Daigoji temple [醍醐寺]

Five-story pagoda of Daigoji in spring
Five-story pagoda of Daigoji in spring
Photo by Kyoto Free Photo

Kondo of Daigoji
Kondo of Daigoji
Photo by Kyoto Free Photo

Daigoji is a temple of Shingon Buddhism, one of the major schools of Japanese Buddhism.

It is located about 9 km southeast of Kyoto station, and is at the south edge of Higashiyama mountains.
And, it is located about 6 km east of Fushimi Inari Taisha.

This temple is one of 17 constructions of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" designated as a World Heritage Site.

This temple was founded by high priest Shobo in 874.

He built two temples on the top of two mountains.
Many Buddhist priests came to practice asceticism, so this temple developed.

Because Emperor Daigo (885-930) protected this temple, his name belongs to the name of this temple.

This temple had fallen into ruin after that, but it had been rebuilt in the late 16th century.

In 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi who became the ruler of Japan ordered to plant 700 cherry trees in Daigoji and held a big cherry blossom viewing party.

Now, there are about 1,000 cherry trees in this temple, so Daigoji is one of famous spots for cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto.

Somon of Daigoji
Somon of Daigoji
Photo by Kyoto Free Photo

Karamon of Sanbo-in in Daigoji
Karamon of Sanbo-in in Daigoji
Photo by inariage.com

There is Mount Daigo (Daigoyama, 454 m), and Daigoji is on the western slope of the mountain.
Daigoji has two areas.

At the foot of the mountain, there is Shimo-Daigo (下醍醐).

It has large temple grounds, and it is about 700 meters from east to west and about 400 meters from north to south.
Several buildings are there.

Japanese garden in Sanbo-in
Japanese garden in Sanbo-in
Photo by Kyoto Free Photo

Cherry blossoms in Sanbo-in
Cherry blossoms in Sanbo-in
Photo by Kyoto Free Photo

After passing through Somon gate, there is Sanbo-in temple (三宝院) on the left side of the approach.

It was founded as a branch temple in 1115, and it is the main temple office of Daigoji now.
Some buildings are connected, and "Omote-Shion" in the center of the buildings is designated as a national treasure.

There is a gorgeous Japanese garden constructed in 1598.
The main part of Sanbo-in is surrounded by a wall, and Karamon gate (唐門) is also designated as a national treasure.

After about 150 meters walk on the approach, there is Niomon gate and it is the entrance of main precinct of Shimo-Daigo.

Niomon of Daigoji
Niomon of Daigoji
Photo by inariage.com

Five-story pagoda in Daigoji
Five-story pagoda in Daigoji
Photo by inariage.com

In the precinct, there are Kondo (金堂) temple built in 1600 and Five-story pagoda (五重塔) built in 931.
These are designated as national treasures.

Mountain trail to Kami-Daigo
Mountain trail to Kami-Daigo
Photo by inariage.com

Seiryugu-Haiden in Kami-Daigo
Seiryugu-Haiden in Kami-Daigo
Photo by inariage.com

Kami-Daigo (上醍醐) is another area of Daigoji, and is around the top of Mount Daigo.

It located about 2.5 km east of Shimo-Daigo.
To visit Kami-Daigo, we must climb up a steep mountain path.
It takes about an hour from Shimo-Daigo.

There are five temples and a shrine in Kami-Daigo.

Seiryugu-Haiden shrine (清瀧宮拝殿) rebuilt in 1434 and Yakushido temple (薬師堂) founded in 913 and rebuilt in 1121 are designated as national treasures.

Yakushido in Kami-Daigo
Yakushido in Kami-Daigo
Photo by inariage.com

Daigosui in Kami-Daigo
Daigosui in Kami-Daigo
Photo by inariage.com

And there is Daigosui temple (醍醐水).
It is the place that high priest Shobo built the temple at the first time.

From there, sacred water is gushing, so the name of the temple is "Water of Daigo".
A faucet is set up in front of the temple, so you can drink the tasty water.

Daigoji

How to get here

The nearest station of subway is Daigo (T03 Tozai Line).
About 800 meters walk from the station.

Hotels around Daigoji

Hotels around Daigoji

Other Tourist Attractions in Kyoto Prefecture

Toji Tofukuji Sennyuji Fushimi Inari Taisha Gokonomiya shrine Fushimi Sake Village Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

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