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“Lovely Gardens, Bridges and Gates” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tofuku-ji Temple

Tofuku-ji Temple
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$39.24*
and up
Half Day Small-Group Kyoto Cultural Tour
Ranked #13 of 1,010 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
195 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Lovely Gardens, Bridges and Gates”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

Tofukuji is just a short hop from Kyoto station, and has a lovely setting with bridges over a stream, a chequer-board zen garden as well as one of the biggest gates to zen temples.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank colin_matthew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cantraybridge
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Amazing Zen gardens.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2013

What makes this temple so outstanding are the gardens thatf orm part of it; they are quite beautiful and the short leaflet explaining their structure helps in the appreciation of this particular art form. Also, there are a number of small, sub-temples in the complex that are very well worth a visit. The main temple is impressive, too, and even on a freeeezing cold January day - so, without any beautiful autumn colours or cherry blossoms, sadly! - this place is very attractive.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank TankGrrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Spectacular fall foliage”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013

Finding Tofukuji can be a bit challenging if you don't read kanji, but when you do...

The best part of the temple is your first view of it from a wooden footbridge overlooking the river and the trees. The temple proper is perfectly framed in layers upon layers of fiery leaves rustling in the breeze. I could stare at that sight for hours.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank coiptic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best spot for Autumn foliage viewing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

Not sure why this temple is not rated in the top 10 attractions of Kyoto. This is spectacular especially during Autumn. Definitely recommended when visiting Kyoto.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Zatazoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
56 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“THE Place to Be for Autumn Foliage”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2012

Many friends told me not to miss this temple if I stop by Kyoto during the autumn season, so I decided to give it a try this time. Well, I am really glad I visited Tofukuji, because this temple is the only place that’s still dressed in rich autumn colors during my visit in the first week of December.

From Kyoto Station, there’s several ways to get to the temple. Probably the least costly way is to take either the bus or JR train; I took the train since I was using a JR one-day rail pass already.

After exiting JR Tofukuji Station, I followed the crowd of local tourists (there’s quite a few – more than I expected for a weekday) to get myself to the temple complex. Before I reached the ticket booths, I had to cross a covered wooden bridge. On the bridge, you can see the famous temple landmark Tsutenkyo Bridge and a bunch of trees with red and yellow leaves below. It can get a bit crowded when visitors stop here for photos.

Due to time constraint, I was only able to tour the Tsutenkyo Bridge area. The garden along the way is a great place to hunt for autumn colors. However, getting a clean shot was a problem for me – especially with people all over the place.

If you’re tired of walking, a good place to rest would be the Kaisando Hall area. Here, I was able to secure a place next to the wooden steps, to gaze at a Zen garden and enjoy some a moment of serenity (again, not very effective when there’s too many people).

The Good:
- Close to Kyoto Station
- Accessible via both bus and train
- Beautiful autumn colors


The Bad:

- Two paid areas instead of one ticket for the entire complex
- Too many tourists during the fall season – even on weekdays
- It’s hard to find a visitor who doesn't stop for a shot or two. You can imagine what THAT does to the crowd traffic…

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank RCL_TPE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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