After a 25-minute walk northeast of Nison-in you will find Daikaku-ji, one of Kyoto’s less-commonly visited temples. It was built in the 9th century as a palace for Emperor Saga, who then converted it into a temple. The present buildings date from the 16th century and are palatial in style; they also contain some impressive paintings. The large Osawa-no-ike pond was once used by the emperor for boating and is a popular spot for viewing the harvest moon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Seiryō-ji

0.42 MILES

This local temple and its peaceful gardens makes for a quiet change from the touristy temples along the main drag. It has an important standing wooden…

2. Rakushisha

0.69 MILES

Formerly the building here was the hut of Mukai Kyorai, the best-known disciple of the illustrious haiku poet Bashō. You can wander the small garden where…

3. Nonomiya-jinja

0.75 MILES

This small shrine is where imperial princesses were sent for purification before serving at the Ise shrine. It features in the famous Japanese novel The…

4. Giō-ji

0.77 MILES

This tiny temple near the north end of the main Arashiyama sightseeing route is one of Kyoto's hidden gems. Its main attraction is the lush moss garden…

5. Nison-in

0.79 MILES

This is a popular spot with maple-leaf watchers. Originally built in the 9th century by Emperor Saga, the temple houses two important Kamakura-era Buddha…

6. Takiguchi-dera

0.79 MILES

Takiguchi-dera was founded by Heian-era nobleman Takiguchi Nyūdō, who entered the priesthood after being forbidden by his father to marry his peasant…

7. Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

0.81 MILES

This rather unusual temple is where the abandoned bones of paupers without kin were gathered. More than 8000 stone images are crammed into the temple…

8. Tenryū-ji North Gate

0.81 MILES

By exiting Tenryū-ji via this gate and taking a quick left, you'll find yourself almost immediately in the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.