Daitoku-ji Temple (Kinmokaku,location,history)

Daitoku-ji Temple, Kinmokaku

The information about Daitoku-ji Temple is presented here. At Daitoku-ji Temple, in 1474, by the imperial decree of the 103rd Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, Ikkyu Sojun became the 48th chief priest at the age of 81, and tea master such as Murata Juko, who founded Wabicha, began to visit Daitoku-ji Temple, and tea masters such as Takeno Juou, Sen no Rikyu, and Kobori Enshu came to have a relationship with Daitoku-ji Temple.

【Daitoku-ji Temple Location Map & Directions】

Address: 53 Murasakino Daitokuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Access (How to get there): Daitokuji mae bus stop (about 3 minutes on foot)

【Opening Hours & Closed (confirmation required)】

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00 (vary by sub-temple)
Closed: open year round

【Entrance Fees & Tickets (confirmation required)】

Individual: free (vary by sub-temple)

【Daitoku-ji Temple History】

The site of Daitoku-ji Temple is built is said to be the site of Shino-in, the villa of the 53rd Emperor Junna during the Heian period (794-1185). Later, Shino-dera Temple and Urin-in Temple were also built here. Daitoku-ji Temple is said to have been founded in 1315 or 1319, when Daito-kokushi Soho Myocho, with the help of his nephew Akamatsu Enshin, built a small hall, Daitoku-an, or was given a small hall, Daitoku-an. It is said that Daito-kokushi Soho Myocho moved from Unyo-an in Higashiyama to Daitoku-an with the help of Akamatsu Enshin. Around 1323, Daito-kokushi Soho Myocho lectured on Zen to the 95th Emperor Hanazono, and in 1325, Emperor Hanazono supported Daito-kokushi Soho Myocho and made Daitoku-ji Temple the kigansho (prayer temple) for the Jimyointo (Northern Court). In 1324, the 96th Emperor Go-Daigo donated the land around Unrin-in Temple, a sub-temple outside the precincts of Daitoku-ji Temple. It is said that Daitoku-ji Temple became the kigansho (prayer temple) for the Kamakura Shogunate in 1329. In 1333, Emperor Go-Daigo gave Daitoku-ji Temple the Shinkan of the Gozan Bekaku (rank), and in 1334, Emperor Go-Daigo placed Daitoku-ji Temple on the same rank as Nanzen-ji Temple, which is No.1 of the Kyoto Gozan (Five Sacred Temples). In 1335, Emperor Go-Daigo visited Daitoku-ji Temple, and in 1341, Ashikaga Tadayoshi, the younger brother of Ashikaga Takauji, the first shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, removed Daitoku-ji Temple from the Kyoto Gozan (Five Sacred Temples). Daitoku-ji was removed from the list of official temples. In 1358, the 4th Northern Court Emperor Go-Kogon rebuilt Daitoku-ji Temple, which had fallen into disrepair. In 1386, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, revised the Gozan and ranked Daitoku-ji Temple No.9 among the Jisatsu (ten temples). Daitoku-ji Temple was closely associated with Emperor Go-Daigo of the Southern Court and was neglected by the Ashikaga shogunate. In 1431, Daitoku-ji Temple was again removed from the list of official temples after a request to the Muromachi shogunate. 1453, Daitoku-ji Temple was destroyed by fire. In the middle of the Muromachi period (1336-1573), many of the temple buildings were destroyed by fire during the Onin War (1467-1477). In 1474, Ikkyu Sojun became the 48th chief priest of Daitoku-ji Temple by the imperial decree of the 103rd Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, and the temple was rebuilt with the help of Owa Sorin, a wealthy merchant from Sakai, and others. In 1565, missionary Luis Frois visited Daitoku-ji Temple. In 1582, Toyotomi Hideyoshi held the funeral of Oda Nobunaga over a period of seven days, and was built Souken-in Temple, which is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji Temple, to mourn Oda Nobunaga. In 1589, Sen no Rikyu added a second floor to San-mon Gate (Kinmokaku) and housed the statue of Rikyu wearing the geta, which is said to have angered Toyotomi Hideyoshi and caused him to commit self-determination. It is said that Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a tea ceremony at Daitoku-ji Temple in 1585. During the Keicho period (1596-1615), a warlord associated with the Toyotomi family built a sub-temple in the Daitoku-ji Temple, and it was said, “If it is not in Shino, it is not in Buddhism. Incidentally, Hoshun-in Temple was built in 1608 by Matsuko, the wife of Maeda Toshiie, and her children Maeda Toshinaga and Maeda Toshitsune. In 1608, Takuan Soho, the 154th chief priest of Daitoku-ji Temple, who is said to have invented takuan-zuke (pickled radish), lived at Daitoku-ji Temple, but it is said that Takuan Soho resigned as the 154th chief priest after three days. In 1615, the Edo Shogunate established the Shoshu Shohonzan Shohato (Laws) such as the Daitoku-ji Temple Laws. In 1629, the Shie (rank) incident took place, and Takuan Soho was exiled to Yamagata. Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Edo Shogunate, forgave in Takuan Soho, and in 1641 the Edo Shogunate restored the Shie (rank) of Daitoku-ji Temple. During the Kanbun period (1661-1673), the temple complex (seven halls) was completed, and Daitoku-ji Temple took on its present appearance. Butsuden was built in 1665. In the Edo period (1603-1868), Daitoku-ji Temple was said to have “24 sub-temples, 60 ryosha (dormitories) and shian”, and “24 sub-temples, 59 associated sub-temples”. Daitoku-ji Temple had 280 branch temples in 25 countries, more than 130 sub-temples of branch temples, and more than 2,011 koku of temple territory. After the Meiji Restoration, sub-temples of Daitoku-ji Temple were destroyed or consolidated and abolished by the Shinto-Buddhist Separation Decree, Haibutsukishaku (Abolition of Buddha), and Agechirei Decree.
*reference・・・Daitoku-ji Temple website

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

★Hojo (Hojo Hall, 方丈, National Treasure) was built in 1635, and Genkan (Entrance, 玄関, National Treasure) in 1636. Hojo was used for receiving of imperial envoys and shogunate officials as well as for religious ceremonies. Hojo has a total of eight rooms with sliding door paintings by the painter Kano Tanyu.
★In Hojo Garden (方丈庭園, Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site), the East Garden was created by Kobori Enshu in the early Edo period (1603-1868), and the South Garden was created by Tenyu Joko in 1636. The East Garden borrows the scenery of Mt. Hiei and Higashiyama, and is also called “Shichigosan-no-Niwa” and “Jurokurakan-no-Niwa”. In the south garden, there are 16 stones such as Kannon-ishi (stone), Fudo-ishi (stone), and Mikumari-ishi (stone).
★Kara-mon (Kara-mon Gate, 唐門, National Treasure) is said to be the remains of Juraku-dai, which was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tadakatsu Murakami acquired it and moved it to Daitoku-ji Temple. Kara-mon is decorated with carvings of dragons, carp, etc, and is called Higurashi-mon because visitors can continue to view it until the sunset. Kara-mon is said to be one of the three Karamon gates of Momoyama period (1573-1603), along with Kara-mon of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple and Kara-mon of Toyokuni Shrine.
大徳寺見どころ(Daitoku-ji Temple Highlights)

【Events (confirmation required)】

★Bakuryoten (Exhibition) is held every year on the second Sunday of October. Bakuryoten is an exhibition of temple treasures held in the Honbo, which is normally closed to the public. At Bakuryoten, about 100 works such as paintings and calligraphy are dried, and fusuma paintings of Hojo painted by Kano school painter Kano Tanyu in the early Edo period (1603-1868), are open to the public.

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

Tel: +81-75-491-0019

【Recommended Walking Route】

The recommended walking route from Daitoku-ji Temple is to Kinkaku-ji Temple (Rokuon-ji Temple) located on the west side. Kinkaku-ji has been registered as a World Heritage Site, and its glittering Golden Pavilion has become very popular. To the north is Imamiya Shrine, known for its aburi-mochi (rice cakes), and to the south is Kenkun Shrine, dedicated to Oda Nobunaga, which is also a good place to take a walk.

【Remarks(access, parking, disclaimer, etc)】
If you plan to visit Daitoku-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