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Toji temple night illumination 2018 in Kyoto; 東寺

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Overview

  We have lots of illumination events at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Kyoto. Toji holds them in spring and fall. In each season, Toji gives us one of the most amazing illuminations.

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Spring: Illumination with cherry blossoms

Overview

2018年3月30日東寺の桜

 The illuminatio of Toji temple in spring time is the BEST illumination Kyoto has ever seen. We can admire the architecture like pagada with stunning cherry blossoms.

やぎももさん
やぎももさん

SUPREME!

 Every year, cherry blossoms in Toji temple are in full bloom around 31st of March.

Pagoda(National Treasure)五重塔

東寺の夜桜ライトアップ2018

 The most famous architecture in Toji temple. It is the highest wooden tower in Jpanan.

 Huge fires burnt out pagodas of Toji temple many times. The one we can see today was built as a donation made by Tokugawa Yoshimitsu, the third Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

 At the center of the pagoda, there is a pillar named Shin Bashira(心柱). Take a look at the picture above. There is a stick on the top roof. It is a tip of the pillar that goes through the bottom of the pagoda. At the top of it, there is an ornamnent called Hoju. Hoji is an object that tells the architecture is a grave of the Buddha. (Pagoda is a place in which the aches of the Buddha is graved.)

 The Shin Bashira of the pagoda is consedered as Dainichi Nyorai(大日如来), the supreme Deity in the Vajrayana Buddhism (the Buddhist teaching in secret).

 In the period in which illumination event is held, we can see the inside of the pagoda in daytime. Inside of it, there are 12 statues of the Buddhist Deities.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Remember, we can see them in daytime only, O.K.?

Fujizakura 不二桜

2018年3月29日東寺の桜

 The spring in Toji temple starts with this weeping cherry blossom. It is called Fuji zakura. It is named after the Fuji teaching of Kukai. In the teaching, he tells us that a thing exists as it is and what we see is only one aspect of it.

 Fuji zakura was born in Iwate prefecutre over 120 years ago. It is planted in the garden of Toji temple in 2006 for the celabration of the 1200th anniversary of Kukai’s return to Japan from China.

Where do we enjoy the illumination?

Map

The blue alien

東寺桜ライトアップ

 Usually, the entrance of toji temple is located near the blue alien. During the illumination event, it moves to the east gate of Toji (It is indicated in the red octopass in the map.). We pay entrance fee there. The black line indicates the way to the garden. At the blue alien, we can see the pagoda like this.

The red alien

東寺桜ライトアップ

 At the blue alien, we can see the pagoda through the willow. It is one of my favorite palces to see the pagoda in spring time. Many visitors pays no attention but we have a good view of it.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

Don’t miss it!

At parking lot

東寺夜桜ライトアップ2017

 Near the P in the map. This is my favorite place. It reminds us of Gokuraku Jodo, the eastern paradise in the Buddhism. If you were interested in it, check the link below.

BYODO-IN temple in Kyoto 平等院; its history and architecture of phoenix hall
Byodo-in temple has a long history and outstanding artifacts. A goat Kyotoite gives you the most precise information on them.

At the gray alien

東寺桜ライトアップ

 We can admire the pagoda with Fuji zakura.

The yellow alien

東寺桜ライトアップ

 There is a small pond named Hyotan ike in front of the pagoda. We admire Mizukagami.

Mizukagami is a technique Japanese people loves. In this art, they enjoy a reflection of a object they want to admire instead of the object itself.

東寺の夜桜ライトアップ2018

 Without breeze, we can see very calm pagoda on the pond.

The purple alien

東寺桜ライトアップ東寺桜ライトアップ

 Look up the pagoda there. We can see it through cherry blossoms in bloom.

The vermilion alien

2018年3月29日東寺の桜東寺桜ライトアップ

 This also is one of my favorite place. There is a architecture called Kindo near the vermilion alien. We can be on the foundation of it and have a good view of the pagoda there.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

Recommended~

Other places

東寺桜ライトアップ

Strolling around the garden, we have many amazing place to see cherry blossoms and architectures illuminated.

The schedule in spring 日程と拝観時間

 The following is the schedule in the spring of the 2018.

Dates: From March 17th to April 15th

Opening hours: 18:00~21:30

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Fall: Illumination with autumn leaves

Overview

 Quite opposite to spring time, we have scarce breeze in fall. So, we can enjoy Mizukagami with ease. Toji has one of the most beautiful Mizukagami in night time. If you wanted to enjoy night-time Mizukagami, Toji is the best place.

 Usually, we can enter Kodo at nigt in the illumination event in fall.

Where do we enjoy the illumination?

Map

Near the red octopass

東寺紅葉ライトアップ

 We have the entrace at the same place as spring. In fall, we have a fantastic view as soon as we pass throgh the entrace.

The blue alien

東寺の紅葉2016

At the same place in spring time.

Around canal

東寺紅葉ライトアップ

 Along the pass way to the garden, there is a canal shows us beautiful Mizukagami.

At the parking lot

東寺紅葉ライトアップ

 The same place as spring. This time, we see the same view in different colors.

The gray alien

 There ara many autumn leaves arounf the Hyotan pond.

The yellow alien

東寺紅葉ライトアップ

 As I said, we have less breeze than in spring time.

東寺の紅葉2016東寺紅葉ライトアップ

 So, we have incredible reflections. We cannot expect such stunning Mizukagami in any other places.

東寺紅葉ライトアップ東寺紅葉ライトアップ

げきすせん
げきすせん

DO NOT MISS IT!

The schedule in fall  日程と拝観時間

Date: From October 27th to November 9th

Opening hours: 18:00~21:30 (Be there by 21:00)

Entrance fee: Adult 1,000 yen  Under Junior high school student 500 yen

We can enter Kodo building.

In the daytime, the pagoda is open to public.

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What is Toji temple?

平安時代の東寺

 Toji is one of two Buddhist temples officialy admitted in Heian kyo city built in 794.

 In 823, emperor Saga gave the temple to Kukai and it became the first temple of the Vajrayana Buddhism in Japan.

 In Kodo, there are statues of Buddhist Deities. They make so-called 3D mandala.

 Mandala is a picture which tells us the teaching of the Vajrayana Buddhism. In 3D mandala, 22 statues make mandala. Kukai made it for the purpose of letting people understand the Vajrayana Buddhism.

 In 1994, Toji is listed as one of the UNESCO world heritage site.

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About Toji temple

Name: Toji (東寺)/Kyoh Gokokuji (教王護国寺)

Address: 1 Kujo-cho, Minami ward, Kyoto city, Kyoto pref. 601-8473

Phone number: 075-691-3325

FAX number: 075-662-0250

Website Toji official site (In English)

Opening hours 

March 20-April 17: Open from 8:30 to 16:30

April 18-September 19: Open from 8:30 to 17:00pm

September 20-March 19: Open from 8:30 to 16pm

Admission fee

Adult 500 yen 

High school students 400 yen

Junior high scholl and elementary scholl students 300 yen

Time required 1 hour~

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How to get to Toji temple?

From JR Kyoto station

 It takes about 15 minutes on foot.

Kyoto city bus

No. 205

 Get off at Toji michi bus stop (Indicated in the red bus annotation in the map.)

No. 207

 Get off at Toji higashimon mae bus stop (Indicated in the green bus annotation in the map.)

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