Tofukuji Temple is the head temple of the Tofukuji School of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism, and was completed in 1255. The Sanmon Gate is a National Treasure, and there are many other important cultural properties including the Zendo Hall.
The Sanmon Gate is the oldest and largest of the sanmon gates of the Zen sect in Japan. It is approximately 22 m high. There are statues of the Hogan Shakyamuni Buddha and the 16 arhats in the upper floor. The only time you can go up to the second floor is during special opening events. The gate is a solemn space with flying dragons and heavenly maidens painted in rich colors by the monk Myojo (Chodenshi) and others.
You can visit Tsutenkyo Bridge and Hojo Gardens (by Mirei Shigemori) throughout the year for a fee. The area around Tsutenkyo Bridge is especially famous for its autumn leaves. This may be the reason why the entrance fee is higher in autumn!
Aizendo is an octagonal circular hall with a vermilion-lacquered persimmon roof. Built in the Nanbokucho Period, it enshrines Aizenmyoo. Originally located in Manjyu-ji Temple, a sub-temple, it was destroyed by a typhoon in 1934 and later moved to its current location.
The gardener Mirei Shigemori completed the Honbo Garden in 1939. It is a modern Zen Buddhist garden that incorporates abstract compositions of modern art, based on the stately style of the Kamakura period (the time of the temple’s founding) garden.