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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Daitokuji Temple 大徳寺

The definition of Zen and a historic center for Japanese tea ceremony

Daitokuji Temple is the largest temple in northern Kyoto and a key site for the Rinzai sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Walk through the gardens and explore several of the subtemples to experience the history and beauty of Japan's Zen culture.

Don't Miss

  • The towering Sanmon, or Mountain Gate, built in 1479
  • Visiting the many traditional rock gardens at Daitokuji Temple
  • Enjoying the autumn colors at Koto-in, one of the subtemples

Quick Facts

The subtemples were originally erected as patron temples for some of Japan's greatest warrior clans

Daitokuji is considered the spiritual home of the Japanese tea ceremony

How to Get There

Daitokuji Temple is a 15-minute walk from Kitaoji Station, on the Karasuma Line. If you're coming by bus, take bus 101, 205 or 206 from Kyoto Station and get off at the Daitokuji-mae stop.

The history

Within Daitokuji's huge compound are nearly two-dozen subtemples, which house a large number of cultural properties. Founded in 1319, this temple was destroyed by fire during the Onin War (1467-1477). Daitoji was subsequently restored by the famous priest, Ikkyu.

Tea, subtemples and Zen

The temple eventually developed a relationship with the legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu, who was the teacher of warlords Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Upon Oda's death in 1582, Toyotomi had his predecessor entombed in Sokenin, one of Daitokuji's subtemples. Other feudal lords followed suit, constructing subsidiary temples for their ancestors. Due to this wealth of support from both the political and merchant classes, Daitokuji became a treasure trove of Zen culture, namely in its gardens and architecture.

The main building

Four of the 21 subtemples are regularly open to the public, and an additional four have special openings, generally in the high tourist seasons of spring and autumn.

The towering Sanmon Gate

The towering Sanmon Gate, built in 1479, is listed as an important cultural property. Sen no Rikyu added the second story, and afterward his disciples placed within it a life-sized statue of their teacher.

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