Sep. 11, 2018 UPDATE

Daikaku-ji Temple

- 大覚寺 -
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Stroll through the flower temple with peaceful surroundings
Daikaku-ji Temple (Daikakuji) is well known as a flower temple because ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) actually originated in this temple. It was established in 876 in the Arashiyama area. The temple used to be a rikyu (villa) of Saga emperor at the early Heian period, about 1,200 years ago. Over 30 years after the emperor passed away, the rikyu was transferred to the temple. "Kyo Gosho Daikaku-ji Monzeki" is the official name of the temple belonging to the Shingon Buddhism sect founded by Kobo-Daishi Kukai. Since the premises in the site are really large, there are a lot of enjoyable spots, including a pond with a beautiful garden, a picture of dragon on the ceiling, and some traditional buildings that you can’t miss! Although it is in a busy tourist spot, Arashiyama, inside the temple is so quiet that you can be enjoying surrounded by nature!
Shoshin-den Hall
Shoshin-den Hall
It consists of 12 rooms in the hall and is designated as an important cultural property. 3 rooms are separated by 4 sections. A picture of the rabbit on the shoji (Japanese traditional slide door) is really cute, so you might like to take a photo of it. Please do check out all of the rooms in this hall!
Osawa-no-ike (pond)
Osawa-no-ike (pond)
It is the oldest artificial pond with woods in Japan. It is said that the pond was made for viewing the moon. Presently, the temple holds events called, "Kangetsu-no-yube" (moon viewing party) every autumn to look at the moon that is reflected on the pond. If you have an opportunity to visit during the time the event is being held, please consider going to it and check their English website for more details.
Try To Look Up At The Picture Of Yasuido-tenjyo-unryu-zu
3Good Experiences
Try To Look Up At The Picture Of Yasuido-tenjyo-unryu-zu
You can see the two styles of ceilings in mieido that was moved from Yasui-monzeki Renge-koin Temple in Higashiyama of Kyoto in 1871. The dragon with power is painted on the kagami tenjo ceilings while delicate birds and lovely flowers are on the another ceiling called Gou-Tenjo. Although both of them are at the same hall, they have totally different images.
Walk Through Murasame-no-roka (corridor)
4Good Experiences
Walk Through Murasame-no-roka (corridor)
The ceiling of the corridor was built so low that no one could swing swords or spears. It is reached to the three main buildings, Shin-den, Mie-do, and Shoshin-den. You can be strolling between them even if it is a rainy day. The floor makes sounds when you walk! Try to listen carefully, the sound is very interesting.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
We highly recommend you check their website in English to see how to conveniently access the temple.
3.7 experience4.0 access2.8 photogenic4.2
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.7 experience4.5 access2.0 photogenic4.5
I like sitting at the main temple and looking out at the garden, daydreaming. The flow of time seems to slow down here. At Daikaku-ji Temple's Osawa pond you can see beautiful lotus flowers emerging from the pond, so I wish you will go and see the temple and the pond!
3.7 experience3.5 access3.5 photogenic4.0
Daikaku-ji Temple is a place where you have no need to hurry. You can relax by sitting on the veranda and looking at the garden, or walk by Osawa pond. In autumn an elegant moon-viewing event called Kangetsu no Yuube is held at the temple.
3.7 experience4.0 access3.0 photogenic4.0
Daikaku-ji Temple is maybe the best temple to visit in Arashiyama. The temple is really big and the walkways to the other buildings are all beautiful, there is a lot to see. A great place to take pictures especially if you come on weekdays when there are not so many people.
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Daikaku-ji Temple / 大覚寺
Category Temples & Shrines
Phone +81 75-871-0071
Address 4 Saga-Osawamachi, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi 616-8411
Directions 17 minute-walk from JR Sagano Line, Sagano Arashiyama Stn.
Open Hours 9am - 5pm (must enter by 4:30pm)
Reservations Not accepted
Closed None
Notes Please do not enter any prohibited areas nor take any photos where it is prohibited.
Price range
Adults: ¥500 Elementary, junior, and high school students: ¥300
Credit cards Not accepted
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
English brochures are available at the entrance of the temple. In addition, their English website is really convenient! It is worth checking before you visit.
Information Japanese and English
Lanuages spoken Japanese only

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