Kyoto Sights

Tofuku-ji (Tofuku Temple)

  • 15–777 Hon-machi Map It
  • Higashiyama-ku
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 12/10/2015

Fodor's Review

The immense Sanmon Gate at the west entrance of Tofuku-ji, a Rinzai Zen temple, is the oldest gate in Japan and one of three approaches to this medieval complex of 24 temples. Modeled after its counterpart at Todai-ji, in Nara, the 72-foot-high gate was destroyed several times over the years by fire. The gate was disassembled and reconstructed in 1978. Entry is not permitted through the gate, but you can observe it up close.

Tofuku-ji was established in 1236 and ranks, along with Myoshin-ji and Daitoku-ji, among the most important temples in Kyoto. Arranged around the main hall are four contrasting gardens (separate admission), both dry gravel and landscaped, including a stroll garden. The "Heavenly Way Bridge" that spans a maple-filled ravine is one of Kyoto's most popular autumn viewing spots. The gardens in the Hojo (Abbot's Quarters), completed in 1939, were the first large-scale commission of Shigemori Mirei, a famous garden designer.

Sight Information


15–777 Hon-machi, Kyoto, 605-0981, Japan

Map It



Sight Details:

  • ¥400 temple; ¥400 gardens
  • Daily 9–4

Published 12/10/2015


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