- 2Spring: Illumination with cherry blossoms
- 2.2Pagoda（National Treasure）五重塔
- 2.3Fujizakura 不二桜
- 2.4Where do we enjoy the illumination?
- 2.4.2The blue alien
- 2.4.3The red alien
- 2.4.4At parking lot
- 2.4.5At the gray alien
- 2.4.6The yellow alien
- 2.4.7The purple alien
- 2.4.8The vermilion alien
- 2.4.9Other places
- 2.5The schedule in spring 日程と拝観時間
- 3Fall: Illumination with autumn leaves
- 3.2Where do we enjoy the illumination?
- 3.2.2Near the red octopass
- 3.2.3The blue alien
- 3.2.4Around canal
- 3.2.5At the parking lot
- 3.2.6The gray alien
- 3.2.7The yellow alien
- 3.3The schedule in fall 日程と拝観時間
- 4What is Toji temple?
- 5About Toji temple
- 6How to get to Toji temple?
- 6.1From JR Kyoto station
- 6.2Kyoto city bus
- 6.2.1No. 205
- 6.2.2No. 207
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.
Spring: Illumination with cherry blossoms
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.
Every year, cherry blossoms in Toji temple are in full bloom around 31st of March.
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.
Remember, we can see them in daytime only, O.K.?
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?
The blue alien
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
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.
Don’t miss it!
At parking lot
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.
At the gray alien
We can admire the pagoda with Fuji zakura.
The yellow alien
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.
Without breeze, we can see very calm pagoda on the pond.
The purple alien
Look up the pagoda there. We can see it through cherry blossoms in bloom.
The vermilion alien
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.
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 2019.
Dates: From March 16th to April 14th
Opening hours: 18:00~21:30
Fall: Illumination with autumn leaves
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?
Near the red octopass
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
At the same place in spring time.
Along the pass way to the garden, there is a canal shows us beautiful Mizukagami.
At the parking lot
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
As I said, we have less breeze than in spring time.
So, we have incredible reflections. We cannot expect such stunning Mizukagami in any other places.
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.
What is Toji temple?
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.
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)
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
Adult 500 yen
High school students 400 yen
Junior high scholl and elementary scholl students 300 yen
Time required 1 hour~
How to get to Toji temple?
From JR Kyoto station
It takes about 15 minutes on foot.
Kyoto city bus
Get off at Toji michi bus stop (Indicated in the red bus annotation in the map.)
Get off at Toji higashimon mae bus stop (Indicated in the green bus annotation in the map.)