One fine day in the beginning of October turned out to be a rainy day on the way to Kyoto. On that day, I had some errands to do in one part of Kyoto, near the Kyoto Station. The errands finished quick and I decided to stroll for few hours until my train comes.
Toji Temple was my destination this time. Since I was already near the station for my errands and didn’t have enough time to go up to the north of the station where more temples and shrines scatter around, Toji was a good choice.
Toji, as far as I know, can be the only one major temple in this area near the station. As you might know, other major temples and shrines could be built in the same particular areas. So, in regard to this point, Toji has been very unique.
Toji was built in 796 by Kukai, the famous monk who studied Vajrayana abroad, when the capital was relocated to Kyoto in Heian era. Toji was registered as the world heritage in 1994, 1200 years after this temple was first built.
And I was lucky enough to look at the especial exhibition. We were allowed to go into the special building where the temple monks have stored the ancient valuables for years. They open this building twice a year, spring and fall. There, I could see old roof tops, accessories the ancient monks wore, the original door knobs of the temple, and so much unbelievable works they did for this temple. I was speechless and everything was unbelievable to imagine that the craftsmen who didn’t have any technologies invented to make such beautiful treasures.
Fall in Kyoto is supposed to be the best season to admire the tinted fall leaves. I was there little earlier than the best season but the leaves start turning golden yellow.
The bonus at Toji is that they have a monthly flea market where the people in Kyoto sell antique kimono, obi belts, plates, books, geta sandals, vases, bookshelves, and so many treasures. It must be so fun to do treasure hunting. I should come back for this. The flea market in Toji is held on the 20th of every month. FYI, this flea market is otherwise known as “KoBo-Ichi.” The name of Kobo came from the architecture, Kukai and the 20th was his death anniversary.