Tofukuji Temple is a beautiful Buddhist shrine complex that is often overlooked among the bigger tourist spots to see in Kyoto. However, it is worth stopping to see if you have a chance while exploring Kyoto (if and when things get back to some kind of normal and when travel is safer).
Tofukuji Temple is an incredible temple complex in the heart of Kyoto and one that is worth a visit. Originally founded in 1236, the ancient Buddhist temple is a huge complex comprised of numerous smaller temples and shrine buildings throughout. It is a beautiful area that when you approach you immediately feel like you are back in time because of the quiet, old streets it hides behind.
The area around the temple complex is a lovely neighborhood, making for a very quiet and almost surreal experience as you make your way to the entrance. It took us about a half hour to find the area after leaving Kyoto Station but it was worth it (we got lost a few times). There was a crowd, but not as bad as a lot of the major shrines and Temples throughout Kyoto. There is plenty of space to spread and out and enjoy the area and not bump into a tour group.
The temple grounds are free to enter but there are some spots (gardens and such) that cost a little bit to access. Trust me, it is worth the cost to explore the rest of the grounds outside of the sprawling campus you will see for free. But if you do not want to pay a fee extra Yen to see the inside temple area, there is more than enough to see, visit, and just embrace yourself with. It is just a glorious temple complex in the ancient capital.