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Kyoto's Tofuku-ji Temple

This Zen temple impresses with both scale and beauty


Three buildings designated as National Important Cultural Properties are undergoing renovations. The planned construction area will be off-limits from Mid-May 2023 to October 2025. The Kaisando Hall will still be open to visitors.

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Kyoto's Tofuku-ji Temple combines size and beauty in ways that are hard to find in other areas of Japan. First, there is the impressive Sammon Gate, a National Treasure, and the oldest of its kind in Japan. If you want to take a photo of the entire gate, be prepared to step way back - it's just so massive. Yet, it is delicate and beautiful at the same time. This temple is the head temple of the Tofukuji School of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and has a very long history, going all the way back to 1236. While here, also enjoy the fairly new and delightfully unique Hojo Garden, laid out in 1939.

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