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Daitokuji Temple

What is Daitokuji Temple

Daitokuji temple is the head quarter of Rinzai of Bhddism Daitokuji denomination and the place is one of the Gozan event Mountain during in the August (Gozan no Okuribi).

Daitoku temple in kyoto sightseeing

In the huge land of the temple, there are several gates and buildings. A part of the one of the buildings was donation by the Master Tea ceremony Rikyu who worked for Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi. But Rikyu was suicide by the order of Hideyoshi as the guilt of setting Rikyu’s statue in the temple by himself. In the Daitokuji temple, there are more than twenty small towers but only few are available to see. Some of the towers are permit temporally by the event additionally.


The temple is established in 1315 A.D. During the Muromachi period was ruined as the war. The priest “Ikkyu” was restored the temple. (priest Ikkyu is still famous of his wisdom and quickwitness).
During the Azuchi-momoyama period Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi was hold the funeral of “Nobunaga Oda” (who was the head of Samurai who was almost unified Japan during the battle age and Hideyoshi’s ex-boss) and made a tower.
After this many of the generals made a tower just following the Hideyoshi’s act with lot of donation to the temple. The Zen garden of the temple is one of the representative gardens of Zen in the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868).
There are many historical valued things in this temple for example, a gate which was dismantled from the castle of Shogun Hideyoshi (the castle itself was destroyed after eight years so does not exist any more), more than eighty drawings to the more than eighty slide doors by famous painter “Kano Tan-yu”.


In the Daitokuji temple there is chance to ascetic practices of Buhddism even you don’t know. The practice what people are able to try is “Zazen”. Zazen is sit up on the floor with concentration of the mind. For the beginners there is a lecture 20 minutes before to start. It starts in the early morning, but it will be a very nice experience to calm the mind.

Daitoku temple history in kyoto japan

Bamboo grove

In the Daitokuji temple there is Bamboo grove. If you enter from the Southern gate, it locates to the other side of the land.
The path through the bamboo grove has weaker sun rays even it’s during the daytime, and helps to forget the usual tumult.

kyoto Daitoku temple Ryosen-an

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