大徳寺Daitoku-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple with 22 sub-temples. It started as a small monastery founded by the monk, 宗峰妙超Shuuhou Myouchou, in the 1310’s and officially became a temple after becoming an imperial supplication hall in 1326. The temple met with an alternating history of fortune and decline but became more important from the 16th century when military figures supported it for their ancestors and themselves (豊臣 秀吉Toyotomi Hideyoshi buried 織田 信長Oda Nobunaga here). Around this time the temple became closely linked to, 千利休Sen no Rikyuu, the master of Japanese tea ceremony, and Japanese tea ceremony itself, and later to 小堀 政一Masakazu Kobori, another master of tea ceremony.
I went for the first time during Golden Week in 2009 with a friend who wanted to take me to have あぶり餅aburi-mochi (grilled skewered rice cakes in a sweet miso sauce) at 今宮神社Imamiya Shrine which was in the area, so we had to check it out since it’s one of the famous temples.
graves of all the stillborn or children that died before their parents inside Daikoku-ji Temple
lovely: a wash basin with a little shrine behind it
the gate to 芳春院Houshun-in
the recycled roof-tile wall of 大光院Daikou-in
the forest in between Daitoku-ji Temple and Imamiya Shrine…quiet and cool, a nice stroll
looking up at the trees
Some of the sub-temples aren’t usually open to the public but some of those do open for special events. In late-February 2009, I went to Daitoku-ji Temple again to visit 黄梅院Oubai-in for rosary beads on the 数珠巡礼Juzu Junrei (Rosary Pilgrimage).
This place is huge like most famous temples in Japan.
However, Oubai-in was closed…
so we went back a month later.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, so I took only a picture of the gate looking in.
Oubai-in was founded 1562 when Oda Nobunaga requested a place to hold a memorial service for his father to Toyotomi Hideyoshi; other important figures and their family are buried there, too. It has beautiful gardens, a tearoom called “昨夢倹軒Sakumu-ken” (well-loved by Sen no Rikyuu) and the 襖fusuma (Japanese sliding screens) paintings have been designated 重要文化財Juuyou Bunkazai (Important Cultural Properties).