- Spring: Illumination with cherry blossoms
- What is Toji temple?
- About Toji temple
- How to get to Toji temple?
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.
In this fall, we can enjoy night illumination from 26th Oct. to 8th Dec. for 1,000 JPY.
In this occasion, we can enter Kodo hall at night visit to enjoy so-called 3D-Mandala. Check the link below.
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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 2021
The following is the schedule in the spring of the 2021.
Dates: From March 19 to April 18
Opening hours: 18:00~21:30 (Entrance closed at 21:00)
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
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.)