Daigoji Temple

The creme de la creme of Buddhist temples

Daigoji Temple, located in Kyoto, japan, is a renowned Buddhist temple that holds a significant place in the history and culture of the country. Built in the ninth century, it is the head temple of the Daigo school of Shingon Buddhism. Over the centuries, it has attracted a wide range of followers, including emperors, members of the imperial family, and great military leaders like Toyotomi Hideyoshi. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and serene surroundings, Daigoji Temple is considered a must-visit destination for those interested in Buddhist culture and Japanese history.

How to Get There

Daigoji Temple is easily accessible by train and then on foot, taxi, or bus. From Kyoto Station, visitors can take the JR Biwako Line or the Kosei Line to Yamashina Station and transfer to the Tozai Line. From there, they can get off at Daigo Station and take a 13-minute walk to reach the temple. Alternatively, there are also bus services available from both Kyoto Station and Yamashina Station. Visitors can alight at either Daigoji or Daigoji-mae bus stops.

A name to live up to

The name “Daigo” has an unusual meaning. It 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. This unique name reflects the temple’s commitment to providing spiritual nourishment and enlightenment to its followers.

A mountain temple

Daigoji Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in all of Kyoto. It is situated on the slopes of Mt. Daigo in the southeast of Kyoto City. The temple grounds cover a vast expanse and are divided into the Shimo-Daigo (lower) and the Kami-Daigo (upper) complexes. The natural surroundings and beautifully landscaped gardens of the temple create a serene and peaceful atmosphere, allowing visitors to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the changing seasons.

The oldest wooden structure in the city

At the base of the mountain, visitors will find the kondo, or main hall, and a five-story pagoda, both of which are designated National Treasures. The pagoda, built in 951, holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving structure in the entire Kyoto region. Its architectural beauty and historical significance make it a must-see attraction for visitors to Daigoji Temple.

Take a walk up the mountain

While the Shimo-Daigo complex is easily accessible and attracts a large number of visitors, reaching the Kami-Daigo complex requires a more strenuous walk up the mountain. Located at the top of Mt. Daigo, this part of the temple offers a more secluded and serene experience. The lack of crowds, coupled with the breathtaking views and beautiful buildings, makes the journey worthwhile. Additionally, Daigoji Temple is famous for its cherry blossoms, and it is said that Toyotomi Hideyoshi once held a grand cherry blossom viewing party on the temple grounds.

Recommended for You

In addition to visiting Daigoji Temple, there are other attractions in the vicinity that are worth exploring. One such attraction is Sanboin Garden, located nearby. This traditional Japanese garden is known for its exquisite beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can stroll through the garden and admire the meticulously manicured landscapes, stone lanterns, and vibrant seasonal flowers. Another recommended destination is Ohara, a rural town located northeast of Kyoto City. Ohara is famous for its picturesque countryside, charming temples, and hot spring baths. It offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city and provides a glimpse into rural Japanese life.


Daigoji Temple is a true gem among Buddhist temples in Japan. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and serene surroundings, it offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Whether you are interested in Buddhist culture, Japanese history, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Daigoji Temple is a must-visit destination. Take the time to explore the temple grounds, admire the ancient structures, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this spiritual sanctuary.

Address And Maps Location:

22 Daigohigashioji-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

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