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Aug. 21, 2020 UPDATE
Daigo-ji Temple - 醍醐寺 -
Traveler Friendly
There are English brochures are available at the entrance. The area of the temple is really large, but the website contains a detailed English map.
Information
Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean
Languages spoken
Japanese only
1253 37 7.7 1 reviews
Aug. 21, 2020 UPDATE

Daigo-ji Temple

- 醍醐寺 -
Traveler Friendly
There are English brochures are available at the entrance. The area of the temple is really large, but the website contains a detailed English map.
Information
Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean
Languages spoken
Japanese only
1253 37 7.7 1 reviews
Story & Recommendation
Daigo-ji Temple — A UNESCO World Heritage Site designated temple complex
Daigo-ji Temple is a temple complex located a 13-minute walk from the Daigo Subway Station.
Founded at the summit of Mt. Daigo by a monk named Shobo in 874, Daigo-ji Temple is now known for its beautiful spring cherry blossoms.
Daigo-ji Temple's magnificent cherry blossoms are so revered in Japan's ancient capital that famous daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a cherry blossom viewing event at one of its sub-temples, Sambo-in Temple, in 1598 before his death the following year.
The event is said to have been in matched in grandeur and was attended by nearly 1,300 people. The event is also well known for the fact that the women attendees were required to change twice during the whole thing – meaning that they needed three different kimono! And they had to be brand new too!
The grounds of the Daigo-ji Temple are immensely spacious and there's a lot to see.
The temple precinct is divided into three parts: Sanbo-in Temple, and upper and lower Daigo (Shimo-Daigo and Kami-Daigo).
If you want to see all the temple buildings, then you will need to be prepared for a whole day of hiking. The hike up and down the mountain should take about an hour each way. So if you want to take your time looking carefully at each of the buildings, then you will need to afford yourself quite a bit of time.
1Highlight
Five-storied Pagoda
Five-storied Pagoda
Completed in 951, this five-storied pagoda in lower Shimo-Daigo is said to be the oldest wooden structure in Kyoto. Also, as fire has ravaged the other structures on the temple grounds and forced them to be rebuilt over the years, this pagoda has remained untouched - making it the only original structure in the entire temple. The pagoda stands 38 meters tall and has been designated as a National Treasure.
2Highlight
Fudo-do Hall
Fudo-do Hall
The Fudo-do Hall is devoted to the protective Buddhist deity of Fudo Myo-o. At this hall, which sits in Shimo-Daigo, saito goma ceremonial bonfires are held to pray for world peace. The fire and smoke that billow from the ginormous fire pits during the ceremony are an awe-inspiring sight to see, so consider yourself lucky if you're able to see the ritual when you're at the temple.
3Good Experiences
Visit Benten-do Hall
Visit Benten-do Hall
The Benten-do Hall is a small temple partway up the mountain but still in Shimo-Daigo. The temple is dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess Benzaiten. Benten-do Hall is especially famous for its picturesque autumn landscape wherein the surrounding crimson maple leaves coupled with the vermilion temple and bridge reflect off the water in the pond.
4Good Experiences
Drink Daigo water
Drink Daigo water
The founder of Daigo-ji Temple, monk Shobo, is said to have found this source of water using spiritual power. The water can still be drunk even today if you climb the mountain to Kami-Daigo. The water is also sold in bottles at the temple and is said to be good for making coffee and tea.
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