Spring

Cherry blossom viewing in the Daigoji Temple: Hanami spots in Kyoto

Miwa

Writer

The Daigoji temple (醍醐寺) is designated as a world cultural heritage site in Kyoto.
It boasts the beautiful scenery with cherry blossom, and the five-story pagoda which is the oldest existing wooden building in Kyoto. It was originally built in the 7th century.

A Buddhist monk Shobo(聖宝) found the spiritual well in the Daigo Mountain and enshrined the two statues of Kannon Bodhisattva (Juntei Kannon Bodhisattva and Norai Kannon Bodhisattva) to worship.

 

Later some temple buildings such as the Yakushi hall, the Godai hall and the Sakyamuni hall were constructed in the vast Daigo Mountain.
It was gradually developed as one of the main temples of Shingon School(真言宗). However, all buildings except the five-story pagoda were burned down in fires or civil war. The five-story pagoda which was built in 951 miraculously survived from those misfortunes.

 

The Ho Taiko cherry blossom viewing parade(豊太閤花見行列) in April and the Godai-Rikison Ninno-e festivalsan(五大力) in February are two main events of this temple.

History about cherry blossom event in the Daigoji Temple:

The Daigoji temple is famous for the largest cherry blossom viewing held by Toyotomi Hideyoshi(豊臣秀吉) in the late 16th century.
After the warring states period, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the great samurai, succeeded in unification of Japan and he was in his glory.

 

He commanded to plant 700 cherry blossom trees and renovate temple for having a cherry blossom events. And he invited about 1300 women such as his wife, concubines and their maids. He ordered them to change their Kimono twice at the event and paid for three new Kimono. It is said that it costed about 3 million dollars only for their Kimono.

 

He held this the great event to show his power and died about 5 months later.
Modeled after this great event, the Ho Taiko cherry blossom viewing parade is now held on the second Sunday of every April.

 

The Ho Taiko cherry blossom viewing parade(豊太閤花見行列)

To enjoy the parade, they have the pay-free area (the Sanboin(三宝院) – the Niomon(仁王門)) and the pay area (the Niomon(仁王門) – the Kondo(金堂)). The Parade starts and ends at Sanboin. You can see the people who disguise themselves as samurai warriors, yamabushi (Japanese ascetic Buddhist monks especially in mountains), Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his women.

About the Kamidaigo(上醍醐) and the Shimodaigo(下醍醐):

The Daigoji temple has 6 buildings of National treasure and 10 buildings of important cultural assets at the Kamigdaigo and Shimodaigo.
You can see the five-story pagoda at the Shimodaigo, the foot of the Daigo Mt.
It takes about 1 hour from the Shimodaigo to go up to the Kamidaigo, the top of the mountain. I think it will be a wonderful hiking in the sacred mountain. You will find spiritual water, origin of the temple at the Kamidaigo.

The Godai-Rikison Ninno-e festival (五大力):

The Godai-Rikison Ninno-e festival is widely known as “Godairiki-san” which is held on the 23rd of February. Monks gain great power from Godai Myo’o (五大明王, 5 great powers) and pray for peace, health and happiness of the country and people.
More than 100 thousand people visit and get a special talisman called “Mie(御影)”. They usually put the talisman at the entrance of houses to drive evils away.
The Mochi age riki hono(餅上げ力奉納) is a unique event. People try to lift up the huge rice cake (150 kg for men and 90kg for women), wishing for their health and happiness for a year.

 

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Kyoto Stay!

Kyoto is an old capital of Japan and a cultural and historical mecca for everyone who visits this country. It is the most popular city among tourists and a must-see destination indeed. Kyoto boasts over 4000 historical places including shrines, temples, and attracts visitors with its charming atmosphere of an ancient city. This city is great for shopping, bicycling, hiking, museums, galleries, green spaces, and features many famous festivals. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Kyoto! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/100-things-kyoto-sightseeing-spots-traditional-japanese-events

See More Kyoto Spring Events and Festivals This Year!

Kyoto features different beauty in each season. A lot of people visit Kyoto to enjoy the elegance from canopies of beautiful cherry blossoms that cover the whole city of Kyoto in spring. On the other hand, there are many other spring events to boast and worthy of note. The following article picked up the must-see events in the ancient capital of Japan this spring. Please take a look!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/popular-kyoto-spring-events-festivals

Enjoy Sakura in Japan!

Cherry blossoms are an essential part of Japanese culture. And, viewing cherry blossoms (Hanami) is very popular in Japan during the spring. This is because cherry blossoms, which the Japanese call “Sakura” are stunning at this season.

If you are planning to visit Japan this spring and want to discover more cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto area, please check the following article. It’s covering the best Hanami spots in the old capital and provides you with the essential information, so you can get the most from your Sakura trip!

Here’s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/ 

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. It will be a miss if you don’t visit Osaka to see cherry blossoms when you are in the Kansai area in spring. Please check the following article to find out the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Osaka and Kansai!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/osaka-kansai-cherry-blossoms-spots-sakura-festivals-feel-spring 

Kyoto and Osaka have many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have excellent places for hanami. Tokyo features many of those spots as well! If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossoms, Why don’t you check the following article?

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1805/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6572/

Miwa

I'm an English speaking tour guide in Kyoto. You can enjoy a variety of events in each region throughout a year. I hope to see you soon.

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