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東寺 Toji Temple

  • World Heritages Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
  • Fushimi Area
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  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

Fushimi Area
1 Kujocho, Minami-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 601-8473, Japan
  • World Heritages
  • Buildings (Temples / Shrines / Cathedrals)
Opening Hours
[March 20-September 19]5:00-17:30 (Admission time 8:00-17:00), [September 20-March 19]5:00-16:30 (Admission time 8:30-16:00)
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/04/23

A temple with Japan’s tallest five-storied pagoda

  • Historic / Cultural Experiences

Situated to the south of Kyoto Station, easily noticed by Japan’s tallest wooden five-storied pagoda, To-ji is one of the 17 World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.

Its origin dates back to the 8th century, when the new capital was constructed and named “Heian-Kyo (literally means the capital of piece)” by the Emperor Kammu. To-ji was built along with Sai-ji as the guardian temples of the new capital. To-ji, which literally means eastern temple, and Sai-ji, western temple, stood on both sides of the entrance gate of the new capital. Both temples and the gate were burnt down by fire and Sai-ji and Rajo-mon were not reconstructed.

Soon after the first construction, To-ji was entrusted to the great teacher Kukai by the Emperor, and Kukai made To-ji the central seminary of Shingon (or Esoteric) Buddhism and added various buildings such as the pagoda and halls. Since then, To-ji has been the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The major buildings were damaged by earthquakes and fires but have been rebuilt to retain the original layout and the architectural styles.

Five Storied Pagoda: National Treasure.
This is the Japan’s tallest five-storied pagoda, 55 m (180.4ft) in height. This is the fifth reconstruction completed in 1644. The pagoda is a structure used to house relics of Buddha. It is not open to the public except special occasions. Former ones were burnt down 4 times by fires but none of them collapsed in earthquake, amazingly!

Kondo (main hall): National Treasure.
Rebuilt in 1603, it is the finest structure in To-ji. Wooden statues of Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of Medicine) triad are housed in.

Kodo (Lecture Hall): Important Cultural Asset.
Rebuilt in 1491, 21 wooden statues are located. Among them, 16 are designated as National Treasures constructed in early Heian period (9th-10th century). The arrangement of the statues is said to be the three- dimensional version of mandara, center of Shingon Buddhism, depiction of the Buddha’s world.

All the Buddhist statues and buildings are worth seeing and you will feel the solemn atmosphere apart from hustle-bustles in the city.

As this temple is one of the headquarters of Shingon sect, a lot of pilgrims visit here for the completion of their pilgrimage. They are clad in white and chant sutras in front of certain statues.

Antique market is held on first Sundays and flea markets on 21st every month.

*Reference: Home Page of To-ji

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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