Toji Temple (東寺)

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When the capital moved from Nara to Heian-kyo, the only temples built by Emperor Kanmu were Toji and Saiji. They were built symmetrically across the Rashomon Gate. Later, Saiji and Rashomon were burnt down. And only Toji remained. The division of Toji Temple the only one that retains the division of the temple when Heian-kyo started. Emperor Saga, who succeeded Emperor Kanmu, invited Kukai to the Kukaitemple, and Toji Temple became a temple of Shingon Buddhism.

Temple’s official WEB site

Toji Temple has 25 national treasures and 52 important cultural properties. The large Buddhist statues lined up in the Kondo and Kodo halls are a must-see.

Statues in Toji
Source: Discover Japan (

Unfortunately, it is not possible to take pictures except of the exterior of the buildings. The Kondo (main hall) is a National Treasure, the five-story pagoda is a National Treasure, the lecture hall is an Important Cultural Property, and the Mikagedo is a National Treasure. There is a fee to see the Kondo, the lecture hall, and the five-story pagoda.

You can see the interior of the five-story pagoda only during special openings. Please note that the Treasure Museum is also open only during limited periods.

Model courses to visit Toji Temple

Visit all five-story pagodas in Kyoto.

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