Autumn Leaves of Daigo-ji Temple

Imperial Regent Hideyoshi's Legacy

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 2 min read

The five-storied pagoda at Daigo-ji Temple is said to be the oldest wooden building in Kyoto, and it's also designated one of the Best Three Pagodas in Japan. On the spacious temple grounds, an array of national treasure class buildings still stand.

Like other old temples, Daigo-ji rose and fell repeatedly in the past. Daigo-ji had close relationships with powerful leaders and political figures of the time, and for better or worse it had been influenced by them. Under the burning fire of the Onin/Bunmei War in the 15th century, most buildings in the lower part of the complex were burnt down (except for the fortunate five-storied pagoda). And the imperial regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the one who saved the temple from its predicament. He helped rebuild temple buildings as well as restore the landscapes. A special "Hanami at Daigo" event planned and hosted by Hideyoshi saw a turning point for Daigo-ji, and revealed to the world the temple's resurrection from ashes. Since then, "Hanami at Daigo" has become synonymous with Daigo-ji Temple. However, Hideyoshi passed away at the age of 62 in the summer right after the Hanami party ended, and he couldn't see the beautiful autumn leaves introduced in this photo story. Autumn is the most vivid and alluring season of the year with its beautiful multi-colored foliage. But it's fleeting and passes you by in a moment...like our lives. I wonder how many comings and goings of human lives the cherry blossoms and autumn leaves at Daigo-ji temple have watched over in their long history.

Getting there

By train

1. From JR Kyoto Station take the JR Kosei Line to Yamashina Station, change train to the Kyoto City Subway Tozai Line and alight at Daigoji Station.
2. From JR Kyoto Station take the Nara Line to Rokujizo Station, change train to the Kyoto City Subway Tozai Line and alight at Daigoji Station.

By bus

1. Take a bus from the H4 bus stop of the bus terminal at JR Kyoto Station Hachijo-guchi exit, alight at "Daigoji" bus stop.
2. Take the Keihan bus from the #1 bus stop (route 22/22A) of the bus terminal at JR Yamashina Station, alight at "Daigoji-mae' bus stop.
3. Take the Keihan bus from the #2 bus stop of the bus terminal at JR Rokujizo Station, alight at "Daigoji-mae' bus stop.

By car

1. Approx. a 20-minute drive from "Kyoto Higashi(east) IC" on the Meishin Expressway.
2. Approx. a 30-minute drive from "Kyoto Minami(south) IC" on the Meishin Expressway.
3. Approx. a 15-minute drive from "Yamashina IC" on the Hanshin Expressway.
4. Approx. a 25-minute drive from "Uji Higashi(east) IC" on the Keiji Bypass

More info

Find out more about Daigo-ji Temple.

Was this article helpful?

Suggest an edit

4
6
Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose