Daigo-ji Magical Bentendo Hall & Garden

Daigo-ji is one of the most peaceful places to visit on Earth.  It’s an important temple for Japanese Buddhism and runs along a mountainside of Kyoto.  

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It’s about half a mile from the train station and should not be missed during your trip to Kyoto.  Daigo-ji was my first stop on my day trip to Kyoto because I wanted to be able to walk through the temple grounds undisturbed.  The first area is the former residence of the head priest and dates back to 1115.  Once I passed the residence, there was a massive gate waiting for me and the garden’s emptiness awaited my footsteps.

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
The residence

Daigo-ji garden is simply amazing.  I felt the refreshingly clean smell of the trees run through my nostrils, the comfort of shade, and the cool breeze that softly bounced off my face. It was incredibly peaceful and it gave me a surreal feeling with each step.  I could still feel the gravel beneath my feet and hear the sound of my footsteps as I journeyed on the 1,090 year old path.

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
The path after the gates

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
The Pagoda

I reached the Daigo-ji main hall on the left and the five storied Pagoda on the right as I continued.  The main hall was built in 926.  The Pagoda dates back to 951 and it has been verified to be the oldest building in Kyoto.  As I walked further along the path, I passed another set of gates and there she was peacefully waiting for me like the sand waiting for the tide — the Bentendo Hall.

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
The Main Hall

The Bentendo Hall was the main reason I visited Daigo-ji.  She sits on the opposite side of the pond covered in trees with only a small bridge to reach her. She’s not a massive structure but more of an enchanting fairy tale home.  The colors of the leaves, the number of trees and the pond really made it magical for its stature.  As remarkable as the other locations, I would have to say Bentendo Hall was my favorite location due to the feeling of peace I got when I glazed upon her.

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
Bentendo Hall

Daigo-ji is a must visit for anyone going to Kyoto, Japan.  Everyone heads to Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu Temple, and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest but the real magic is at Daigo-ji.  The whispers of the wind brought the comfort of solitude; my dreams of peace was realized and surreal.  I wish there was something that brought me that much peace  in life like Daigo-ji.

Check out our other Kyoto articles here.

Daigo-ji Bentendo Hall & Garden Kyoto
Bentendo Hall