Kyoto – Daikakuji

There are some many sights in Kyoto and I had thought that I had seen all of the best from my previous trips.

But sometimes its nice to have a little surprise.

Nestled in north west Kyoto is a temple that is often overlooked by the foreign tourists.


Daikakuji temple.


Originally a palace of the Japanese emperors it was converted in a temple in the 800s.


It has long raised platforms connecting the different parts of the palace, so the emperor would not need to step on (dirty dirt like the commoners) ground.

It also means that running around here in your socks (the floor is very smooth) provides much juvenile amusement.


And the raised walkways make for a great way to appreciate the surroundings.


Whether carefully raked pebble gardens (all that white stuff is a groomed pebble garden).


Looking out over carefully manicured gardens to other temple complexes.


Or sitting on your balcony overlooking a private lake surrounded by sakura.


Or enjoying intricate interior painted doors.


Guess the previous inhabitants were careful to keep thieves, angry warriors and fires away from the walls.


And most importantly also small children with crayons (or the historical equivalent.  Probably mud.)….


Or maybe you prefer to check out the ceilings.

Because of the beauty and  spaciousness of the grounds, the temple is often featured in Japanese movies/shows.


We also ran into one while we were there!


But beauty like this doesn’t come easy.


There are many hours of backbreaking labour to be put into it.

Imagine raking the moss gardens and cleaning them out with a toothbrush…


Unfortunately after too brief a visit we were told to leave (it wasn’t because of the sliding around on the floor).


Until next time.

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