Daigoji, Kyoto

Founded in 874, Daigoji is a World Heritage temple in Kyoto feautring a five-story pagoda dating from 951 and a beautiful garden.


History of Daigoji

Daigo-ji was founded by Shobo in 874 and gained imperial support in 907. Its famous pagoda, which still stands today, was built in 951.

The temple was in decline by the 16th century, when Hideyoshi Toyotomi - a great feudal lord known for unifying Japan - visited during cherry blossom season. Enchanted, he ordered the complex be restored and used the gardens as his private retreat. Most of the present buildings date from this period.

What to See at Daigoji

The temple complex of Daigoji covers a large area, with the main temples and pagoda at the base of Mt. Daigo and many more buildings continuing up the slope. It is about an hour's hike to the top of the mountain, where there are views as far as Osaka on a clear day.

The five-story pagoda of Diagoji, dating from 951, is said to be the oldest building in Kyoto. The Sanboin (main hall) has a Momoyama-period thatched roof and an interior richly painted with scenes of nature and Chinese village life by the Kano school. The bold, colorful paintings incorporate gold leaf.

A pair of guardian statues (Agyo and Ungyo) created in 1134 by Seizo and Ninzo can be seen in the Nio-mon (Saidai-mon).

The Sanboin Garden, which contains both wet and dry gardens, has been designated a special historic site and place of scenic beauty in Japan. Probably the most lovely scene is a small red bridge arching over a pond to a little red temple called the Benten-do, dedicated to the goddess of eloquence.

Quick Facts on Daigoji

Site Information
Categories:World Heritage Sites
Dates:874; pagoda 951
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:34.951369° N, 135.822494° E
Address:22 Higashi Oji-cho, Daigo
Kyoto, Japan
Hours:Mar-Oct daily 9-5
Nov-Feb daily 9-4
Lodging:View hotels near Daigoji
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Daigo-ji Temple - Kyoto Tourism Office
  2. Daigo-ji - Fodor's Japan

More Information

© Aurelio Asiain
© Chris Gladis
© Chris Gladis
© jpellgen
© jpellgen
© Kimon Berlin

Map of Daigoji, Kyoto

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