April 10, 2008

by Ayaka Okochi


Ashikaga Takauji built Toji-in, a Rinzai Zen temple, in 1341 at the southern foot of  Mt. Kinugasa. He asked Muso Soseki, who was a famous gardener as well as the founder of Tenryuji Temple, to make the garden. Toji-in is affiliated with the Tenryuji sect.

The simple, Zen-style garden

Points of Interest

  • The painting of Daruma

    Visitors to the temple can see this famous painting near the entrance. Daruma
    is credited with bringing Buddhism from India to China and founding the Zen sect
    of Buddhism. So his image is often seen in Zen temples. Another image of him can be
    seen at Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama. He can easily be recognized by his big eyes and round head.

  • The Garden

    This garden made by Muso Soseki consists of two parts. The easten section
    of the garden is called “shinji-chi,” and the western section is called “fuyo-chi.”
    Shinji- chi consists of gentle scenery that has depth, while fuyo-chi features
    many flowers and arranged stones. The pond is in the shape of the Chinese character
    for “mind,” kokoro, (心), so it is called “shinji-chi.”

  • Reiko-den




There are fifteen wooden statues of the Ashikaga Shoguns, from Ashikaga Takauji
to Ashikaga Yoshiaki, enshrined in this building. Images of Daruma and Muso Soseki flank
the central image of Jizo Bodhisattva. The Ashikaga family statues are enshrined on the right and
left sides of the Reiko-den. Each character seems to speak about the world of
the Muromachi period to those visitors who are quiet.

Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji

    • Location and Cost

      Toji-in is located south of Ritsumeikan University, about 5 minutes on foot from Toji-in Station
      on the Keifuku Kitano Line.
      Entry fee is 500 yen.


    • Tojiin Temple brochure

Leave A Comment...