Daikakuji Temple: the Hidden Treasure Temple in Kyoto
Off the beaten track! Explore the temple with Japan’s oldest pond and national treasures!
Daikakuji Temple (大覚寺) is a Shingon Buddhist temple in Arashiyama area in Kyoto city. The site was originally a residence of Emperor Saga (785–842) in Heian Period then it was converted into a temple in 876.
The temple has a large site featuring several amazing scenery. Beside the main temple buildings there is a large pond, a pagoda and an arch bridge. This artificial pond of the temple, Osawa Pond, is one of the oldest Japanese garden ponds to survive from the Heian period. There are over 3,000 lotus flowers on the pond, offering the magnificent scenery which has not been changed for over 1,200 years. The temple is also known as one of the best spots for autumn leaves viewing.
The temple owns numbers of Important Cultural Properties, including some of the buildings in the site, a copy of the Heart Sutra, statues and luxurious kinpekiga paintings (paint on gold foil-pressed paper).
Access: 17 mins walk from Saga Arashiyama station
Fee: 500 yen (additional 200 yen for the pond)
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