Temples & Shrines: Daikakuji
Daikakuji Temple 大覚寺
Daikakuji Temple is on the western outskirts of Kyoto, located to the north of Arashiyama. Daikakuji was originally an Imperial villa or "Detached Palace" of the Emperor Saga, later becoming a temple in the ninth century as the Emperor wished to show his dedication to the Shingon sect of Buddhism and its founder Kukai (Kobo Daishi). The present buildings date from the 16th century.
The chief buildings at Daikakuji include the Shinden, which was moved here from the Imperial Palace in the 16th century. In front of the Shinden is an imperial-style garden with an ancient orange tree and an equally venerable plum tree. The Shingyoden contains a sutra written by the Emperor Saga on the suggestion of Kobo Daishi to ward of one of the many plagues that struck Kyoto.
Daikakuji Temple contains paintings from the Kano school of artists from the 15th to 18th centuries displayed in the Shoshinden including a hawk rendered in India ink. The surrounding Osawa Lake (Osawa no ike) is modeled on Chinese originals and was once used for boating by the Emperor. A reproduction of a royal boat can be seen.
The tranquil lake and parkland adjoining it are perfect for a stroll or lazy picnic and the nearby farmland is dotted with ancient tumuli.
The temple and gardens of Daikakuji are also a popular cherry-blossom viewing spot in spring. Look out for a vermillion pagoda near the lake.
Admission fee to the main temple precincts
Buddhist Training from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (last admission: 3.30 p.m.). Admission fees: Adults: 500 yen; Junior/senior students: 300 yen. Shakyo sheet: 1000 yen.
Views of the lake and cherry blossom at Daikakuji Temple
Daikakuji Temple Pagoda
From JR Saga-Arashiyama station a 15-minute walk. From the Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Line, allow 20 minutes. From Hankyu Arashiyama Station, it takes around 30 minutes. #28 bus from Kyoto Station will take 45 minutes depending on traffic. Kyoto bus #71 also runs to Kyoto Station while #61 connects with Keihan Sanjo Station.
It is possible to ride by bicycle from Arashiyama to Daikakuji.
Daikakuji Temple Lake
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