- April 29 2016
Enjoy Beautiful Nature In this Hidden Scenic Spot: Daihikaku Senkouji Temple In Kyoto
Hi guys! I’m KOKORO MOYOU. I live in Kyoto and I love sharing information about the city.
Do you remember when I introduced you to Arashiyama Park Kameyama Area?
In that article, I showed you a bit of Daihikaku Senkouji Temple. Now I will share my experience of visiting the temple with you! I visited there on 6 October 2015.
The view from Daihikaku is truly magnificent; it is Arashiyama’s last hidden gem!
What Is Daihikaku Senkouji Temple?
The address of the hidden temple is as follows: 62 Nakaoshitamachi, Arashiyama, Saikyou-ku, Kyoto City
This is a temple of the Zen sect of Buddhism in Arashiyama. Its principal object is a one thousand-armed Avalokiteshwara called Sente Kannon Bosatsu in Japanese.
From the temple, you can see Hieizan Mountain, Daimonjiyama Mountain, Higashiyama Sanjuroppo Mountain Ranges in the distance, and also Kyoto City at the foot of these mountains. You can enjoy different views from the mountain depending on the seasons.
This temple was built by Ryoui Suminokura who was one of the most successful business people at the time. He excavated the Oigawa River (also known as Hozugawa River), but people died during the project. Ryoui was terribly distressed by the event, and relocated Senkouji in Saga to Arashiyama and built Daihikaku Senkokuji Temple. Ryoui not only excavated the Oigawa River but also the Fujigawa River, Tenryugawa River, Takasegawa River, and some others in his lifetime. He was also one of the very few business people permitted to trade goods with foreign countries under the Edo Shoguns.
He lived in seclusion in Daihikaku later in life and Ryoui passed away in July 1614 at the age of 61. There is a statue of Ryoui which watches over the river, ensuring its safety. The statue wears a clerical robe and has an ax in its hand.
Souan, Ryoui’s son, supported his father and was also a notable Confucian and artist. He is an author of Japan’s most beautiful block book in its history called Sagabon. Also, Ryoui’s descendant Mitsuyoshi Yoshida wrote Japan’s first arithmetic book which was Japan’s bestselling book until the Meiji era.
Because of Ryoui and his descendants’ achievement, Daihikaku Senkouji is as known as a temple to pray for an improvement in mathematics and science.
(Reference from a brochure of Daihikaku Senkouji Temple)
Let’s Go To Daihikaku Senkouji Temple
To visit Daihikaku Senkouji Temple from Arashiyama, go to the south of Togetsukyo Bridge which is also south of Hozugawa River, and walk west along the river.
The river is called Katsuragawa or Hozugawa, both are the same river but people call it Hozugawa since it is between Hozucho (in Kameoka City) and Arashiyama (in Kyoto City).
The picture below is the river.
Ducks are swimmming in the beautiful Hozugawa River...
This is the front approach to Daihikaku Senkouji Temple.
The sign says “great view” in English as well.
The board shows the history of the temple just like what I explained above.
Ryoui Suminokura maily traded goods with Vietnam during his lifetime.
The path is called Daihikaku-do.
Arashiyama Kannon (Deity of Mercy in Japanese) sits on the way.
Daihikaku here I come! It is surrounded by beautiful green maple leaves.
The gate is on top of the stone stairway.
There is a bell tower just after the gate.
The visitors can ring the bell three times.
When I rang them, I felt the sound travel all over the mountain.. it felt so good!
Stop by reception and go inside the reception hall of Daihikaku.
You will be amazed by the breathtaking view from there!
The Wonderful View From Daihikaku
All you see from here are beautiful mountains, sky, and the Hozugawa River...and the weather was cooperating that day, so I could see Higashiyama Mountain and Kyoto City in the distance.
The balmy breeze was touching my cheeks...
Daimonjiyama Mountain and Kyoto City in far from Daihikaku.
Can you see Kiyomizudera Temple in the picture below?
Kyoto Tower and the city.
Some guidebooks say you can’t see Kyoto Tower from Daihikaku, but I can see it when I’m on the far left of Daihikaku.
Marvelously beautiful Hozugawa River! You may see the boats flowing depending on the time of year.
Again, the weather was VERY kind! How beautiful the sky was...
The view of the bell tower from Daihikaku. Well...it is all covered up by fresh green leaves!
This figure of the three storied pagoda is in Daihikaku and is made of Japanese abacus. Isn’t it unique?
I found peace in my heart while I was here...
It is a true hidden gem in Arashiyama!
If you visit Arashiyama in Kyoto, I strongly recommend that you visit the Daihikaku Senkouji Temple! It will be a heartwarming, refreshing, and unforgettable experience!!