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Tofuku-ji (Tofuku Temple)

Tofuku-ji (Tofuku Temple) Review

A fabulous gateway arch—the oldest in Japan—attracts many visitors to this expansive medieval complex of 24 temples. At 22 meters tall, the Zen structure is a sight to see, both inside and out. Its friezes, attributed to the prominent Heian-era sculptor Teicho, depict scenes of the Buddha and his disciples. The temple, of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, was established in 1236 and ranks as one of the most important in Kyoto, along with the Myoshin-ji and Daitoku-ji. Arranged around the main hall are four contrasting gardens, both dry gravel and landscaped, including a stroll garden. Autumn, with the burnished color of the maple trees, is an especially fine time for visiting. There are at least three ways to get to Tofuku-ji, which is southeast of Kyoto Station: Bus 208 from Kyoto Station, a JR train on the Nara Line to Tofuku-ji Station, or a Keihan Line train to Tofuku-ji Station. From the station it's a 15-minute walk to the temple.

Updated: 09-20-2013

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