Daigoji Temple

Sightseeing information about Daigoji Temple in Japan.

World Heritage: Daigoji Temple4.7

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Daigoji Temple has expansive ground spreading over an entire mountainside. The upper area has some buildings related to Shugendo, a folk religion that draws from both Buddhism and Shinto, and the lower area has main temple structures, a five-story pagoda and sprawling gardens with ponds. The broad approach is flanked with 1,000 cherry trees that make a gorgeous floral tunnel in spring.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified the country after wars in the late 16th century, rebuilt the whole temple buildings and held a cherry-blossom viewing party with 1,300 ladies of the nobility from all over Japan.

In autumn, foliage colors on the mountain slopes in daytime and light-up views of the temples at night are breath-taking. If you have enough time, it is recommended to take a stroll up to the summit (450m) for a couple of hours.

Purposeelderly,that you'll never forget,world heritage,family,cherry blossom viewing,shrine/temple,art,autumn foliage,sightseeing
Airport/Sta.Osaka International Airport (about 38.9km) Google Transit


5.0a month ago

A good tourist site. The three tourist points seem to be the large pagoda, a small garden inside one of the temple buildings, and the artifacts stored in one of the facilities. To be truthful, the artifacts are just scrolls you cannot read(and no, not because you are a foreigner but because the Kanji are written in an ancient, cursive fashion...), but the pagoda and the garden are quite very pretty. I liked the garden really much and it was truly breathtaking as it rained heavily- imagine rain splashing over a beautifully constructed garden, bubbling its waters and soothing its trees! - but regrettably you are not allowed to take pictures of it and there are at least 3 staff workers on guard constantly. I am not one to challenge rules so I just gazed at the rain from the temple aisle for about 10 minutes.

Overall, the temple is totally worth a visit and the 800 yens' admission fee. Not just the three places but the intricate structure of the buildings, the tea room, the walk, the ponds... the 'artificial nature' surrounding each temple building and the Buddhas... everything is fascinating, yet somewhat subtly different from Buddhist temples of different cultures. Buddhist temples are one of the best reasons to visit the Far East, are they not.

4.0in the last week

Very beautiful place, should definitely make a short stop if you have extra time for your trip.

5.05 months ago

A good place to visit if you want less tourists. Very quiet and close to nature. You'd see several historic infrastructures here. My favorite is the pagoda. You may also try to eat at restaurant juan. It has a very photogenic interior and very delicious food. You would surely love it.

1.02 weeks ago

This is my first negative post, and I have to say that Daigo-ji has deserved it. I cannot recommend visiting this place before 2040:

-1) The entrance fee is a total ripoff. It is 1500 yen in any decent season other than in the middle of winter or summer. The fee covers two temples plus one museum, and you probably are willing to pay for World Heritage status. But the fee does not include all temples of the complex (Kami-Daigo up the mountain is not covered and costs another 400 yen), and the ones included are hardly worth 500 yen each.

-2) The "garan" section comprises the admittedly beautiful Benten-do. Just check the pictures of a small vermilion/white "one-storey-pagoda" at the end of a vermilion wooden bridge over a streamlet entering a pond. Really nice. And small. The whole area of pond, pagoda, bridge, waterfall and all is approximately 100 x 50 m (ca. 330x190 feet), including the on-site restaurant. If you want to see a nice garden in Yamashina, consider visiting Bishamon-do Monzeki at the northern border of this ward.

-3) The calligrapher at Denpoin Daikodo, the temple building next downhill form Benten-do in the "garan" section, is inept. Sorry to say that, but I would really like to rip the page out of my goshuinchou.

-4) The "garan" section also comprises the Goju-no-to, a five storey pagoda. This pagoda is really old but in good shape. It is located at the eastern (hillward) end of an open square of some 30 x 30 m (approx. 130x130 feet) covered in gravel with the general appeal of a makeshift car park. In case you are a student of city planning or architecture please visit the site and learn for good how a building can be debased by its surroundings. If you are not such a student, go to Nara and enjoy the pagodas there.

-5) All other buildings in "garan" section are either beautifully old but tainted by their parking lot settings, or are dilapidated/severely damaged by the taifuns of 2018 latest. At any rate, other sites offer quite similar buildings, maybe not of the same age, but without the inconvenience of traveling to this somewhat remote spot.

-6) The taifuns of 2018 have erased the former forest at the entrance of the "garan" section. While the taifuns are hardly the fault of the site management, not adjusting the entrance fee according to the ensuing aesthetic devaluation is. Thus, should you come here before 2040 do not expect to be greeted by any appearances of solemnity. I do hope that measures are taken to remedy the deforestation.

-7) Niomon, the gate at the entrance of the "garan" section, is a good sight, but so are others elsewhere. And it can be seen without entrance fee from the main avenue.

+1) Sanpo-in. No regrets regarding this temple other than that its entrance fee is used to subsidize the other temple complex parts.

Tl;dr: If you want to see a good garden and fusuma paintings at a tripled entrance fee, come here and visit Sanpo-in. You may then also pay a courtesy visit to Daigo-in's other sections.

5.04 months ago

Far from the bustle of Kyoto city temples and shrines this place is beautiful in every manner. Fewer tourists as this place is out of the circuit of the bus pass and farther from the train station. There is entrance fee of ~1500 yen which is expensive than other regular places in Kyoto but it's worth it. They have a Japanese garden 3 temples large lawns and a museum. You can skip the museum but will still take couple of hours to go through all the places.

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