Shrines & Temples

    To-ji Temple

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    To-ji Temple

    The only restored remains from the Heian-kyo Capital

    To-ji Temple was established just after the national capital was relocated to Kyoto in 794.  It served as the southern national guardian temple.  To-ji means the Temple on the East as it used to stand on the east side of the Rajo-mon Gate of the capital.  There used to be the companion temple, Sai-ji (the Temple of the West) but it was abandoned in medieval times.  In 823, Emperor Saga gave To-ji Temple to Kukai (or Kobo Daishi), the important Buddhist priest who founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism.  Kukai made To-ji Temple the training center of his sect and renamed it Kyo-o Gokoku-ji Temple.  The temple is now one of the World Heritage sites of Kyoto and possesses a number of National Treasures and Important Cultural Heritages.  Unfortunately, most of the temple properties were lost in the large fire in 1486 but the Kon-do Hall and the five-story pagoda were successfully restored by donations from the Toyotomi and Tokugawa families.  Today, the five-story pagoda is 54.8 meters high and is Japan’s highest wooden pagoda.  The present pagoda is the fifth generation and was restored in 1644 by the commission of the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu.  The main hall is Kon-do Hall.  It is a National Treasure and was restored in 1603 by the commission of Hideyori Toyotomi.  Statues of Yakushi are enshrined in the large temple hall.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.
    Fujin-gaho,December issue,2013


    Name To-ji Temple
    Address 1 Kujo-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 075-691-3325
    Hours 5:00-16:30 (Sept. 20-Mar. 19), until 17:30 (Mar. 20-Sept. 19) *Enter by 30 min. before the closing time.
    Recommended Entry: Varies depending on the place and season