Daikakuji Temple 0
Built 1,200 years ago as an imperial villa for Emperor Saga, in the early Heian period, Daikakuji is the head temple of the Daikakuji School of the Shingon Buddhism sect founded by Kobo-Daishi Kukai.
OPEN9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(Reception closes at 4:30 p.m.)
>Built 1200 years ago as an imperial villa for Emperor Saga, in the early Heian period, Daikakuji is the head temple of the Daikakuji School of the Shingon Buddhism sect founded by Kobo-Daishi Kukai. This prestigious temple is known for its close relationship with the imperial family. Until the early Meiji era, emperors and personnel who belonged to the imperial lineage served as its head priests (therefore, it was known as a monzeki temple, a temple served by priests of imperial or aristocratic lineage). One of the “wellness activities” offered is a Buddhist training called shakyo (transcribing of sutras)/shabutsu (drawing of Buddhist images). The temple is the konpon dojo (central training center) for transcribing Hannya Shingyo (the “Heart Sutra”), and the copies of the sutra transcribed by Emperor Saga and four other emperors are enshrined there. These transcripts have been sealed with the imperial seal (chokufu) and stored in a locked area whose gate is allowed to be opened only once in 60 years. People across Japan dedicate transcribed Hannya Shingyo to Daikakuji, and every morning, an offering of prayers and dedication ceremonies for these transcriptions are conducted. Visitors can also enjoy a healthy walk with a cultural twist around Osawa-no-ike Pond, Japan’s oldest garden pond, located on the east side of the temple. Arrangements of Saga Chrysanthemum (one of three prominent Japanese chrysanthemums) found on Kikugashima islet afloat the pond is said to be the origin of ikebana flower arrangement, and thus Daikakuji is known as “the temple where ikebana originated.” These activities involving the culture and history of Japan are sure to refresh visitors’ bodies and souls. When visiting Daikakuji Temple, please inform the staff that you viewed the “Luxury & Wellness” section of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau website, to receive a special zukoh (incense body powder) as a souvenir of your visit.
Location4 Saga Osawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
DirectionsA 20-minute walk from Saga-Arashiyama Station on the JR Line
Price500 yen (adult), 300 yen (children)
Admission is 1,000 yen for both adults and children during October - November 2018, as the imperial transcriptions are on display during that period.