Lily Crossley-Baxter
a year ago
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One of the lesser-visited but undeniably impressive structures of Kyoto, Tofokuji is one of the city’s five great zen temples. Built by the great statesman of the Kamakura period, Kujo Michiie in 1236, it was given a character from each of Nara’s main temple to form Tofokuji. Although the buildings were lost in a series of fires, some compounds have survived and others have been painstakingly refurbished to recreate the grand presence of the past. Possibly its most striking feature is the towering Sanmon Gate, which is a national treasure and stands tall at 22m tall. Although it burned down in 1336, it has since survived, undergoing an intensive restructure and repair effort lasting almost 9 years in the 1970s. It is now the oldest Zen main gate in Japan, and offers a daunting welcome to those visiting. The biggest draw in Autumn, however, is the Kaisando bridge, surrounded by the deep hues of fall leaves and visited by thousands. The temple has four gardens to explore - the rock gardens to the south, the moss and azalea gardens to the west, the chequered moss garden to the north and the cylindrical stone garden to the east. Hours: 9am - 4pm [Images: 1. Sharon Ang/Pixabay, 2. Sharon Ang/Pixabay
  • Details
  • 15-chōme-778 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0981, Japan
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    Physical 2
    Culture 4
    Fun 4
    Education 3
  • Tags
    Family friendly
    Hidden gem
    Tourist must-do

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