Highlights and access methods of To-ji Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)

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Toji Temple is the only remaining relic of Heiankyo. It was established about 1200 years ago and was registered as a World Heritage site in 1994. The five-story pagoda, a symbol of Toji Temple, can be seen from the window of a Shinkansen train. Standing at approximately 55 meters, it is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. On the temple grounds, there's a 120-year-old cherry tree called "Fuji Sakura". When in bloom, the sight of the vibrant flowers with the five-story pagoda in the backdrop is truly magnificent.

In this article, we will explain the attractions of To-ji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Temples)

Highlights of To-ji Temple

To-ji Temple is the only remaining structure from the Heian-kyo period. It was established about 1200 years ago and was registered as a World Heritage site in 1994. To-ji was established as a state temple for national protection shortly after the transfer of the capital to Heian-kyo. Subsequently, Emperor Saga, who succeeded Emperor Kanmu, entrusted To-ji to Kobo Daishi Kukai, who had returned from China after studying a new form of Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism. This marked the beginning of To-ji as a base for Esoteric Buddhism.

To-ji is home to many valuable structures such as the "Koudou", "Kondou", "Mieido", and "Higashi Daimon", but the most famous and symbolic of To-ji is the "Five-Story Pagoda". This pagoda, approximately 55m high, boasts the tallest wooden pagoda in Japan. It has been destroyed by lightning strikes and other disasters four times in the past but was rebuilt each time. Although the inside of the pagoda is usually not open to the public, there have been special openings in the past.

To-ji is also known as a spot for cherry blossoms. During the bloom, illuminations are held, and the sight of the five-story pagoda and cherry blossoms reflected in the pond within the premises is mystical. Also, please be sure to see the 120-year-old Fugenzakura cherry tree that was raised in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, and donated via Mie Prefecture, with the five-story pagoda in the background.

The Five-story Pagoda of To-ji can be seen from the windows of the Shinkansen. It is also a 15-minute walk from Kyoto Station, making it easily accessible, so be sure to visit when you come to Kyoto.

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Address and access method of To-ji Temple

The address of Toji Temple is 1 Kujo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto. The nearest station is JR Kyoto Station. It's about a 15 minute walk from the station. Or Kintetsu Kyoto Line Toji Station. It's about a 10 minute walk from the station.

Attractions near To-ji Temple

Near To-ji Temple, there are several other attractions that you can visit in Kyoto:

Kyoto Station
The city's main transportation hub, Kyoto Station is an impressive modern architectural marvel, featuring a variety of shops, restaurants, and a sky garden with a beautiful view of the city.

Nishi Hongan-ji Temple
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nishi Hongan-ji is a large temple complex belonging to the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism. It houses beautiful buildings and gardens, and is a great place to experience Japanese culture and history.

Higashi Hongan-ji Temple
Located close to Nishi Hongan-ji, Higashi Hongan-ji is another important temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect. The temple is known for its massive wooden structures and beautiful gardens.

Umekoji Park
A spacious park located southwest of Kyoto Station, Umekoji Park is home to the Kyoto Aquarium and the Kyoto Railway Museum, making it an ideal destination for families and railway enthusiasts.

Other information about To-ji Temple

Official site about To-ji Temple :


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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )