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Toji Temple, such a solemn and magnificent world created by 'Kukai'

Tomoe S.

by Tomoe S.

(106 reviews)
Last updated : Sep 22, 20224 min read

Travel Tips

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(borrowed from the post cards I bought at the official shop of Toji Temple)

In the 9th century, a Buddhist monk named Kukai took a boat all the way to China to study Buddhism. He taught the Buddhist teaching after returning to Japan. Later, he was called 'Kobo-Daishi' and well known as the founder of 'Shingon Sect'. (He established the headquarters of 'Shingon Sect' in Mt. Koya.)

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Toji Temple, which was founded in the end of the 8th century, was given to Kukai by Emperor Saga.

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Its five-storied pagoda is the tallest wooden pagoda in Japan and is a landmark of Kyoto. When you take Shinkansen, the bullet train, you can find it which stands dignifiedly near Kyoto Station. (It's opened to public, usually twice in a year and you can find Buddhist statues such as Nyorai protecting four directions, north, south, east and west in the pagoda.)

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(borrowed from the post card I bought at the official shop of Toji Temple) This is the inside of the five-storied pagoda.

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(borrowed from the plastic boards I bought at the official shop of Toji Temple)

Not so many people visit Toji Temple and know that this temple possesses the magnificent treasures such as mandalas, statues, and so on. 

At Houmotsukan Museum, Senjyu Kannon, thousand -armed kannon which is about 6 meters tall will welcome you. The kannon was rescued from the fire 90 years ago and repaired spending about 3 years. Monks at that time did their best to take out the kannon from the burning building. They, however, could not rescue the four guardians of the kannon, 'Shitenno'. They were badly burned black. It's very sorry to see them, huge (about 3 meters tall) charred 'Shitenno' standing in the 'Jikido Hall'.

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(borrowed from the official brochure)

Toji's principal image, Yakushi Nyorai (known as the Buddha of Medicine) is enshrined in Kondo Hall, main hall with two attendants, the Nikko Bosatsu (the Bodhisattva of the Sun) and the Gakko Bosatsu (the Bodhisattava of the Moon).

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(borrowed from the official brochure)

My favorite world expands in Kodo Hall, the lecture hall. You will be attracted with the world of 3-dimensional Mandala, which consists of 21 statues created by Kukai. Mandala is originally a painting or woven cloth which tells us the teachings of Buddhism by images and letters. It represents the Buddhism world. Kukai is said to have created the mandala by using statues in the form of 3-dimension.

As many as 21 Buddhist statues standing or seated around Dainichi Nyorai. Some of them are in the form of anger and full of spirit. Some of them have a calm look. 

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(borrowed from the official brochure)

'Taishaku-ten' who is on the elephant is famous for being 'Ikemen' (good looking.)

It is said that the Kodo Hall had not been open to public nearly a thousand years and in 1965, Toji opened the door to public for the first time in the history.  You can feel the solemn atmosphere when you visit Toji and step into Kodo Hall.

blog imageIn November, you can also enjoy seeing colored maple leaves in Toji Temple.

For your reference, once in every month, on the 21st day of each month, the flea market is held in the precinct of Toji Temple. You can find so many kinds of things being sold, such as sweet, Japanese pickles, handicrafts, old kimonos, antique dishes...

Toji Temple is close to JR Kyoto Station. (It takes 20 minutes walking.) Why don't you visit Toji Temple and feel the solemn world 'Kukai' created in Kyoto?

 

 

 

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Tomoe S.

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(106 reviews)

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