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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


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RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto P3,911
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Higashi Honganji Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kyoto Toji Station is 12 minutes by foot and Kujo Station is 16 minutes.

    Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto P4,252
    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 Kyoto Aquarium are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Kyoto Station is 5 minutes.

      Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA  P4,363
      Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 

      Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 

         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto TERRSA and Kyoto Tower. Higashi Honganji Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is only a 5-minute walk and Jujo Station is 15 minutes.

        Kyoto Century Hotel P4,407
        Kyoto Century Hotel

        Kyoto Century Hotel

           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          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 within 2 mi (3 km). Kyoto Station is 8 minutes by foot and Kujo Station is 14 minutes.

          Via Inn Kyoto Station Hachijoguchi P4,645
          Via Inn Kyoto Station Hachijoguchi

          Via Inn Kyoto Station Hachijoguchi

             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto TERRSA and Kyoto Tower. Higashi Honganji Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is 6 minutes by foot and Kyoto Toji Station is 11 minutes.

            APA Hotel Kyoto-Ekikita P2,087
            APA Hotel Kyoto-Ekikita

            APA Hotel Kyoto-Ekikita

               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Higashi Honganji Temple, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Nijō Castle and Kiyomizu Temple. Yasaka Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 3 mi (5 km). Kyoto Station is 8 minutes by foot and Gojo Station is 16 minutes.

              Hotel Keihan Kyoto GRANDE P3,271
              Hotel Keihan Kyoto GRANDE

              Hotel Keihan Kyoto GRANDE

                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kujo Station is 7 minutes by foot and Kyoto Station is 14 minutes.

                Hotel Granvia Kyoto P6,417
                Hotel Granvia Kyoto

                Hotel Granvia Kyoto

                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Central Kyoto, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Gojo Station is 13 minutes by foot and Kyoto Shichijo Station is 12 minutes.