Sep. 11, 2020 UPDATE
Daikaku-ji Temple- 大覚寺 -
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.
Japanese and English
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Story & Recommendation
Stroll through temple of flowers in peaceful surroundings
Daikaku-ji Temple is well known as flower temple, ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) originated here. The temple was established in 876 in the Arashiyama area. and used to be a rikyu (villa) of Saga emperor in 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 of the temple 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 very quiet, so you can enjoy being surrounded by nature!
Shoshin-den Hall consists of 12 rooms and is designated as an important cultural property. 3 rooms are separated by 4 sections. The picture of a rabbit on the shoji (Japanese traditional sliding door) is really cute, so feel free to take a photo of it. Please do check out all of the rooms in this hall!
This is the oldest artificial pond surrounded by 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 when the event is being held, please consider going checking it out. Check their English website for more details.
Look Up at the Picture of Yasuido-tenjyo-unryu-zu
You can see two styles of ceilings in mieido that were moved from Yasui-monzeki Renge-koin Temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama in 1871. The powerful dragon is painted on the kagami tenjo ceilings while delicate birds and lovely flowers are on another ceiling, Gou-Tenjo. Although both of them are at the same hall, they have totally different images.
Walk Through the Murasame-no-roka (corridor)
The ceiling of this corridor was built this low so that no one could swing swords or spears. The corridor stretches to the three main buildings, Shin-den, Mie-do, and Shoshin-den. You can stroll between them even if it’s a rainy day. Also, the floor makes sounds when you walk! Listen carefully as they sound very interesting.
- Manner & Tips -
We highly recommend you check their website in English to see how to conveniently access the temple.