Situated in the south-east of Kyoto City, the temple’s precincts were discovered on top of the Mt. Daigo by Shōbō Rigen Daishi, the disciple of the most famous Japanese monk Kūkai. According to the legend, its spring water, as sweet as nectar, is at the origin of the name of the temple itself; Daigoji also meaning "Exquisite Taste".
Officially built in 874, the Daigo Imperor elevated its rank to Imperial Temple a few decades later before expanding to the lower area of the mountain, where several buildings were constructed. From the middle of the 10th century, the Daigoji Temple was already divided in two distinct areas, its upper part, called Kami Daigo, and its lower part, called Shimo Daigo, for a total of 600 hectares. During the 12th century, the temple was recognised as the Head Temple of the Daigo Branch of Shingon Buddhism, making it one of the most influencial in Japan. Its reputation grew even wider when Toyotomi Hideyoshi, considered to be the Great Unifier of Japan, held in 1598 the Daigo-no-Hanami, the blossom viewing party of Daigo, after planting more than 700 cherry trees.
With its rich history of 1,150 years, it is now home to more than 150,000 preserved cultural assets, including a record of 75,537 National Treasures. Daigoji was finally added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994, reflecting the will to open its doors to a broader public.
Daigoji Temple Inori
Inheritance in Modern Society
Kizuna & Enishi
The Japanese nation deeply values the bonds between people, a concept called "kizuna" in their mother tongue. Thanks to these human connections, they have been able to overcome many natural disasters and wars , including the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
In Buddhism teachings, the ancient term used was "enishi", considered to be one of the most fundamental and important precept of all.
Since ancient time in Japan, people have deep and strong connections with "relatives" and "communities", with the "family" transcending generations at its core.
These connections, representative of the concept conveyed by "kizuna" and "enishi", intertwined with each other while being linked to one’s past, present and future.
With the rapid economic growth after WWII, the standard of living and convenience have improved, but modern society have shifted to a more competitive approach and efficiency has become a vital criteria in our daily life. As a result, individualism and nuclear families have increased, and family-oriented connections across generations have gradually weakened and diminished.
The diluting of the vertical connection coincides with the increase of people who feel a deep sense of "solitude".
However, the recent and rapid development of social media tools around the world had seemingly filled this gap of "loneliness", resulting in the decrease in number of suicides since 2011. While communicating with each other has never been this easy and practical , it seems connecting more closely on a spiritual level with others became more difficult and challenging.
Due to the corona crisis, the tendency to protect "individuals", such as oneself and close family members, became stronger. Meanwhile, the horizontal connections originating from "trends" and "appearances" conveyed by social medias were very easily disconnected. With the vertical and horizontal connections becoming weaker, people are beginning to experience a new feeling of "loneliness" and "anxiety".
Due to the spread of the new coronavirus that has plunged the world into a global pandemic, a new feeling of loneliness caused by stress, fear, and depression is creating great anxiety, regardless of nationalities or ethnics. In Japan as well, the effects of the COVID-19 are visible, with the increase of suicides since August 2020, mainly among the younger generations and especially the women.
Recently, the concept "sustainability" is on everybody’s lips, but originally this word indicates the idea of "continuing to support beyond generations", exactly what the temple has been doing for its entire existence.
It is our strong belief there is a sustainable life balance, in which people support each other, as well as nature and all the lives in the world.
Even if the horizontal connections are thinned or even broken, thickening the vertical connections will enable one to be supported by its closest family members. The Daigoji wants to work towards the establishment and development of this "sustainable balance", transcending generations, cultures and countries. Know the past to fully live the present for a better future.
On top of its rich and long history, the special feature of the Daigoji Temple is the large spectrum of Japanese faiths displayed, carefully handed down for over a thousand years.
Centered on the importance of life, surrounded by Nature, three main faiths are taught daily: "Kannon faith", portrayed by the Bodhisattva of Mercy Kannon; "Yakushi faith", portrayed by the Medicine Buddha Yakushi; and "Godairiki Faith", represented by the Five Great Wisdom Kings.
With the primary objective of passing down to the next generations its 1,000 years old history, as well as a fundamental part of Japanese culture, the temple is providing numerous meditations, services and ceremonies to its many visitors, regardless of their origin, ethnicity or language. In order to restore its position as a cultural crossroad, it is engaged in various activities and projects in the fields of cultural properties, education, environment, crafts and many more.
（Sanboin, Reihokan, Garan）
・Day following first Sunday in December
・last day of February
・Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
Sanboin special visiting
Reihokan Museum Spring & Autumn special exhivitions
（As a donation for culturel heritage protection）
・Free-of-charge for children of 12 years old or younger.
・（）Group price applicable from 20 peoples.
・Spring season: From March 20th to the last day of the Golden Week.
・Normal season is applicable for the out-of-season period.
・During the spring season, an additional charge is required into the Reihokan area.
・The Reihōkan’s Statue Halls is free-of-charge throughout the year.
22 Daigo higashi ojicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 601-1325
use the train
use the BUS