Three Valuable Items Open Only During Spring in Kyoto

There are many temples/shrines in Kyoto that don’t open some of their buildings, arts and hand crafted goods. However, depending on the season, they open these exceptionally valuable items to the public. This article will introduce 4 different items which will be available for viewing for certain periods of time during Spring.

Five Story Pagoda at Toji

Toji Temple has many valuable and historical items. But the most famous item must be its magnificent-looking five-story pagoda. This wooden tower is designated as a national treasure and is the highest wooden building in the country (about 55 meters high). And its first floor will be open to public. Inside its first floor, there are four different tathagata statues; Asyuku, Hosho, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi. And 8 different bodhisattva statues. In Buddhism, tathagata means a person who has attained Buddhism enlightenment, and bodhisattva means person who is trying to reach enlightenment.

Bus – Take City Bus Line 42 and get off at Toji Higashimonmae.
Train – Take Kintesu Line from Kyoto Station (local) and get off at Toji.
Price: 800 yen/adult, 700 yen/high school student, 500 yen/under middle school student (For people who want to see everything including their museum, 1300 yen/adult and high school student, 800 yen/under middle school student)
Duration: 9:00 – 16:00 April 26th – May 26th

Kobuntei Tea House at Shorenin Temple

Kobuntei is the name of a tea house built inside Shorenin Temple. It used to be a study room for a retired emperor, but after the Edo perido ended (1868), this house was used as a tea house. Unfortunately, Kobuntei was burnt down in 1993, but due to contributions from many supporters, Shorenin Temple built it again in 2005. For every spring, this house is temporarily open to public where people can experience a real tea ceremony.

Bus – Take City Bus Line 5, 46 or 100 and get off at Jingumichi.
Train – Take Subway Tozai Line and get off at Higashiyama Station.
Price: 1000 yen including matcha (ground green tea) or sencha (normal green tea) with sweet. Note that an entrance fee to Shorenin Temple (500 yen/adult, 400 yen/high and middle school student, 200 yen/elementary school student) is required.
Duration: 10:00 – 15:30 March 21st – May 5th

Two Gardens or Sanmon Gate at Chionin Temple

During this spring, Chionin will open two beautiful gardens and a spectacular Sanmon Gate to public. These two gardens are located outside of a big hojo building and small hojo building which were both built in 1641. The Sanmon Gate has been one of the best spots to see all of Kyoto city from 1621. In addition to some valuable statues designated as national treasures, there is a vivid dragon painting on its roof.

Bus – Take City Bus Line 206 and get off at Chioninmae.
Train – Take Subway Tozai Line and get off at Higashiyama Station.
Price: 800 yen/adult, 400 yen/middle and elementary school student. Note that this is the fee for either the two gardens or the Sanmon gate.
Duration: 9:00 – 16:00 April 27th – May 6th

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