Daigo-ji Temple (Gojyu-no-to,location,history)

Daigo-ji Temple, Gojyu-no-to

The information about Daigo-ji Temple is presented here. Daigo-ji Temple was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1994 as a “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)”. Daigo-ji Temple is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto, and has been selected as one of the top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan. In 1598, Toyotomi Hideyoshi enjoyed the cherry blossom viewing at Daigo-ji Temple, and the cherry blossom viewing is called “Daigo no Hanami”. In honor of “Daigo no Hanami,” Daigo-ji Temple holds Hotaiko-Hanamigyoretsu (parade) every year on the second Sunday of April.

【Daigo-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 22 Daigo-Higashoji-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Daigoji bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot), Daigoji mae bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot), Subway Daigo Station (about 12 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (March-December 1st Sunday), 9:00-16:30 (December 1st Monday-February), (Last entrance 30 minutes before closing time.)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual (Combined Ticket for Sanboin, Reihokan and Garan) : Adults 800 yen, High School and Junior High School Students 600 yen, Elementary school students free

【Daigo-ji Temple History】

Daigo-ji Temple (醍醐寺) was founded in 874 by Rigen Daishi Shobo, who, through the revelation of Yokoo Myojin, obtained the sacred spring of Daigo water, built a small temple on Mt. Kasatori, and enshrined Juryo Kannon and Nyoirin Kannon, which he carved himself. When Rigen Daishi Shobo was looking east from Jogan-ji Temple in Fukakusa, a five-colored cloud was trailing, and when he was invited to climb Mt. Kasatori-yama, he saw an old man drinking spring water. When Rigen Daishi Shobo asked the old man to build a temple, the old man said that this land was a place where Buddhas and Bodhisattvas gathered and that he was the landlord of the land, Yokoo Myojin, and that he would give him this land and protect it for a long time, and then he disappeared. It is said that Rigen Daishi Shobo founded Daigo-ji Temple and named the area near the summit of Mt. Kasatori-yama Mt. Daigo-san. It is said that Rigen Daishi Shobo built Junteido and Nyoirindo in 876. Daigo-ji Temple was originally a private temple. In 907, Daigo-ji Temple became the Chokuganji Temple (Imperial Temple) of the 60th Emperor Daigo. Emperor Daigo and Empress Onshi built Yakushido in Kami-Daigo to house Yakushi Sanson, and Godaido to house Godaimyoo for the protection of the nation. Later, in 926, Shakado (Kondo) was built in Shimo-Daigo at the request of the Emperor Daigo. It is said that Kangen, a disciple of Rigen Daishi Shobo and the 1st head priest of Daigo-ji Temple, built Mieido in 911. In 913, Daigo-ji Temple became the Jogakuji Temple. In 930, Emperor Daigo died, a mausoleum was built on Mt. Kasatori-yama, and a memorial service was held at Daigo-ji Temple. It is said that after the death of Emperor Daigo, the 61st Emperor Suzaku and the 62nd Emperor Murakami took over the maintenance of the temple, and Hokke-Zanmaido and Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda) were built. It is said that the construction of Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda) began in 936 and was completed in 951. In 949, Hokke-Zanmaido was built in Shimo-Daigo by the imperial request of Emperor Suzaku. In 1088, Seiryugu was enshrined in Kami-Daigo as the guardian shrine of Daigo-ji Temple. In 1097, Seiryugu was enshrined in Shimo-Daigo. In 1115, the 14th head priest of Daigo-ji Temple, Shokaku founded the sub-temple, Sanbo-in Temple. It is said that the 72nd Emperor Shirakawa and the Minamoto clan built many halls in the late Heian period. (794-1185). During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), Daigo-ji Temple grew in authority as the fundamental dojo of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. During the Einin period (1293-1299), Shakado was destroyed by fire. Ashikaga Takauji, the first shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, trusted Kenshun, the 65th head priest of Daigo-ji Temple, during the Nanbokucho period (1337-1392). Mansai, the 74th head priest of Daigo-ji Temple, was called “Kokui no Saisho (chief minister)” in the Muromachi Shogunate. It is said that the Kondo and other buildings were destroyed by fire during the Onin War (1467-1477) in the middle of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), and Shimo-Daigo was devastated, leaving only Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda). During the Aduchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603), Gien, the 80th head priest of Daigoji Temple, was trusted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Daigo-ji Temple was rebuilt in 1598 with Daigo no Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). By order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Hondo was moved from Mangan-ji Temple in Kishu (Wakayama Prefecture) to Daigo-ji Temple, and the present Hondo was rebuilt and Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda) was repaired. After the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, his wife Kita-no-Mandokoro and his son Toyotomi Hideyori took over, and Toyotomi Hideyori rebuilt Kaizando, Nyoirindo, Sei-mon, etc. In 1613, Shugendo, which belongs to the sub-temple of Daigo-ji Temple, Sanbo-in Temple, was recognized by the Edo Shogunate as a Tozan sect. After the Meiji Restoration, Daigo-ji Temple lost its land due to the separation of Shintoism and Buddhism and Haibutsu-kishaku.
*reference・・・Daigo-ji Temple website

【Daigo-ji Temple Highlights (May be undisclosed)】

★Kondo (Main Hall, 金堂, National Treasure) was built in the late Heian period (794-1185) as Hondo of Mangan-ji Temple in Kishu (Wakayama Prefecture), which was the Goganji Temple of Emperor Go-Shirakawa, but it was moved to Daigo-ji Temple by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the the Aduchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600). Kondo houses Yakushi Nyorai, Nikko Bosatsu, Gakko Bosatsu, and Shitenno.
★Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda, 五重塔, National Treasure) was built in 936 by the 61st Emperor Suzaku to pray for the repose of the 60th Emperor Daigo, and was completed in 951 during the reign of the 62nd Emperor Murakami. It was later damaged in the Keicho Fushimi earthquake of 1585 and repaired in 1598 with the help of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Gojyu-no-to is about 38 meters high, and the first layer depicts the mandala, the eight patriarchs of the Shingon sect, and other paintings.
★Yakushido (Yakushi Hall, 薬師堂, National Treasure) was rebuilt in 1121. Yakushido houses the main statue of Yakushi Sanzon, which was rebuilt in April 2012. Yakushi Sanzon is about the same size as Yakushi Sanzon (National Treasure), which was once housed here.
醍醐寺見どころ(Daigo-ji Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Godairikison-Nio-e (五大力尊仁王会) is held every year on February 23rd. At Godairikison-Nio-e, pray for the peace of the country and the happiness of the people. At Mochiage-chikarahono (餅上げ力奉納), men hold 150 kg of kagami-mochi (rice cake) and women hold 90 kg of kagami-mochi to offer strength and pray for good health and physical strength.
★Hotaiko-Hanamigyoretsu (豊太閤花見行列) is held every year on the second Sunday of April. In Hotaiko-Hanamigyoretsu, about 200 people dressed in Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603) costumes and dressed as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kita-no-Mandokoro, Yodo-dono, etc. parade through the temple grounds.
★Manto-e (万灯会) is held every year on August 5th. At Manto-e, more than 1,000 stone lanterns and paper lanterns are lit to illuminate the approach to the temple, and Shoro-kuyouhouyo and Osegaki-kuyou are held. Kondo and Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda) are also lit.

【Flower Calendar (cherry blossoms, etc )】

★The best time to see cherry blossoms (桜) is around early April. About 1,000 cherry trees, including Somei-Yoshino, weeping Cherry, Yama Cherry, Kawadu Cherry and Oyama Cherry, are planted, and it is said that the scenery such as cherry blossoms and Gojyu-no-to (Five-story Pagoda) is beautiful. Daigo-ji Temple has been selected as one of the top 100 cherry blossom spots in Japan. Daigo-ji Temple is illuminated every year around the time of the cherry blossoms, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 桜ライトアップ)
醍醐寺桜ライトアップ (Daigo-ji Temple night illumination)
★The best time to see autumn leaves (紅葉) is from mid-November to late November. Maple trees, cherry trees, and other plants are distributed, and it is said that the scenery such as the autumn leaves, Rinsen and Muryojuen are said to be beautiful. Daigo-ji Temple is illuminated every year around the time of autumn leaves, and a special night viewing is held. (night illumination, 紅葉ライトアップ)
醍醐寺紅葉ライトアップ (Daigo-ji Temple night illumination)
(The best time to see the plants depends on the climate of the year.)

【Telephone (Please refrain from making phone calls.)】

Tel: +81-75-571-0002

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Daigo-ji Temple is from Shimo-Daigo to Kami-Daigo. Daigo-ji Temple covers an area of more than 2 million tsubo, and although it takes about an hour to walk from Shimo-Daigo to Kami-Daigo, you can feel the temple complex and nature of Daigo-ji Temple. The mountain trail from Shimo-Daigo to Kami-Daigo is quite steep, so it may be a good idea to prepare shoes etc. in advance.

【Remarks (access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Ninna-ji Temple, be sure to check the latest information.


  1. 錦市場(Nishiki Market)
  2. 竹林の道(Bamboo Forest Path)
  3. 嵐山