To-ji Temple (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Kondo (Main Hall) To-ji Temple In Kyoto

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  • Miedo (Residence of Monk Kukai) To-ji Temple In Kyoto

  • Miedo (Residence of Monk Kukai) To-ji Temple In Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

To-ji Temple (East Temple) also known as Kyo-o-gokoku-ji Temple, founded by Shingon sect, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and belongs to the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Best Ryokans in KyotoExplore Ryokans in Kyoto
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The Buddhist temple is one of the oldest in Kyoto and famous for its Five-storied pagoda. The height of the pagoda is 54,8 meter. The tallest wooden tower in Japan is really an impressive sight. Many buildings at the temple grounds are Important Cultural Properties or National Treasures. My tip: The illumination of the pagoda and the park at night during the cherry blossom season is amazing.

  • To-ji Temple:
  • Opening Hours - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, last entry 5:00 pm (Sep 20th till Mar 19th)
  • Opening Hours - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, last entry 4:00 pm (rest of the year)
  • Closed - open the whole year
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults)
  • To-ji Temple Homotsukan (Treasure Hall) special openings:
  • Open - March 20th till May 25th
  • Open - September 20th till November 25th

History

The construction of the To-ji Temple started in 794, when the capital of Japan was moved from Nara to Kyoto. In 823 the monk Kukai (Kobo-Daishi) was honored by Emperor Saga. He handed over the temple to the monk. Since that time To-ji Temple was established as the headquarter of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple area was many times destroyed by fire and earthquakes, but always rebuilt afterwards. In the 1994 the temple received the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Location Show map

To-ji Temple is located in the southwest part of Kyoto.
Address: Kujo-cho 1, Minami-ku, Kyoto

How to get to To-ji Temple?

  • 15min walk from Kyoto Station (Hachijo-Exit) to To-ji Temple or
  • 10min walk from Kintetsu Line To-ji Station

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Kondo (Main Hall) - Is the largest structure within the temple complex and was built by Hideyori (son of the famous general Hideyoshi Toyotomi). The hall was completely destroyed in 1486 and rebuilt in 1603. Two architectural styles are combined in the building the Indian tenjiku style and Japanese irimoya style (double-roofed). The beautiful Buddha statues inside are designated important cultural properties.

Kodo (Lecture Hall) - The current structure was built in 1491. The original hall was constructed in 835. Kodo is located at the center of the temple complex. The 21 statues on display, with the principal Buddha - Dainchi Nyorai - in the center, are a must-see during your temple visit.

Five-Storied Pagoda - The pagoda you see today was built in 1644, but the original structure is dating back till the 9th century. On the walls and pillars you will find drawings of Buddha. The Five-Storied Pagoda so far has withstood all earthquakes, thanks to a special frame and pillar construction.

Miedo (Monk Kukai's Residence) - In 1379 this beautiful residence burned down and was reconstructed in 1390. Every day at 6am a ceremony is performed to honor Monk Kukai. Feel free to join.

Festival & Events in Kyoto (dates can change without notice)

every month

Mieku (Kobo-ichi market) at To-ji Temple (21st)
The flea market is open for the public from early morning till 4:30pm. Enjoy the shopping:)

Garakuta-ichi antique market at To-ji Temple (first Sunday)
The market is really popular so be there early.

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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