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

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Tofuku-ji is a temple located in the Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto, currently known as a large temple complex housing 25 sub-temples. In addition to the mountain gate and the main hall, the temple is renowned for the three bridges (Tsuuten-kyo Bridge, Gaun-kyo Bridge, Engetsu-kyo Bridge) that span across the valley "Sengyokukan" within the temple grounds, as well as the garden designed by Mirei Shigemori. It is also famous as a representative autumn foliage spot in Kyoto, attracting many tourists in the fall.

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

Tofuku-ji Temple(0)

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(Prefecture : Kyoto , Category : Temples)

Highlights of Tofuku-ji Temple

Tofukuji Temple, located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, is known as the fourth ranking Zen temple among the Five Great Zen Temples of Kyoto, and still thrives today as a large temple complex with 25 sub-temples. The name "Tofukuji" was created by taking one character each from Todaiji and Kofukuji, two temples in Nara.

Tofukuji, while being a place of Zen training, is also widely known as a tourist spot possessing many national treasures and important cultural properties. The main temple structures include the Sanmon gate, the main hall, the Hojo, the Kuri, as well as the "Three Famous Bridges of Tofukuji" which are the Tsuten Bridge, Gaun Bridge, and Engetsu Bridge. Additionally, Tofukuji's Honbo garden, designed by Mirei Shigemori (once referred to as the "Garden of Eight Views of Tofukuji's Hojo"), comprises gardens with different charms facing each of the four cardinal directions.

Tofukuji is renowned for its autumn leaves and attracts many tourists in the fall. There are over 2,000 maple trees within the temple grounds, and during the fall, you can see the beautiful autumn leaves that decorate the "Sengyokukan Gorge" from the Tsuten Bridge and the Gaun Bridge. While it's known that there are hardly any cherry blossoms at Tofukuji, it is possible to enjoy them at Komyoin, one of its sub-temples. Please be sure to stop by during the spring season.

Although Tofukuji is often visited during the season of autumn leaves, the fresh greenery of May and June is also spectacular. As the number of tourists is fewer compared to the autumn season, it is particularly recommended for those who want to take their time exploring Tofukuji.

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Address and access method of Tofuku-ji Temple

The address of Tofukuji Temple is 15-778 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. The nearest station is JR Nara Line Tofukuji Station. It's about a 10 minute walk from the station. Or Keihan Railway Keihan Main Line Tofukuji Station. It's about a 10 minute walk from the station.

Attractions near Tofuku-ji Temple

Several notable attractions are located near Tofuku-ji Temple:

Fushimi Inari Shrine
One of Kyoto's most famous and iconic sites, Fushimi Inari Taisha is a Shinto shrine known for its thousands of vermilion torii gates lining the path up Mount Inari. It is just one stop away from Tofukuji Station on the JR Nara Line.

Sanjusangendo Temple
A Buddhist temple famous for its impressive hall housing 1,001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple is a short bus ride or a 25-minute walk from Tofuku-ji Temple.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera is a stunning Buddhist temple offering panoramic views of Kyoto from its famous wooden veranda. It is about a 30-minute walk or a short bus ride from Tofuku-ji Temple.

Kyoto National Museume
This museum, located near Sanjusangendo, showcases a vast collection of Japanese art and cultural artifacts, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in Japan's history and artistic heritage.

Gion District
Kyoto's famous geisha district, with its well-preserved traditional architecture, is just a few stops away from Tofukuji Station on the Keihan Main Line. A stroll through the charming streets of Gion offers the chance to experience Kyoto's rich cultural atmosphere.

Other information about Tofuku-ji Temple

Official site about Tofuku-ji Temple :


Tofuku-ji Temple(1)

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( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )