Daigoji Pagoda, Kyoto

Daigoji Pagoda, Kyoto


Daigoji Temple and a Sakura Festival

If you&rsquove been reading our extensive archives on Kyoto you&rsquoll already know that Daigoji temple made our list of the 15 top temples in Kyoto city. There are many criteria we consider when compiling our &lsquotop&rsquo travel lists, some of them are qualitative and others are more about the atmosphere or that special connection we feel with a place.

When researching one of our spring visits to Japan we heard about this local festival that re-enacts a hanami party under the cherry trees that was hosted by a great leader of Japan 400 years ago. With a love of Japanese history, sakura and beautiful gardens I knew immediately that Toyotomi Hideyoshi&rsquos cherry blossom viewing parade had to make it onto the itinerary. Japan has many festivals but the local celebrations are very special, they&rsquore beautifully done, not at all commercial and give such a special insight into the culture and community.


Daigo-ji

Daigo-ji is a very famous and important temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Fushimi-ku, to the southeast of Kyoto City. It was made a world heritage site by UNESCO, due to its wealth of national treasures and its historic importance.

This temple was founded in 874 by a Buddhist monk named Shobo, who, upon his death became known as Rigen Daishi (Great Master of Holy Treasures.) Shobo worshipped a local god here at Kamidaigo Mountain, and the simple hermitage he constructed was later to grow into the complex of temples known as Daigo-ji. This expansion came through the patronage of the imperial family, and notably the Emperor Daigo, who in 930 entered the priesthood after sickness forced him to abdicate. A very pious man, he was buried in the temple grounds just a few hours after he entered the temple as a monk, having taken the name Hokongo. Subsequent emperors, Suzaku and Murakami, also supported the development and expansion of the complex, with most of the main buildings being built in the 10th century.
The temple complex at Daigo-ji is spread out over two levels. The Kami Daigo is the upper level, and the Shimo Daigo the lower level. The five-storey pagoda here is a national treasure, and the oldest surviving building in Kyoto Prefecture, being built in the year 951. Kondo, the main hall at Daigo-ji, was originally built in 904, but arsonists set fire to it, resulting in its destruction in 1295. The present building was actually relocated from Mangan-ji, another temple in Wakayama Prefecture, and reconstructed on this site. One other great attraction at this temple, along with Sanbo-in, is the exquisite small temple building Benten-do, which sits serenely above the pond here, casting a majestic reflection on the still waters.

Along with many other temples in Kyoto, Daigo-ji was heavily damaged during the Onin War period between 1467 and 1477. However, much later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi pledged tremendous financial support, as well as personal involvement, in restoring Daigo-ji to its former greatness.

Sanbo-in

Built in 1115 by Shokaku, Sanbo-in is located in the central part of the Daigo-ji complex, and is the place where generations of Buddhist monks have traditionally resided. In Sanbo-in, the architectural detail is generally arranged for a specific purpose. A very good example is the main drawing room, Omoteshoin, which overlooks the whole garden. The design and aspects of this room are typical of the style of the Momoyama and Heian periods, when Shinden-zukuri, or mansion style architecture, was first introduced. This Omoteshoin is specified as a national treasure. The garden of Sanbo-in is also the garden that Hideyoshi Toyotomi designed himself for the grand ‘Hanami of Daigo’, a legendary flower viewing party.

Highlights

Aoi no ma (The Aoi Room)

Kyoto has three major festivals the Aoi Matsuri, the Gion Matsuri, and the Jidai Matsuri. Depictions of the Aoi Matsuri are represented in paintings in this room.

Akikusa no ma (The Akikusa Room)

Landscapes presenting scenes with good examples of foliage that typify and illustrate the season of fall adorn this room.

The Chokushi room (Chamber for Receiving Imperial Messengers)

Images of a bamboo forest with flowers and birds are painted on the sliding doors in this room. The paintings are Momoyama period pieces, and are said to be the work of the Hasegawa group.

Karamon (Chinese Gate)

This stunning entrance, built in the Momoyama period, was intended for use as an envoy gate, said only to be opened when a messenger from the Imperial Court arrived. The entire gate was decorated in black Japanese lacquer work, with four large gilded crests of chrysanthemum and paulownia in kinpaku (gold leaf.)

Kamo no sanseki

These are three rare shaped stones in front of the pond here, each offering a different representation or meaning. The left stone expresses ‘rapid flow’, the middle stone ‘still water’, and the right ‘interrupted flow’.

Okushinden

Okushinden was built at the beginning of the Edo period. In this room, there is a fine example of ‘Chigaidana’, or staggered shelves, named “Daigodana”. The Daigodana is considered one of the three major works of shelves in the whole country, along with the Kasumitana of the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and the Katsuratana of the Katsura Imperial Villa.

omikuji (a written fortune telling)

Hideyoshi Toyotomi & Hanami (Flower Viewing)

The viewing of flowers is a traditional and time-honored event in Japan, and this temple is particularly famous for its cherry blossoms. So much so, that there is actually a well-known phrase, “Flower Viewing of Daigo” in Japan. In 1598, Hideyoshi Toyotomi held a monumental flower viewing party in this temple, which became known as the largest flower-viewing event in history. He personally designed and landscaped a special garden in the environs of Daigo-ji Temple for this affair, and reformed and rebuilt the temple on a larger scale to include it within Sanbo-in. In spring, many kinds of flowers bloom here, along with the approximately 700 cherry trees that were planted for the hanami spectacular, for example, varieties such as Kawazu-zakura, Shidare-zakura, Someiyoshino, Yama-zakura, Yae-zakura, Obeni-shidare, and Oyama-zakura. It is possible to see the blossoms of these trees from around the last ten days of March to the first ten days of April. It is said that Hideyoshi invited many people to the big event: his legal wife, noblemens’ concubines, 1300 ladies of the house, his son Hideyori, a high ranking feudal lord, Toshiie Maeda, and many more dignitaries. For this major occasion, the women changed clothes at least three times, and eight teahouses were constructed around the site to cater for guests. The women could also take a bath in some of the teahouses, if they so wished. Hideyoshi died five years after this, but he certainly added to his legacy with this party.

Today, an event to commemorate this is held on the second Tuesday of April each year. The main attraction is ‘The Grand Procession’ (hotaikou-hanami gyouretsu). Selected people dress up as famous historical figures, like Hideyoshi, etc, and march in this procession. However, you will not see any samurai in armor or with warrior’s helmets. Instead, they wear loud, party type clothing for viewing the flowers and blossoms. If you go along, you can enjoy both the procession and the gorgeous blossoms. It is truly a case of killing two birds with one stone.
Many events are held at this temple, and it is possible to witness and enjoy a variety of scenes throughout the four seasons. I’d like to seriously recommend you visit here and enjoy one of the very best traditional Japanese events, “Hanami.”

Information and Access

Address:22, Higashioji-cho, Daigo, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City
Tel:(075) 571-0002
Open:9.00 am


Autumn color from Acer palmatum (momiji) at Daigo-ji

More than seven centuries after its founding, Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a famous cherry-blossom-viewing party in 1598 at the Sambō-in sub-temple. Γ]

The bright colors of maple leaves attract tourists and others in the Autumn season. Emperor Suzaku's mausoleum, known as Daigo no misasagi, is located near Daigo-ji.


Notes

  1. ↑Soothill, W.E. Hodous, Lewis (1937). A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. ↑ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 115.
  3. ↑ Titsingh, p. 134.
  4. ↑ Japan Academy, Imperial Prize, "Wall-paintings in Daigo-ji Pagoda", May 18, 1960 retrieved 2011-08-15
  5. ↑ Sosnoski, Daniel (1996). Introduction to Japanese Culture. Tuttle Publishing. p.㺌. ISBN  0804820562 . <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. ↑ Main, Alison. (2002). The Lure of the Japanese Garden, p. 27.
  7. ↑Guide to Daigoji Complex
  8. ↑~4.上醍醐寺*東の覗き/醍醐寺回峯道~山ある記! (Japanese)
  9. ↑NHKニュース 京都 醍醐寺の観音堂が全焼 Retrieved August 24, 2008
  10. ↑拝観案内 (Japanese)

Daigo Temple’s Five-Storied Pagoda「Daigo-ji Gojūnotō, 醍醐寺五重塔」

Panasonic DMC-LX3 (5.1mm, f/4.5, 1/250 sec, ISO80)
This pagoda has stood since 951, well over 1000 years old.

The pagoda is simply breathtaking to get up so close to, standing in awe of its semi-ancient status. Visitors can walk right up to a small fence surrounding the lower levels, directly under the eaves of the pagoda’s five stories. Unfortunately for the tourist, you cannot enter the pagoda itself, as it houses some extremely old and very important paintings.

The pagoda is one of the most important buildings in Daigo-ji’s lower precinct. The structure has been lucky to escape fire over the centuries. The unique design of the Japanese pagoda is virtually invincible against earthquakes. In Japan there have never been any recorded incidents where a pagoda has been toppled by an earthquake.

Each level of the pagoda can sway and move independently around a central column. The wooden joints on each level also absorb the energy of earthquakes

Meaning behind the gojūnotō kanji characters:


Daigo-ji Temple (醍醐寺)

Daigo-ji Temple is a head temple of the Daigo-ha branch of Shingon Buddhism, in Daigo Higashioji, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is also called Mt. Daigo (or Mt. Miyuki). It venerates Yakushi, and was founded by Rigen-daishi Shobo. As a part of the Cultural Assets of Ancient City Kyoto, it is a registered World Heritage Site. The temple has extensive grounds of over 6.6 million sq.m. on Mt. Daigo (Mt. Kasatori) in the east side of Fushimi Ward. It is known as the place where Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's "Daigo Flower Viewing" was held.

History

Daigo-ji Temple was built in 874, when Rigen-daishi Shobo, a 2nd generation disciple of Kukai, placed Juntei Kannon and Nyoirin Kannon on top of Mt. Kasatori and named the area around the peak "Mt. Daigo".

Deep in the mountains and centered around the peak of Mt. Daigo (this area is called "Upper Daigo"), at first Daigo-ji Temple developed as a sacred site for ascetics, later growing into Daigaran (large monastery), "Lower Daigo", on the broad, flat land at the foot of Mt. Daigo thanks to the overwhelming support of Emperor Daigo, who decided to make it his place for prayer.

Later on Lower Daigo was ruined in the Onin war and many other battles, leaving only the Goju-no-to (5-story pagoda). However, thanks to the relocation of temple buildings from Kishu and construction of Sanboin for Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's Daigo Flower Viewing, it has taken on the appearance we see today.

In the summer of 1939, the Kyozo (scripture repository) and other isolated buildings were all lost during a short period due to a wildfire that struck Upper Daigo.

Some plaster of the Goju-no-to (5-story pagoda) and the Kondo (main hall) fell off in the Kobe Earthquake on January 17, 1995.

Garan (Monastery)

Upper and Lower Daigo are separated by a steep mountain path, requiring about an hour to walk between them.

Lower Daigo

Centered around the Kondo (main hall) and Sanboin, where Yakushi Nyorai statues are installed, the magnificent Daigaran (monastery) contrasts with Upper Daigo. However, Lower Daigo's splendid Garan (monastery) burned down in the Onin War, and has since been burned and rebuilt several more times but the Goju-no-to (5-story pagoda) miraculously stands in front of the Goma-dojo today just as it did when it was first built. The paintings on the inside walls of the Goju-no-to (5-story pagoda) are designated National Treasures and the portrait of Kukai is the oldest extant painting of him.

Saidai-Mon Gate
Kondo (Main hall, National Treasure) -The current building was the main hall from Kishu Yuasa (a temple built for the Monk-Emperor Go-Shirakawa in the latter half of the 12th century), which was moved and rebuilt in 1599, at the request of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.

Goju-no-to (5-Story Pagoda, National Treasure) _ Built by Emperor Suzaku in Tenryaku 5 (951) to pray for the happiness of departed Emperor Daigo, it is the only original building left at Daigo-ji Temple.

Seiryu-gu Main Hall (Important Cultural Property) – Built in Keicho 4 (1599)

Bentendo - Built on the northeast coast of Rinsen in Showa 5 (1930)

Auditorium – Built in Showa 5 (1930)

Upper Daigo

The 11th temple of the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, it is known as the steepest one in Saigoku. Because the temple used to be off limits to women, the Nyonindo (women's temple) was placed at the bottom of the path starting there, the Yakushido (a National Treasure, and still as it was in the Heian period), the Haiden (worship hall, National Treasure) for Daigo-ji's guardian deity Seiryu-gongen, the Junteido and the Godaido are lined up on the steep mountain. In addition to the famous Daigo Water that still springs forth on Upper Daigo, the Nyoirindo (Important Cultural Property), the Kaisando (Important Cultural Property) and the Hakusan Daigongen are to be found on the peak of Mt. Daigo (altitude 450m). The Oku-no-in (inner sanctum) is situated between the peak and Mt. Kasatori.

Seiryu-gu Haiden (Worship Hall, National Treasure) - Rebuilt in Eikyo 6 (1434), Seiryu-gu is a shrine to a guardian deity of esoteric Buddhism which Kobo-daishi (Kukai) brought from Qinglong Temple in Chang-an, Tang China.

Yakushido (National Treasure) – Rebuilt over 5 years beginning in Hoan 2 (1121), it was first built by Rigen-daishi (Shobo) around Engi 7 (907) at the request of Emperor Daigo.

Daigo Water - This sacred spring is said to have been the source of the name of Daigo-ji Temple, after Shobo had an epiphany there.

Junteido – Built by Shobo along with the Nyoirindo, it is the 11th temple in the Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.

Godaido – Opened by Shobo as a place to pray for the protection of the nation.

Nyoirindo (Upper Daigo) _ Rebuilt by Hideyori TOYOTOMI in Keicho 11 (1606), its construction is attributed to Rigen-daishi (Shobo), the same as the Junteido. Kaisando (Upper Daigo) _ Rebuilt along with the Nyoirindo by Hideyori TOYOTOMI in Keicho 11 (1606), a seated statue of Rigen-daishi (Shobo) is installed in Zushi (miniature shrine) in its sanctuary.

Annual Activities

One of Daigo-ji Temple's major activities is the Segaki memorial service, which centers around the magnificent outdoor bonfire Saito-Goma, originated by the Daigo-ha sect, held in August in February at the Godairikison Ninnoe festival the temple burns the same Saito-Goma bonfire and praise the virtuous deeds of the Godai Myoo that festival is famous for the contest of strength, in which participants lift a giant Kagami mochi (rice cake) of nearly 150kg. Also in April, the whole mountain is opened up for cherry blossom viewing, in honor of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's Daigo Flower Viewing.

National Treasures

Buildings
Kondo (Main Hall)
Goju-no-to (5-Story Pagoda)
Seiryu-gu Haiden (Worship Hall, Upper Daigo)
Yakushido (Upper Daigo)
Sanboin Karamon Gate – Built in 1599
Sanboin Omote-Shoin
Paintings
Color on Silk Image of Godaison
Color on Silk Monjutokai-zu
Color on Silk Image of Kariteimo
Color on Silk Image of Enmaten
Goju-no-to Shojuhekiga (Color on Wood) 18 Panels
Color on Paper Eingakyo
Sculptures
Wooden Statues of Yakushi Nyorai and Flanking Samurai (formerly installed in the Upper Daigo Yakushido)
Writings/Books, Ancient Documents
Dainichikyokaidai – Written by Kobo-daishi
Toryu Shoryu Kyokai by Emperor Go-Uda (3 letters)
Tencho Injin by Emperor Go-daigo (Rousen wax paper)
Tatage-no-fumite Houkenhyo – Attributed to Kobo-daishi
Letter of Disposition from Rigen-daishi

Important Cultural Properties

Buildings
Seiryu-gu Main Hall
Nyoirindo (Upper Daigo)
Kaisando (Upper Daigo)
Sanboin Dendo (Entry Hall, Imperial Messenger's Chamber/Akigusa Chamber/Aoi Chamber, Priest's Quarters, Shinden, Junjokan, Gomado)
Sanboin Hokyointo

Paintings
Color on Silk Image of Amida Sanson
Color on Silk Image of Dainichi Kinrin (Designated an Important Cultural Property in 1902, 98.2x60.9cm)
Color on Silk Image of Dainichi Kinrin (Designated an Important Cultural Property in 1941, 96.4x83.3cm)
Color on Silk Image of Kokuzo Bosatsu
Color on Silk Image of Jizo Bosatsu
Color on Silk Image of Fugen Enmei
Color on Silk Image of Miroku Bosatsu
Image of Taigenho Honzon (Color on Silk Image of Taigen Myoo (36-armed, 8-armed, 4-armed), 3 scrolls: Image of Bishamonten, Shaka Mandara-zu, Kokuzo Mandara-su)
Color on Silk Image of Aizen Myoo
Color on Silk Image of Kongoyasha Myoo
Color on Silk Image of Daiitoku Myoo
Color on Silk Image of Gohimitsu
Sumi Ink on Paper Image of Fudo Myoo – 5 scrolls
Sumi Ink on Paper Image of Mikkyozu – 39 items
Color on Silk Landscape - 6-Panel Folding Screen
Color on Silk Ninnokyo Mandara-zu
Color on Silk Hannya Bosatsu Mandara-zu
Color on Silk Miroku Mandara-zu
Color on Silk Ryokai Mandara-zu
Color on Silk Rokujikyo Mandara-zu
Konken Kondei Rokujikyo Mandara-zu
Color on Paper Jukkan-sho (Replica of vol. 10)
Color on Gold Background Senmen Chirashi-zu - Attributed to Tawaraya Sotatsu, 2-panel Folding Screen
Color on Gold Background Bugaku-zu By Tawaraya Sotatsu 2-panel Folding Screen
Color on Paper Choba-zu 6-panel Folding Screen
Sumi Ink on Paper Roko-zu - By Tawaraya Sotatsu (2-Sided Screen)

Sculptures
Wooden Statues of Yakushi Nyorai and Flanking Samurai (Installed in Kondo, Main Hall)
Bronze Seated Statue of Amitabha Tathagata
Wooden Seated Statue of Amitabha Tathagata
Wooden Standing Statue of Sho Kannon
Wooden Standing Statue of Senju Kannon
Wooden Seated Statue of Nyoirin Kannon
Wooden Standing Statue of Jizo Bosatsu
Wooden Seated Statue of Miroku Bosatsu - By Kaikei (Installed in Sanboin Main Hall)
Wooden Statue of Enmaten
Wooden Standing Statue of Kisshoten
Wooden Standing Statue of Kongorishiki (At Saidai-mon Gate) - Constructed in 1134
Wooden Statue of Taishakuten Kizo
Wooden Statue of Godai Myoo
Wooden Seated Statue of Fudo Myoo By Kaikei
Wooden Seated Statue of Fudo Myoo
Wooden Statue of Daiitoku Myoo (Installed in Upper Daigo, Godaido) with Wooden Statues of Fudo Myoo, Gozanze Myoo, Gundari Myoo, and Kongo Yasha Myoo
Wooden Seated Statue of Rigen-daishi (Installed in Kaisando)

Craft Works
Brass Buddhist Altar Fittings (Nyoi, Kyukosho, Gokorei, Kongoban)
Brass Ryokai Mandala
Stone Lantern
Senkoku Amida Gobutsu Kyozo
Senkoku Nyoirin Kannon Kyozo
Tokinrinbo Katsu Mamon Kaitaibako
Ikakeji Raden Sessobako - One Set
Raden Nyoi

Writings/Books, Ancient Documents

Jomyokyo Shicchu Scroll No. 9
Konshikondei Hannya Shingyo - Written by Emperor Go-Nara
Kujakukyo-ongi - Shinjaku Hosshinno Collection, 3 books
Godansho
Shojiengi - 18 books
Tarayo-ki - Shinkaku Collection, 3 books
Daito Saiiki-ki Scrolls 11, 12
Bussei Biku Rokumotsu-zu
Hokekyo Shakubun - Chuzan Collection, 3 books
Rishukyo - By Takauji ASHIKAGA
Chu-Agonkyo - Scroll 14 Dialogue Fragments, Scroll 7
Shittanjibo (Tobikumogami Kinginhaku Chirashi Ryoshi)
Zuifutsunenju Yoketsu - By Junyu (the monk)
Shoryoshu - Hojo-Jugo Epilogue, 10 books
Bodai Shogon Darani, Muku Joko Konpon Darani, Issai Nyorai Shin Himitsu Zenshin Hokyo Darani, Senju-sengen Darani, Amida Dai-shingon - 1 scroll
Sohan Issaikyo - 6,096 books

Daigo Hanami Tanzaku - By Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and Guests, 131pages
Daigo Zojiki - Scroll 7
Daigo Zojiki - Keien-ki, 15 books
Daigo Konpon Sojo Ryakuden
Daigo-ji Temple Shin-Yoroku - In Gien's own writing, 22 books
Daigo-ji Temple Shogyorui - 16,441 items
Todai-ji Temple Yoroku Scrolls 1, 2
Honchomonzui - Scroll 6 Fragment
Yusenkutsu
Kobo-daishi's Will in 25 Articles
Gien Jugo Nikki - 62 books
Kenshun Nikki - 2 books
Mansai Jugo Nikki - 38 folds
Gokanjo Gofuju by Emperor Go-Uda
Sogo-cho (February 21, Engi 8: Shobo, Kangen, etc. listed)
Tonan-in Inshubo Kisho (February 13, Engi 7)
Daigo-ji Temple Documents - 16,403 items

Cultural Properties Lost to Fire

(Former) Godaido (Upper Daigo) - Former National Treasure
It burned down on April 3, Showa 7 (1932), when the Goma fire spread to the roof.

Kyozo (Scripture Repository, Upper Daigo) - Former National Treasure
Burned down on August 29, Showa 14 (1939), when a wildfire jumped onto it.

Educational Institutions

Shuchiin University (Jointly Operated)

Rakunan High School/Junior High School (Jointly Operated)

Facilities

Daigo-ji Temple Cultural Properties Research Center

Reihokan (Sacred Treasure Hall)

About the Surrounding Area

Hokai-ji Temple
Hino-tanjoin Temple
Ichigon-ji Temple
Kayao-jinja Shrine
Emperor Daigo Nochi no Yamashina no Misasagi
Zuishinin Temple
Bukkoin Temple
Kaju-ji Temple

Access

Take Keihan Bus route 22, 22A, 24, or 24A from Yamashina Station (JR, Keihan, Subway) and get off at Daigo Sanboin.

10 minutes' walk from Daigo Subway Station, or take Daigo Community Bus #4 to Daigoji-mae.

Take Keihan Bus route 22, 22A, 24, or 24A from Rokujizo Station (Keihan, JR, Subway), and get off at Daigo Sanboin.

Nearby Temples
Saigoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage
10: Mimuroto-ji Temple 11: Daigo-ji Temple 12: Shoho-ji Temple (Otsu City)

© A. C. Yu &mdash Generated from the Japanese-English Bilingual Corpus of Wikipedia's Kyoto Articles which is translated by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) from Japanese sentences on Wikipedia, used under CC BY-SA.


One of Kyoto’s oldest temples, Daigoji, is going into space

When planning a pilgrimage to some of Japan&rsquos most ancient temples, Kyoto may be the first place to come to mind, but one of the city&rsquos temples is preparing to make a journey of its own &ndash to outer space.

Kyoto Daigoji is a Shingon Buddhist temple founded in 874. The temple is a World Heritage Site containing a five-storey pagoda and a stunning pond which reflects the surrounding bright red foliage in autumn.

Photo: David Emrich/Unsplash

Having survived the Onin War (1467-1477), it is one of the oldest structures still standing in Kyoto. Despite being rooted in the same location for over 1,000 years, the temple is planning to make a second home in outer space through the aid of a Kyoto-based satellite research company called Terra Space.

The low-orbit communications satellite will contain Buddhist paintings and an enshrined sculpture of Buddha, along with Buddhist scriptures, teaching and imagery that can be accessed from the ground. The goal of the project is to make a temple that&rsquos open to anyone, no matter where in the world they are.

The satellite, which will be named the Jotenin Gounji satellite, is scheduled to be launched sometime in 2023. In order to bring well wishes to ongoing space missions and future projects, Daigoji Temple will be holding its first space prayer ceremony on February 8.

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Daigoji Temple: Kyoto’s World Heritage Temple with 1,000 Cherry Blossoms

One of best places to enjoy cherry blossoms in the historical city, Kyoto!

Daigoji Temple (醍醐寺) is a temple complex located in the southeast of Kyoto city. It&rsquos considered as one of the most important temples of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and it&rsquos a designated world heritage site.

The temple is famous as where the feudal lords of Sengoku period, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, used to hold a Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party with over 1,000 people in the 16th century.

The temple site is divided into 3 areas, Kami Daigo (upper grounds), Shimo Daigo(lower grounds) and Sanboin. There are approx 1,000 cherry trees in total and various kinds of cherry blossoms can be spotted with the great historical buildings for about 3 weeks. Some of the most spectacular view of cherry blossoms in the temple includes a cherry blossom tunnel at the approach of the temple, weeping cherry trees in front of the pagoda and at Sanpoin gadren. But the most outstanding cherry tree in the temple would be the massive weeping cherry tree which stands on the grounds of the Reihokan Museum.

Access: 15 mins walk from Daigoji station (Tozai Subway Line) OR 30 mins by Yamashina Express bus from Kyoto station

Fee: 1500 yen for 3 areas or 600 yen for each

Best time to visit: late March to early April

&darr&darr&darrFor more articles about Japan, check these links!! &darr&darr&darr


Daigoji Temple

Daigoji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect located in Kyoto, Japan. The temple was founded by Shōbō in 874 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Daigoji Temple has many buildings and structures but is particularly known for its five-story pagoda. The pagoda of Daigoji Temple is the oldest building in Kyoto, having been built in 951 and surviving war and other natural events.

The temple is split into three parts: Sambo-in, Shimo-Daigo, and Kami-Daigo. The first two parts are located closer to the base of the mountain, while Kami-Daigo is higher up and takes significantly more effort to reach. Therefore, it isn't uncommon for guests to skip the upper part of the temple. However, with around 1,000 cherry blossom trees planted on the premises, the views from the top of Kami-Daigo are quite scenic and breathtaking. The cherry blossom's beauty is only further enhanced by the illuminations offered during the Spring and Fall when Hanami and Koyo events are held. There's also the Daigo Water Spring to drink from, a spring used as the base of the hermitage. While you may not make the journey to the very top of Daigoji, enjoy the scenic cherry blossoms and sights at this stunning Kyoto temple.

Add Daigoji Temple to your Japan Tour's itinerary with our range of pre and post stay options during your Anime Japan Tour or Highlights Japan Vacation with Japan Deluxe Tours. You can also create a custom tour package through Kyoto to see Daigoji and the rest of the top rated temples and attractions in the former capital!


Watch the video: Kyoto trip - Daigoji