Kyoto #42: 東福寺【Tofuku-Ji Temple】

What a wonderful temple
Tofuku-Ji Temple in Kyoto

It is a temple that is constantly visited by visitors to the beauty of the maple that fills the valley. In summer you can see early summer blue maple, and in autumn you can see Autumn leaves. Those seasonal sceneries attract many tourists, and I believe that’s something worth your time while you would be in Japan!!


It’s one of the representative Zen temples in Kyoto. In addition, the attraction is not only beautiful scenery but also buildings and gardens of Tofuku-Ji. This time, I’ll introduce all of the attractions of Tofuku-Ji, not just the autumn leaves. Let’s go to the traditional Kyoto world!!


Tofuku-Ji Temple

It’s one of the representative Zen templ, which has not only beautiful scenery but also buildings and gardens of Tofuku-Ji. There are various buildings such as Sanmon, Hatto, Hojo and Buddha (show pics below) in the precincts, most of which are historical temples designated as national treasures and important cultural properties.

(cited from Tofuku-Ji HP:


Massive and breathtaking…
There are so many things designated as a national treasure. All massive architectures come into your eyes everywhere you walk in the precinct. I believe that these are worth seeing not only because its size but also its elegance.

San-mon gate

Hatto (Main building)


In addition to its appearance, you can see a strange dragon ceiling picture along with your lord although you can’t enter inside. This is a beautiful and magnificent piece written by Japanese artist 堂本印象【Insho Domoto】 in just 16 days. Please don’t forget to check it!


Super cool gardens…
There are four gardens called South, North, East, West garden, which express each four seasons, surrounding the main building Hojo, all of which are made by the gardener Mirei Shigemori. The garden was built 80 years ago, but it was restored to its original appearance in 2014.


South garden
South garden is in front of Hojo. There is a huge stone, expressing the island where the hermit lives, in the east of its garden.


East garden
East Garden, which continues from the south garden, is a small space with stones representing the Big Dipper.


West garden
West garden, Satsuki is arranged boldly, is called 大市松模様の庭【Ooichimatsumoyou no niwa】 which means it looks like a checked pattern.


North garden
North garden is the famous checkered pattern garden called 大市松模様の庭【Koichimatsumoyou no niwa】It’s a bit little smaller than the west garden.


Brilliant three bridges…
The most famous bridge in Tofuku-Ji is Tsutenbashi bridge, but there are several other bridges. Sannobashi River flows through the precincts, and there are three bridges. You can see completely different sceneries from each bridge, so you should walk across them and spend your time with good vibes.

Tsutenbashi bridge


Gaunkyo bridge (In Autumn and winter)

Engetsukyo bridge


Tofuku-Ji is famous for its autumn leaves, but there are many other attractions besides the autumn leaves. You can enjoy the scenery of the seasons, and you can enjoy a stroll outside of the autumn leaves season, so please come and visit when you visit Kyoto.


Sightseeing Kyoto#1: 清水寺【Kiyomizu-Dera Temple】 Kyoto#2: 高台寺【Kodai-Ji Temple】 Kyoto#3: 金閣寺【Kinkaku-Ji […]


・ Open: 9:00-16:00

・Admission Fee: 400 yen (Adult)

・HP URL(English):