Daigoji Temple in Kyoto is another must see Buddhist temple. At the temple, there are many buildings so it could take a full day to see everything. First time travelers to Kyoto will want to see the great temples and learn about the history to have a deeper appreciation. The history of Daigoji began in 874 during the early Heian period.
A Buddhist monk named Shobo founded a temple on Mt. Kasatori when the 60th emperor of Japan, Emperor Daigo, had reigned the country. That is why the temple was named Daigoji. Many temple buildings were built afterwards. During that time, Buddhist temples and Buddhism had a strong connection with politics and authority in the society, therefore you can see a part of Japanese history.
There are six structures designated as National Treasures of Japan at Daigoji Temple. The temple has three main structures, Sambo-in, Shimo-Daigo (Lower Daigo), and Kami-Daigo (Upper Daigo). They are consistently in order of older, wilder and further up the mountain. Sambo-in and Shimo-Daigo are at the bottom of the mountain so it is easily accessible. To reach Kami-Daigo, you have to hiking up the mountain so not too many people visit the temple.
Photo Credit: Chris Gladis@flickr
Walking along Sambo-in is free but entering Sambo-in, Shimo-Daigo, or Kami-Daigo all require separate admission. Sambo-in is made up of walled complexes and the connected streets are lines with cherry blossom cherry. There is a tea garden, a museum, and other complexes. Shimo-Daigo is in one large enclosure. There is the oldest surviving building in Kyoto. Kami-Daigo is made up of many small buildings and it is located at the top of the mountain. At the main entrance, there is a spring of holy water which is linked to the origin of Daigoji Temple.
Besides awesome structures, there are many treasures such as paintings, sculptures, and ancient documents. There are 69,419 items designated as National Treasures of Japan at Daigoji, and most of them are stored in Rehokan. No matter when you visit, it should be enjoyable because Daigoji Temple looks different in every season. Daigoji Temple is especially well-known for the cherry blossoms in spring. A shogunate named Toyotomi Hideyoshi, had a flower viewing party. After this large event happened, the second Sunday in every April is the Spring Festival at the temple. There forest is lush and green in the summer, there maple leaves are colorful in the autumn, and there is snow in the winter. There are events at the temple all year long. Be sure to check the events page on the website.
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Address: 22 Higashioji-cho, Daigo, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Access: 15 minute walk from Daigo Station
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (March 1 – December the first Sunday)
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (December Monday after the first Sunday – February Last day)
*March 20 – May 15, October 15 – December 10
1,500 yen (Adult)
1,000 yen (Child)
800 yen (Adult)
600 yen (Child)
Website: Daigoji Temple