Daikaku-ji Temple in Sagano of Kyoto is the head temple of a Buddhist sect of Shingon Buddhism Daikaku-ji Temple group.

This temple is the place where the retired emperor ruled the cloistered government in the Kamakura era.
Therefore this temple was also called “Emperor Saga’s Imperial Villa”.

Because this temple is a temple of the Imperial Family connection, fusuma pictures and interior of the room have been made very luxuriously.

In addition, “Yoikobo(Evening propagating Buddhism)” is held every year in Daikaku-ji Temple in a evening on August 20.
We see off the ancestral ghost who came home during the period of Obon by the ceremonial bonfire of this festival.


  1. About Daikaku-ji Temple
  2. Osawa-no-ike Pond (National scenic beauty)
  3. Yoikobo and Ceremonial bonfire of Saga
  4. Goshuin(shrine seal or stamp) of Daikaku-ji Temple
  5. How to get to Daikaku-ji Temple

1.About Daikaku-ji Temple

Daikaku-ji (大覚寺 Daikaku-ji) is a Shingon Buddhist temple in Ukyō-ku, a western ward in the city of Kyoto, Japan. The site was originally a residence of Emperor Saga (785-842 CE), and later various emperor conducted their cloistered rulefrom here. The Saga Goryū school of ikebana has its headquarters in the temple. The artificial lake of the temple, Ōsawa Pond, is one of the oldest Japanese garden ponds to survive from the Heian period.

Admission Fee:500 yen(Adults),300 yen(Primary school ~ high school students)
Adress:4, Saga Osawacho, Ukyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 616-8411, Japan
Phone Number:;81-75-871-0071

↓In the building of Daikaku-ji Temple, most were removed and rebuilt from another place. The youtube animation made with this story is here.↓

■Youtube:「ROCK in Daikaku-ji Temple」 エグスプロージョン

It is a very avant-garde temple. d(*゚ー゚*)

Daikaku-ji Temple is a temple located in the northern part of Arashiyama of Kyoto.

Because this temple is far from the center of Arashiyama a little, there is not a tourist that much. (○´艸`)

This is the entrance gate of Daikaku-ji Temple.

There is the well-formed pine tree in the garden of the entrance.

This is the entrance hall of shikidai which is the entrance of the temple.

Worship time is 9:00 ~ 17:00. Admission Fee is 500 yen (adults).
The audio guidance rental service is available from 9:00 to 14:30 on Saturday, Sunday, and national holiday.

A sedan chair is displayed in 大玄関( grand entrance hall).
The family crest (kuyo-kikumon (a family crest representing nine chrysanthemums)) of the Emperor Go-Uda is carved to this sedan chair.
The fusuma picture is  “松ニ山鳥図(pine and pheasant)” which has been drawn by Eitoku Kanou.

The corridor linking the temple and the temple is called “村雨の廊下(Corridor of Murasame)”.
This corridor has low ceilings so that no one can swing swords or spears, and floor is uguisu-bari (nightingale floor) so that you will hear invaders.

This is the 正寝殿(Shoshin-den Hall) to see from the courtyard.

This building has been designated as an important cultural property, and has 12 rooms reflecting Momoyama period shoin architecture.

A lot of splendid paintings on a folding screen and wall which were made by the Kano school have been left in the building of this temple.

The sumi drawing which was drawn by Sanraku Kanou.

This room named ‘Jodan-no-ma’ (Okanmuri-no-ma (chamber of the crown)) has a throne and is a recreation of the room from which Emperor Go-Uda governed.

This Sugito picture is “野兎図(Hares Figure)” which was drawn by 渡辺始興(Shiko Watanabe).

This door painting is a sparrow and a bamboo.

This is the 宸殿(Shinden Hall). An important cultural property with the architectural style of shinden-zukuri was presented by Emperor Go-Mizunoo in the Edo period.

The inside of this building is divided into four rooms.

This is the fusuma picture drawn by Karino school that a mandarin duck and a cherry tree were designed.

This is a design of willows and swallows.

This is the 霊明殿(Reimei-den Hall). This building is lacquered in vermilion to defy evil spirits.
This building is lacquered in vermilion to defy evil spirits. and it worship Amitabha as the principal idol.

This is the 御影堂(Mie-do Hall). This hall worships the statues of Kobo-Daishi, Emperor Saga, Cloistered Emperor Go-Uda, and Gojaku the Prince among others.

This is the 勅使門(Chokushi-mon gate) to see from the 御影堂(Mie-do Hall).

The crest of the chrysanthemum which is the family coat of the imperial family is designed at the door of the 勅使門(Chokushi-mon gate).

This is the 勅封心経殿(Chokufu-shingyo-den Hall) which is closed by imperial order (chokufu) and allowed to open only once every 60 years. 

This is the 安井堂(Yasui-do Hall) which has a life-sized figure of Emperor Go-Mizunoo at the front.

This is the 五大堂(Godai-do Hall) that is neighbor of the 安井堂(Yasui-do Hall), and it was rebuilt in the late Edo period.
This hall has the statues of the Five Wisdom Kings including Fudo Myoo which is principal idol of this temple.

There is the cafe space in this temple, too.

A cup of iced coffee is 150 yen. d(*゚ー゚*)

2.Osawa-no-ike Pond (National scenic beauty)

There is the Osawa-no-ike Pond which is the natural beauty spot of the country in the neighbor of Daikaku-ji Temple.
It has a diameter of about 1 km. This is the oldest artificial garden with forest and pond in Japan.

Osawa-no-ike Pond is one of the most famous place of the lotuses in Kansai.

This is 菊島(Kikushima) floating in the Osawa-no-ike Pond.

This is the 五大堂(Godai-do Hall) to see from the Osawa-no-ike Pond.

This is the 大日堂(Dainichi-do hall) and the 心経宝塔(Sutra tower) which is built near the Osawa-no-ike Pond.
daikakuji-41 daikakuji-42

3.Yoikobo and Ceremonial bonfire of Saga

“Yoikobo(Evening propagating Buddhism)” is held every year in this temple in a evening on August 20.
We see off the ancestral ghost who came home during the period of Obon by the ceremonial bonfire of this festival.

We can worship free of charge in the time of this festival.
In addition, we can enter the garden where we cannot usually enter.

Date:August 20 : 17:00~20:30
Admission Fee : Free
Special events
・Yoikobo concert:18:00~
・Gomadaki (the Buddhist rite of burning wood sticks):18:00~
・Okuribi(ceremonial bonfire of Buddhist memorial service):19:00~

*The date and time has the possibility of changing.

■Youtube: Ceremonial bonfire of Buddhist memorial service at Daikaku-ji Temple

An altar is set up at the Osawa-no-ike Pond.

we can enter the garden where we cannot usually enter. d(*゚ー゚*)

This is the 御影堂(Mie-do Hall) to see from the courtyard. There are preparations for candlelight event.

The Yoikobo concert is held in the 宸殿(Shinden Hall). It is a performance by the brass band club of Kita Saga Senior High School. (○´艸`)

When a concert is over, floating of lanterns event begins in Osawa-no-ike Pond.

A priest goes on the altar at about 19:00. and chant of “Heart Sutra” begins.

At the same time, the ceremonial bonfire is burnt.

We can worship free of charge in the time of this festival.

4.Goshuin(shrine seal or stamp) of Daikaku-ji Temple

Sumigaki is inscribed with black ink as “五大明王(The Five Wisdom Kings which is principal idol of this temple.)”.

5.How to get to Daikaku-ji Temple

Nearest station of Daikaku-ji temple is “JR Saga-Arashiyama Station”.

It is about a 20-minute walk from the station.

  Timetable and Route Search

■Route Example (From Osaka)

■Route Example (From Namba)

■Route Example (From Kyoto)

■JR Saga-Arashiyama Station→Daikaku-ji Temple
daikakuji-02-txt daikakuji-03-txt

How did you like it?

Please try to go.

Have a nice trip! XD

<Let’s search the sightseeing information of Kansai in Japan on ‘Japan’s Travel Manual‘!!>
<This site introduces the easiest way to get Japanese (Kansai) sightseeing spots to you.>