Daigoji Temple – the forgotten World Heritage site of Kyoto

Daigoji Temple (醍醐寺) is a picturesque Buddhist temple in south Kyoto. While a bit run down in places, the main pagoda and red bridge are iconic sites that set Daigoji Temple apart from all the other countless temples in Kyoto. It is also quieter than the other ones, due to being about 30 minutes from the centre. There are lots of areas to explore in the temple complex, such as a Japanese garden and a treasure museum.

Kami-Daigo

The start of the hike up Kami-Daigo

Connected to Daigoji Temple is Kami-Daigo (上醍醐), a secluded walk up the forested Kyoto mountains to a Buddhist temple outpost. Once you get to the top, you are welcomed by a large array of temples and gardens, so this hike is worth it if you want to do an ‘off the beaten track’ hike.

Time required: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Medium

Budget travel tips

  • There are a few cheap places for food at Daigo train station, including a supermarket and cheap drug store (very cheap drinks here!).
  • The shrine is outside the area of the Kyoto bus pass, so consider going here on a day then you are going to other places not using the pass.

Information

Open: 9am – 5pm (until 4pm in winter)

Combined Ticket price (all main complex areas): Adults 800 yen, kids 600 yen, primary school and under free

Kami-Daigo (mountain area): Adults 500 yen, kids 300 yen (with Combined Ticket). 600 and 400 yen without Combined Ticket (primary school and under free).

How to get there

If you are in the city, you can take the Tozai Line Subway Line from Karasumaoike to Daigo station (22 mins, 320 yen) and follow the walking route (10 minutes).

Alternatively, get a Yamashina Express bus from the Keihan Bus Information opposite Kyoto station Hachijo East Gate (30 mins, adults 300 yen, kids 150 yen).

Recommended hostels and cheap hotels

It’s best to stay nearer the centre of Kyoto, so try our Kyoto accommodation guide.

Check prices at HostelWorldBooking.com and Agoda.

Map

Links

Official website

Got a comment, a tip or some advice?