Daitokuji Temple

Temple of Daitokuji

Taitoku-ji is a walled temple complex in the north of Kyoto, known both for its historical associations and for its many beautiful Zen gardens. I' m a man in a hurry, but I stayed at Daitokuji Temple for over two hours. Temple of Daitokuji: Read a guide to the temple of Daitokuji, famous for its connection with the tea ceremony and its many sub temples.

Travelling to Kyoto: Temple of Daitokuji

The Daitokuji (???) is a large temple building in the north of Kyoto and the main temple of the Daitokuji of the Japanese Zen Buddhism of the Rinzai Cult. Comprising almost two tens of under temples, the building is one of the best places in Japan to see a multitude of Zen parks and enjoy Zen civilization and architectural experiences.

The Daitokuji was established in 1319 and, like most of Kyoto, was severely damaged during the Onin War (1467-1477). The temple developed into a centre of teaceremony after the rebuilding and was connected with the teemaster Sen no Rikyu as well as the warriors Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who both liked to practice them.

The tomb of Oda Nobunaga is in Sokenin, one of the sub temples of Daitokuji, which is not open to the general population. Daitokuji's central building (Sanmon Gate, Butsuden Hall, Hatto Hall and Hojo Residence) are arranged on the eastern side of the temple site according to the classic ground plan of a Zen cloister.

Nearly two dozens of sub temples surround the major building, many of which have been added to the building by vassals from all over Japan. Of the temples, four are open to the general population on a regular basis, while some of the others have temporarily opened to the general public. 4 of the temples are open to the general population. Daisenin, the director of the North School of Daitokuji, is the most acclaimed of the sub temples and is open to the general public year-round.

There are also wonderful stone terraces that wind around the temple and are among the best of their kind. The one of the garden resembles a traditional Mandarin fresco with vertically carved rocks that represent lofty hills and islets separated by sandy falls and brooks that seem to run into the other temple garden before flowing into a vast sea of pebbles.

A further important sub-temple open to the general population is ryogenine, the seat of the Southern School of Daitokuji. Daitokuji's oldest temple is the former home of Ryogenin's high priests, built in the Zen tradition. On each side of its central structure, there are up to five different arid landscaped garden areas.

Most of them consist of a square of pebbles that represent the cosmos and islets of rock and moss that represent a common symbol of durability and good living in Japan's garden, a symbol of a long life. There are also dragon - and hermit-painted hinged door (Fusuma) and Japan's oldest weapon, a Tanegashima shell from 1583.

The Kotoin is known for its mapsle tree, which forms a arched baldachin above the temple. Maps are also widely used in Kotoin's teagarden and are used with scant ease in the temple's quiet mossy area. Although Zuihoin is the smallest of the open temples, it has as much story as the other Daitokuji temples.

This temple was erected in 1535 by a Kyushu War Lord who later became Christian and known as the Christian Daimyo (Warlord). Situated in the temple's central gardens are pebbles in pronounced, towering designs reminiscent of the rugged sea, surrounded by distant islets of pebbles and mosses.

On the back of the house, the back yard is planted with stone in the style of a cross. The Daitokuji is next to the Daitokuji-mae stop (45 min, 230ya from Kyoto station by 101, 205 or 206 bus) or 5 min on foot from Kitaoji-Horikawa stop (30 min, 230ya from Kyoto station by 9 bus).

You can also take the Karasuma subway line to Kitaoji Station (13 min, 260 yen), from where you can get to the temple in a quick coach trip (230 yen) or on foot in 15 mins. Ten walking mins from Kyoto station. Situated within Kyoto Station, the most comfortable 4-star Kyoto resort.

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