Sunday, January 8, 2017

Visiting Tofukuji Temple (東福寺) in Kyoto—Personal Experience

On 11/30/2016, I have visited Tofukuji Temple | (東福寺) in southeastern Kyoto. Along with Daitokuji (大徳寺), Shokokuji (相国寺), Kenninji (建仁寺), Tenryuji (天龍寺) and Myoshinji (妙心寺), Tofukuji is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Kyoto.[2,3]

Tofukuji Temple is located on the eastern side of Kyoto between Kujo dori (九条) and Jujo dori (七条). The Tofukuji Station of Japan Rail as well as the Keihan Electric Railway are the closest rail stations to the temple.

Travel Itinerary

On the day of my visit, I have taken Keihan Electric Railway and arrived at Tofukuji Station. Walking towards Tofukuji Temple is a bit tricky. However, you can follow maps shown on the street sides and eventually will be guided by people dressed in uniform providing directions along the path.

Because its location, it seems to attract a smaller crowd than other famous temple like Eikando Temple (永観堂) and Kiyomizudera Temple (清水寺). But, its autumn colors are as beautiful as the other two. If you visit it, you can also visit the nearby Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社).

Tofukuji Temple (東福寺)

In autumn, people come from all over Japan to see Tofukuji's autumn colors (season: mid to late November). The most popular view is of the Tsutenkyo Bridge (通 天 橋; see right picture), which spans a valley of lush maple trees. The view from the bridge is equally spectacular. But, the bridge is usually crowded because it's also the entrance to the temple compound.

Honbo garden (方丈庭園)

Honbo garden (方丈庭園) is designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty. The Hojo (or Honbo), which is one of main building in the Tofukuji Temple founded in 1235, was reconstructed in 1890, and the gardens arranged at the four quarters around the building of Hojo were laid out in 1939 by Mr. Mirei Shigemori (a famous garden-builder), who intended to express the simplicity of Zen in the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代) with the abstract construction of modern arts.

The Southern Garden

The Northern Garden


  1. Tofukuji Temple | (東福寺)
  2. The Brief history of TOFUKU-JI Temple
  3. Kyoto: 29 Walks in Japan's Ancient Capital
  4. Visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  5. Tofuku-ji 東福寺 (Rinzai-Obaku Zen)
  6. Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
  7. Kyoto Travel—Philosopher's Path (Along the Old Canal) (Travel for a Purpose)
  8. Japan Travel: Eating in Nara (奈良) (Travel for a Purpose)
  9. Japan: Temple Lodging at Mount Koya (or Koyasan 高野山) (Travel for a Purpose)
  10. Temple Lodging in Koyasan—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  11. Visiting Arashiyama (嵐山) in Kyoto—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  12. Visiting Ohara in Kyoto—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  13. Visiting Nigatsudo Hall (二月堂) in Nara—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  14. Visiting Yoshiki-en Garden (吉城園 / よしきえん) in Nara—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
  15. Travel: How to Ride a Train in Japan (Travel for a Purpose)
  16. Japan Travel — How to Ride a Bus in Kyoto Area (Travel for a Purpose)

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