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“Felt like a rip off”
Review of Daitoku-ji Temple

Daitoku-ji Temple
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$95.34*
and up
Hidden Kyoto Bike Tour
Ranked #66 of 1,355 things to do in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Daitoku-ji complex of Zen Buddhism consists of 24 temples,including Daisen-in and Ryogen-in.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

This place seems to put too much emphasis on emptying your wallet. We went to the Daisen-in, which is supposed to be the best Zen garden, but they would not allow you to take photos.

The garden itself was miniscule, and any atmosphere was ruined by the local guide shouting very loudly, as well as the constant cackle from the ladies in the reception area.

We tried to make the most of it, but frankly, only one area is mildly intersting, and the "eternity" section was spoiled with the noise from the nearby reception, so we headed out through the gift shop section.

Really not worh the entrance fee. If this is the best Zen garden, then the others must be awful.

We were going to visit another temple in the complex, but they wanted another 400 YEN each, so we didn't bother.

This was really the only low point in our Japanese holiday.

2  Thank WHDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"open to the public"
in 9 reviews
"zen garden"
in 9 reviews
"huge temple complex"
in 2 reviews
"stunning temples"
in 2 reviews
"english explanations"
in 2 reviews
"ji temple"
in 4 reviews
"tea ceremony"
in 6 reviews
"rock garden"
in 4 reviews
"edo period"
in 2 reviews
"bamboo forest"
in 4 reviews
"golden pavilion"
in 3 reviews
"koto"
in 8 reviews
"visitors"
in 15 reviews
"compound"
in 4 reviews
"meditation"
in 4 reviews
"collection"
in 3 reviews
"calligraphy"
in 3 reviews
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80 - 84 of 296 reviews

Reviewed September 5, 2012

This temple-complex is big. You can enter 3 different temples. It's possible to attend tea-ceremony also. This complex is a beautiful sight and a must if you are interrested in temples.

Thank Christian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

This is a very nice complex of temples, most of them are in use so there is no entry. But the complex itself breathes tranquillity and the very nice Garden in de back (admission) is a great example of the symbolism used in temple gardening. the staff gives you a plate with English explanations so you know where to see the details. Very learnful and a very friendly, quiet atmosphere.

Thank eevolute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

With so many beautiful temples in Kyoto this one is worth visiting only for those who have plenty of time. Daitoku-ji is in a fact a complex of many temples of which only few (4 when I was there) are open for visitors and there is a separate admission fee to each of them. Surprisingly enough one of those temples does not allow visitors to take photos.
It is a very quite place which is not a stop on tour bus routes but at the same time none of those temples is exceptional. There are other places in Kyoto which should not be missed.

2  Thank ED5611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2010

Daitoku-ji is a complex of sub-temples, in the North West of Kyoto, easily reached by bus (or you can take the subway and a 10 minute walk)

There are 24 sub-temples, but most of them are closed to the public. However, the ones you can enter are lovely.

While there are temples and shrines by the hundreds in Japan, Zen gardens are harder to come by, and Daitoku-ji is a wonderful chance to see some. By far my favourite (I went back another day!) is Daisen-in. I recommend asking for the English information pack at the entrance, which explains the significance of each part of the garden.

It's a wonderfully relaxing place, away from the hordes of bus tours (both Japanese and foreign! Though I imagine it may be busier on the weekends!) I'd recommend spending about an hour there, to get a chance to absorb the atmosphere of the place. It's a great chance to get a feel of a different side of Japan.

The Japanese tea (matcha) and cake are also worth having.

1  Thank Laurelin_23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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