through the spring foliage.

One of the oldest shrines in Japan, it is now a World Heritage site.

Wikipedia article

Out of stock
Resupply date uncertain
A Beverly puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: B73179 (73-179 on box)
Retail price ¥1200 (approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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Seiganto temple and Nachi falls
© Apollo
Position map

300: Seiganto temple and Nachi falls

Near the southern tip of the Kii peninsula below Kyoto, this pagoda, just part of the temple complex, enjoys a commanding view of the impressive Nachi falls. Although the falls are actually across a valley, a suitable viewpoint brings them into the same picture.

This beautiful photograph has a lot of background forest and cliffs, but the touches of mist will probably make them slightly easier rather than harder.

In stock
An Apollo puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: P48703 (48-703 on box)
Retail price ¥1400 (approx. US$13.08 €11.02 £10.14)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara
© Apollo
Position map

300: Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara

The impressive entrance to one of the historical treasures makes a particularly nice picture for a puzzle: the varying textures and repeating patterns provide fascination, particularly the row of bronze lanterns. As is the tradition in Japan, wooden buildings are rebuilt regularly, preserving their beauty...

In stock
An Apollo puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: P48719 (48-719 on box)
Retail price ¥1400 (approx. US$13.08 €11.02 £10.14)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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Heian shrine cherry blossom
© Apollo-sha
Position map

300: Heian shrine cherry blossom

A classic view of the Kihin-kan ("guest residence") in the gardens of the Heian shrine in Kyoto. This site was built relatively recently, in 1895, on the site of the Emperor's palace in Kyoto, commemorating 1100 years since the capital moved there from Nara.

Out of stock
Resupply date uncertain
An Apollo puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: P48641 (48-641 on box)
Retail price ¥1200 (approx. US$11.21 €9.45 £8.70)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.61 €4.72 £4.35)
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All about ordering (please read first)
Itsukushima shrine
© Epoch
Position map

300: Itsukushima shrine

The classic view of the Itsukushima shrine, looking out into the bay at the great torii. This Shinto ceremonial gateway was completed in 1875, and is unusual in being sited in the tidal part of the bay.

This is famous as one of the traditional "Three sights of Japan" - and since 1996 has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: E26054 (26-054 on box)
Retail price ¥1400 (approx. US$13.08 €11.02 £10.14)
Shipping from ¥500 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$4.67 €3.94 £3.62)
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"What's the difference between a temple and a shrine?"

Regardless of their connotations in English, according to a convention of Japanology these words are used to distinguish buildings of the separate religious traditions of Buddhism and Shinto.

Japanese charactersMeaningMap symbol
"Temple"tera A Buddhist temple: these are usually (but not necessarily) imposing structures. The character shown on the left appears at the end of the temple name, and can be read "-ji" (the Chinese reading) or "-tera/-dera" (the native Japanese reading). The map symbol used for a Buddhist temple is the ancient swastika (not the reversed swastika appropriated by the Nazis). swastika
"Shrine"jinja A Shinto shrine: these can be anything from a tiny shack perched on a rock in the sea to an imposing building (that we would naturally call a temple). In Japanese the word used is usually jinja, as shown on the left, though the most important buildings are called taisha, or "Grand Shrine". The map symbol used for a Shinto shrine is a torii, the ceremonial gateway, usually of wood or stone, that marks the approach. torii
Deleted puzzles

For reference: you can view all the puzzles from this page that are now out of print in the Attic.