| Kansai

The 3D Mandala with full of good-looking Buddha To-Ji Temple is an entrance to secret Buddhism

The Five-Storied Pagoda of To-Ji Temple: you can see from the car window of the Shinkansen. There should be many people realizing that they came to Kyoto with seeing it. To-Ji Temple is approximately 15 minutes on foot from JR Kyoto Station. It is the world heritage in the doorway of Kyoto. The official name is “Kyo-o-gokoku-Ji Temple”, and it means “I teach Kink, and protect the country”. It is the national temple where the Emperor Kanmu, who opened the Heian Palace, organized. Afterwards, Kobo Daishi Kukai, the founder of the Shingon sect, was entrusted the To-ji Temple by the Emperor Saga. He tried to teach of the esoteric Buddhism that he learned in Tang in this To-Ji Temple. Kobo Daishi drafted the 3D Mandala to express a view of the world of the esoteric Buddhism. The statues of them are the best part.


Let’s look at the precincts from the Nandai-mon Gate

In the case of both the foot from the JR Kyoto Station and the car, you would enter at this Keiga-mon Gate. There is a visit receptionist as you enter the gate and go on the left.
However, the original front gate is the Nandai-mon Gate along the Kugo Street. Please go outside of the Nandai-mon Gate and look at the view from the front. The view that the Temple buildings such as Nandai-mon Gate, Kondo (Main Hall), Kodo (Lecture Hall), and Jikido stand in a line is so magnificent. The admission fee is necessary for the Kondo (Main Hall) and Kodo (Lecture Hall).

The National Treasure: the Five-Storied Pagoda is the landmark tower of Kyoto

The height of the Five-Storied Pagoda of To-Ji Temple is approximately 55 meters. It is the best height as a wooden building in Japan. It is also nice to light up at night. As the town of Kyoto slopes in the north and south, it is told that the height of the point of the Five-Storied Pagoda of To-Ji Temple and the land of Kitaoji-Street is the same.
Kondo is the main hall of To-Ji Temple. The appearance is so majestic and solemnity. The Healing Buddha, the Suryaprabha, and the Candraprabha are laid.

The force of the real 3D Mandala is goosebumps stuff!

The real 3D Mandala, which Kukai expressed the world of the esoteric Buddhism with 21 statues of Buddha is laid in Kodo (Lecture Hall). It is said that this is the message Kukai wanted to convey no matter what.
Including Dainichi Nyorai, 15 of 21 statues are the product in the first half of the Heian Era, and they are appointed to a national treasure. Because they are the objects of the faith, they are enshrined in the space without being in the glass case, even the Buddha statues are precious art objects. Therefore, the feeling of the air, presence, smell and the sense of unity are amazing.
I would like you to pay attention at Taishakuten that is popular as a good-looking Buddha. It is gallant and thoughtful: it is surely very handsome. Please face Buddha statues and spend a relaxed time.

Everybody has friendly feeling toward To-Ji Temple as “Koho-san”

Daishido House (Mieido House) was a house of Kobo Daishi. There seem to be many people to pray at Daishido House at first when they come to To-Ji Temple. Here, you can take off shoes to enter the temple, and pray inside the hall. It is nice that we can spend quiet time slowly. There is a work called “Shojinku” from 6am every day. “Shojinku” is a work to offer meals and a tea for Kobo Daishi. It is recommended to get up early and pray.

Smart tip
  • To check the period of the special visit is required. It is the chance to see the closed places such as the inside of the Five-Storied Pagoda. In spring, cherry blossoms such as Fuji-sakura of 120 years old are beautiful. You can also enjoy colored leaves in autumn.
  • Kobo-Market is held in the precincts of To-Ji Temple on 21st every month. Shops of 1200-1400 sell many goods including antiques and foods. On the first Sunday, a junk market is held every month. Antiques and handmade stuff are available. Let’s enjoy the market in the world heritage. It will be held even if it rains.
  • It is possible to copy a sutra in Jikido (2000 yen). The reception is on the day. The time required is approximately one hour. It is popular among young couples and foreign tourists. The 13 kinds of the red seals are also available in Jikido.
What's interesting

The 3D Mandala in Kodo (Lecture Hall) is the best charm of To-Ji Temple. There are statues of Buddha which seem to begin to talk or move at any moment. The powerful appearance with the history of more than 1000 years is great. The tea house near the visit receptionist is also nice. You can feel relax.