Shrines & Temples

    Daikaku-ji Temple

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    Daikaku-ji Temple

    An imperial-related elegant temple by Osawa Pond

    Daikaku-ji Temple is the headquarters of the Daikakuji School of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.  It is located in the tranquil Sagano area.  The temple site was previously the villa of Emperor Saga built in the early Heian period (794-1185) and the official name is Old Saga Palace Daikakuji Monzeki.  There are several particularly important temple buildings: Godai-do Hall enshrining the five Myo-o statues, the typical Momoyama-style Shoshin-den Hall with its powerful sliding door paintings by Kano School artists, Shin-den Hall directly given by Emperor Gomizuno-o, Otogi Well related to the important Buddhist priest, Kukai (usually closed to the public), and more.  However, the most outstanding appeal of this temple is Osawa Pond lying to the east side of the precinct.  The pond was created when Emperor Saga’s villa was established here.  It imitated an existing lake in China and is Japan’s oldest artificial pond.  Cherry blossom in spring, fresh leaves in early summer, lotus flowers in summer and colored leaves in autumn…  The pond and surrounding area portrays exquisite beauty in each season.  Every autumn, at the time of the harvest moon, an elegant moon viewing event is held.  Emperor Saga and imperial court members enjoyed leisurely boat rides on the pond and the event recreate the scene.  Anciently decorated boats slowly float on the pond with the beautiful full moon reflected on the surface.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC.
    Fujin-gaho,December issue,2013


    Name Daikaku-ji Temple
    Address 4 Saga Osawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 075-871-0071
    Hours 9:00-17:00 *Enter by 30 min. before the closing time.
    Recommended Entry: 500 yen