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Tofukuji Temple

More than any other site, this shrine is celebrated for the unrivaled autumnal colors of the trees surrounding the spiritual Zen haven.

The Tofukuji Temple is surrounded by a marvelous display of foliage. The vibrant reds and luscious greens of the leaves illuminate the shrine at the heart of the site. The impressive leaves alone are enough to separate the site from other temples in the country and attract tourists from all over Japan and the rest of the world. Almost as impressive are the buildings that have withstood the tests of time.

Take photos of the multicolored forest from the site’s most famous spot, the Tsutenkyo Bridge. The colors are at their best in November, when you will have to fight fellow nature-lovers for space on the pathway. Admire the Sanmon Gate, which stands 70 feet (21 meters) high. Constructed in 1425, it is the oldest of its kind.

Most other ancient temples were destroyed in fires and rebuilt, so make the most of the rare opportunity Tofuku-ji offers with temple buildings still intact from the 14th century. Find Zen in the meditation hall and bathhouse. Follow the stone path in front of Kaisando Hall. Enjoy the contrasting landscapes with a rock patch to the left and a pond garden on the right.

Founded in 1236, the temple is one of the main Zen Buddhism spots in Japan. Most of the grounds and buildings are free to access. There is an entrance fee, however, to the Hojo, the head priest’s former living quarters. It is exceptional in that the gardens surround the structure on all sides. There is a charge for access to the Tsutenkyo Bridge with its picturesque views.

This large shrine is located in the southeastern part of the city, a 10-minute walk from Tofukuji station on the JR Nara Line. It is a couple of stops away from the main transportation hub of the city, Kyoto Station. Tofukuji bus stop is also nearby.


Guide to Exploring around Tofukuji Temple


Lodging Near Tofukuji Temple

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RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Toji Temple and Shijo Omiya are also ...

    RIHGA Royal Hotel KyotoAU$126

    Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

    Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market ...

      Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande KyotoAU$148

      Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 

      Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 

        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Minami, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto TERRSA and Kyoto Tower. Kyoto Aquarium and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). ...

        Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA AU$153

        Hotel Granvia Kyoto

        Hotel Granvia Kyoto

          4.5 out of 5.0
           
           
          5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

          Located in Central Kyoto, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Aquarium and Toji ...

          Hotel Granvia KyotoAU$168

          Hyatt Regency Kyoto

          Hyatt Regency Kyoto

            4.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kyoto National Museum and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kiyomizu Temple are also within ...

            Hyatt Regency KyotoAU$403

            APA Hotel Kyoto Ekihigashi

            APA Hotel Kyoto Ekihigashi

            Higashishiokojicho, 552-1, Kyoto, Kyoto
              3.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Nishiki Market and Toji Temple are also within 2 mi ...

              APA Hotel Kyoto EkihigashiAU$89

              Kyoto Century Hotel

              Kyoto Century Hotel

                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Central Kyoto, this romantic hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Kyoto Tower, Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. Shijo Omiya and Kiyomizu Temple are also ...

                Kyoto Century HotelAU$110

                ibis Styles Kyoto Station

                ibis Styles Kyoto Station

                47 Higashikujo Kamitonoda-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
                  3.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Tower and Toji Temple. Kenninji Temple and Fushimi Inari Shrine are also within 3 mi (5 km). ...

                  ibis Styles Kyoto StationAU$88

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