Originally created by Emperor Saga as a villa in the ninth century, Daikaku-ji Temple is also referred to as the Saga Imperial Palace. Although the current appearance of the temple was set around a century ago, many fine examples of architecture with the Heian atmosphere remain, including Shin-den and Shoshin-den. Osawa Pond on the east side of the grounds is known as one of the three great moon-viewing locations in Japan. The front entrance to Daikaku-ji Temple has the resemblance of a samurai house, and the area is sometimes used for filming period dramas. The ume (plum) and sakura (cherry blossom) trees that line the perimeter of Osawa Pond are famed for their beautiful colors, and every November, the Saga Chrysanthemum Festival is held here.
- Open hours:
- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.
- Adults: 500 yen
Elementary, junior high and high school students: 300 yen
- 4 Sagaosawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto > Map
- • 20-minute walk from Randen Saga Station on Keifuku Electric Railroad (Arashiyama Electric Tram Railway)
- • 15-minute walk from Saga-Arashiyama Station on the JR San'in Main Line (Sagano Line)
A World Heritage Site. This temple was constructed in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji, who was victorious in battle in the Nanboku-cho period, to provide memorial services to all whose lives were sacrificed, enemy and ally alike. A Zen temple typical of the Muromachi period, Tenryu-ji Temple has suffered multiple fires in times of conflict. Most of the temple buildings were reconstructed during the Meiji period. This is the head temple of the Tenryu branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, and rigorous training continues here to this day. Sogen Pond Garden, located behind Ohojo, is built in the chisen kaiyu style, incorporating Mount Gi and Arashiyama as part of the garden aesthetics even though they are external elements. The bold formations of the garden are noteworthy features of the garden. Available for viewing only on certain specified days is a painting of a giant, lively dragon and clouds depicted on the ceiling of the lecture hall. At the living quarters at the entrance to the main hall is a painting of Bodhidharma, an impressive sight that should not be missed.
- Open hours:
- March 21 to October 20: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
October 21 to March 20: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Gardens—Sogenchi Teien (Sogen Pond Garden) and Hyakka’en (Garden of a Hundred Flowers)
Adults: 500 yen
Elementary and junior high school students: 300 yen
Additional charge of 300 yen for admission to Daihojo (Abbot’s Great Quarters), Kohojo (Abbot’s Small Quarters) and Tahoden (Hall of Many Treasures)
- 68 Saga Tenryu-ji Susuki no Baba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto > Map
- Get off the Arashiyama Electric Tram Railway (Keifuku Electric Railroad) at Arashiyama Station.