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Situated in the south-eastern hills of the Yamashina plain, Daigo-ji is an important Shingon branch temple with a history dating back over 1,200 years. Home to hundreds of important treasures, the grounds of Daigo-ji are closer to the orthodox layout of Buddhist temples compared to more modern Zen and Pure Land temples. Today divided into four areas, “lower Daigo” refers to the grounds (伽藍) of the temples, on which the main hall (constructed in 926) and the five-storied pagoda (constructed in 951) are located. Unlike most of Kyōto’s buildings, which were damaged during the Onin War (14xx–xx), these Heian period buildings itself are worth a visit.
At the end of the grounds, however, are the Kannon Hall and the small Benten Hall. The latter is surrounded by a pond and an iconic of Kyōto landscape design, being beautiful throughout the seasons.
Admission to Daigo-ji has changed over the years, but today (2022) a set-ticket with a visit to the temple grounds and the Sanpō-in garden is sold, with prices significantly higher during the spring/autumn seasons.

Admission: open year-round
Nearby places of interest: Daigo-ji Sanpō-in, Upper Daigo.

The Benten Hall pond in Daigo-ji in late autumn.

The Benten Hall pond in Daigo-ji in late autumn.

Early Summer 初夏
Summer 夏
Autumn 秋
Winter 冬