Tofuku-ji Temple – Head Temple of Rinzai Sect

A scene from the treasure hall where many ancient paintings and writings are on display

Treasures that have survived repeated fires to reach us today

This temple was founded by the imperial advisor Michiie Kujo, who opened it as his family temple in 1236, spending 19 years building Tofuku-ji, to create the biggest temple in Kyoto. However, over the ensuing century, in 1319, 1334 and 1336, most of the halls were burned down in blazes. It was fully restored in 1346, becoming the largest Zen temple in Kyoto. Nevertheless, several of the halls were burnt down again in 1881 and have been restored one by one during the 20th century.
Yet, through all of this adversity, the temple still boasts the oldest sanmon, or triple main gate, (National Treasure) in Japan as well as the Zendo (meditation hall) and Yokushitsu (bathing room) that have survived since early in the 14th century and are both Important Cultural Properties. The Komyo Hoden is home to more than 5,000 cultural assets related to Tofuku-ji and its sub temples. These include a painting of the Chinese monk Wuzhun Shifan (National Treasure) and the statue of Amida Nyorai (Important Cultural Property). And, this treasure hall is opened for a special exhibition on varied occasions.

photoSeated statue of Amida Nyorai (Important Cultural Property)

Seated statue of Amida Nyorai (Important Cultural Property)

photoMain hall

Main hall

Address 778 Honmachi 15 chome, Higashiyama-ku
TEL 075-561-0087
FAX 075-533-0621
URL http://www.tofukuji.jp
Hours Apr-late Oct: 9:00-16:00 (gate closes at 16:30), Nov-early Dec: 8:30-16:00 (gate closes at 16:30), Early Dec-late Mar: 9:00-15:30 (gate closes at 16:00)
Closed None
Adm Tsuten bridge, founding hall/Honbo garden: Adults ¥400, Elementary and junior high school students ¥300 ※Komyo Hoden only open to public in spring (late Apr-early May), and is charged separately
Access An 8-min walk from Keihan Toba-kaido Stn/A 10-min walk from JR and Keihan Tofukuji Stn/A 10-min walk from Tofukuji Stop of City Bus
Parking Available (Free) but not available during special viewing period in autumn

Facilities near by

photo:Kyoto City Zoo

Kyoto City Zoo

Animal-visitor interaction is the keyword here

photo:Toy Film Museum

Toy Film Museum

A Kyoto machiya house alive with movies and animation

photo:Yogen-in Temple

Yogen-in Temple

A temple woven into the lives of the Imperial, Tokugawa and Toyotomi families

photo:Kyoto City Museum of Art (Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art)

Kyoto City Museum of Art (Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art)

Renewed bastion of Japanese art, including famed works from Kyoto Gadan and others

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