Daigoji Temple 醍醐寺
The creme de la creme of Buddhist temples
Daigoji Temple was built in the ninth century. It is the head temple of the Daigo school of Shingon Buddhism, a school with followers that have included emperors, members of the imperial family, and great military leaders like Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Its name has an unusual meaning, as described below.
How to Get There
The temple is accessible by train and then on foot or by taxi or bus.
From Kyoto Station , take the JR Biwako Line or the Kosei Line to Yamashina Station and transfer to the Tozai Line. Get off at Daigo Station. It's a 13-minute walk from there. It is also possible to get to Daigoji by bus from either Kyoto Station or Yamashina Station. Alight at either Daigoji or Daigoji-mae.
A name to live up to
Daigo refers to the foremost flavor achieved through the five stages of refining dairy. The temple was named Daigoji to emphasize that Buddhist teachings are the foremost nourishment for the mind and body.
A mountain temple
One of the largest temple complexes in all of Kyoto, Daigoji spreads across the entire expanse of Mt. Daigo in the southeast of Kyoto City. More than 80 buildings are located on the grounds, which are divided into the Shimo-Daigo (lower) and the Kami-Daigo (upper) complexes. The temple is set within nature and the grounds convey the beauty of the seasons.
The oldest wooden structure in the city
At the bottom of the mountain you will find the kondo, or main hall, and a five-story pagoda, both designated National Treasures. Built in 951, the pagoda has the distinction of being the oldest surviving structure in the entire Kyoto region.
Take a walk up the mountain
Shimo-Daigo is easy to get to, so it sees the biggest crowds. In contrast, getting to Kami-Daigo isn't for the faint of heart. Located at the top of Mt. Daigo, you must endure a rather strenuous walk to reach it, but you will be rewarded by the lack of crowds, a serene atmosphere, and beautiful buildings and scenery.
Daigoji is famous for its cherry blossoms, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi is known to have held a grand cherry blossom viewing party on the grounds.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.