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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.

Get the most out of your visit to Tofukuji Temple. Here's a list of the best things to do:

Want to know what there is to do at this fabulous attraction? We highly recommend purchasing a Kyoto: Small Group History & Cultural Walking Tour.

If you're after even more activities, take a look at our Kyoto things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Tofukuji Temple


Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,064 Properties near Tofukuji Temple
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto P3,886
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi (3 km). Kyoto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Toji Station is 12 minutes.

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto P11,758
    Hyatt Regency Kyoto

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto

       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kyoto National Museum and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kiyomizu Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Shichijo Station is 6 minutes by foot and Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 14 minutes.

      ibis Styles Kyoto Station P2,515
      ibis Styles Kyoto Station

      ibis Styles Kyoto Station

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

        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). Kujo Station is 7 minutes by foot and Toji Station is 12 minutes.

        Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae P6,162
        Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae

        Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae

           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Kyoto Aquarium and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kyoto Station is 6 minutes by foot and Gojo Station is 13 minutes.

          Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites P1,434
          Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites

          Randor Residential Hotel Kyoto Suites

             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Minami, this aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple. Fushimi Inari Shrine and Higashi Honganji Temple are also within 2 miles (3 km). Tofukuji Station is 7 minutes by foot and Kujo Station is 10 minutes.

            Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto P4,930
            Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

            Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Tofukuji Station is 13 minutes.

              HANARE KYOTO Onyado Hasegawa
              HANARE KYOTO Onyado Hasegawa

              HANARE KYOTO Onyado Hasegawa

                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Higashiyama, this holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Tofukuji Temple and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Kyoto Tower and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 2 miles (3 km). Tobakaido Station is only a 4-minute walk and Tofukuji Station is 8 minutes.

                Tofukuji Machiya inn Sakura & Tsuki
                Tofukuji Machiya inn Sakura & Tsuki

                Tofukuji Machiya inn Sakura & Tsuki

                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Higashiyama, this holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Tofukuji Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kyoto Tower. Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 2 miles (3 km). Tofukuji Station is only a 4-minute walk and Tobakaido Station is 9 minutes.