Horyu-ji Toko-in Temple, situated in Kyoto Prefecture’s Ayabe City, was built in 673 by the ascetic Rishu Sennin. A temple of the Koyasan Shingonshu branch, Horyu-ji Toko-in enshrines Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru), which is the buddha of healing and medicine. In its prime, it even had a Shichido garan (the seven halls composing the ideal Buddhist temple compound) construction. However, the temple has seen its ups and downs after several large fires and disasters.
Every year, in time with the peach season, the temple holds the Hina Festival, otherwise known as the Doll’s Festival or the Daughters’ Festival. 12 giant doll stands decorated with 500 Hina dolls, the same as those used in the Meiji era (1868-1912), can be seen at the temple during this time.
In early June, 2,500 hydrangeas bloom across the temple grounds, painting them with color. At the same time, the temple holds a Furin (wind chime) Festival, decorating the square before the main shrine with 750 wind chimes that make soothing music in the wind.
A matchmaker monk by the name of Chisokuin Mukaku, who introduced the famous samurai Sakamoto Ryoma to his wife, was one of the temple's believers. His writing was carved in stone at the temple, and has now become a spot for believers to pray for good matchmaking.
- 7 Dono-oku, Uwanobu-cho, Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture
- Train: From Ayabe Station on the JR Sanin Line, take Aya Bus, get off at "Uwanobucho Hattan" bus stop, and walk for 15 minutes.
Car: From Ayabe Station, take Prefectural Route 8 towards Fukuchiyama, turn left at the Torigatsubo Intersection, then continue on for 1.5 km.
- Business Hours
- Always open *During festivals 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Hina-Matsuri Festival: Early February - Early March
Hydrangea and Wind Chime Festival: Early June - Early July
Wind Chime and Pinwheels Festival: Late July - Late September
- Space for regular-size vehicles: 25 (Price: Free)