Daitokuji Temple is said to be the head temple of Japanese Zen Buddhism and it is located in the temple city of Kita-ku, Kyoto. The Daitokuji Temple is also called “Ryuho-zan” which actually means “Dragon Treasure Mountain”. Daitoku-ji Temple is not just a popular tourist spot but also one of the best places to experience Zen in Japan.
Daitoku-ji Temple was established in the year 1319 by Shoho Myocho. During Onin war, many temples were burned down which were rebuilt in the 15th century. Afterward, Daitoku-ji became the center of cultural activities in the form of landscape gardens, tea houses, sliding screen paintings, hanging scrolls, calligraphy and many more by the tea association. Daitoku-ji has several buildings in the complex namely Sanmon, Butsuden, Hatto, Hojo, Yokushitsu, Kyozo. Daitoku-ji operates about 22 sub- temples in which the most significant are Daisen-ji, Shinju-an and juko-in.
Apart from amazing sub- temples, there are superb dry landscapes, rock gardens like the Koto-in and the Ryogen gardens. Some sub temples even offer meditation classes. There are also two high class Buddhist vegetarian restaurants on the compound which is true in its quality.
Traveling to Daitokuji Temple
The easiest way to reach Daitoku-ji Temple is traveling through Karasuma line from Kitaoji Subway station. The alternate way to reach Daitoku-ji Temple is to take a bus from Kyoto station to drop at Daitokuji-mae. The admission fee for entering into the main buildings is absolutely free but the admission fee to visit the gardens and the sub temples varies. The sub-temples and gardens are open from morning 9:00 am to evening 4:30 pm.