Tofuku-ji Temple

Travel Guide - Tofuku-ji Temple

Information

Tofuku-ji Temple was founded in 1236 by the priest Enni.
The temple now belongs to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.

Since Tofuku-ji Temple was intended to compare with Todai-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple in Nara, the temple was given a name combining characters from the names of each of these temples.

Although many of the buildings were burnt down by fire, the temple is still considered one of the five main Zen temples in Kyoto.
The huge San-mon Gate, designated as a National Treasure, is the oldest Zen main gate in Japan.

The Zenshu style Tosu (lavatory) and Yokushitsu (bathroom) date from the 14th century.
Going to the lavatory and bathroom was also considered as a part of Zen practice, and monks needed to follow many strict rules even while they are in those places.
The present temple complex has 24 sub-temples; there were 53 at one time.
The Hojo (Abbot's Hall) was reconstructed in 1890 after it was once burnt down by fire in 1881.

The gardens of the hall called Honbo-teien Garden, laid out in 1939 by a notable modern Japanese landscape architect Mirei Shigemori, are worth a visit.
Each of the gardens at the four points of the compass has a different style.
As you approach the northern garden, you cross a stream over the wooden Tsuten-kyo Bridge.
This bridge is known as one of the best spots in Kyoto for viewing the beautiful colored leaves in autumn.

Opening Hours

  • 9:00 - 16:00 (April - October)
  • 8:30 - 16:00 (November - early December)
  • 9:00 - 15:30 (early December - March)

Closed

  • No closing days

Access / Public Transport

  • 10 minutes walk from JR Tofukuji Station
  • 10 minutes walk from Tofukuji Station on the Keihan Main Line (KH36)

Address / Location

* Please click each address to show the location.

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