temples, cherry blossoms and climbing mount Daimonji
Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
Duration 3 hours
Distance 5.5 kilometres
Start/Finish Ginkakakuji/ Nanzenji
Nearest Town Kyoto
Public Transport bus number 5 from JR station, 220 yen get off at Ginkakuji michi mae bus stop
Basically just follow the crowd to Ginkakuji which is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto, if you happen to come on a day when not many people are there, then cross the street and turn right down the arcade souvenier shops to the entrance of Ginkakkuji.
When you exit the temple turn right and walk 50 metres till you come to the stone Torri(shrine gate), then turn right and walk up hill past the car park and into the forest. Daimonji mountain peak is only 466 metres, so its not a very high mountain, the reason people hike this mountain is in August the large 大 sign is set ablaze. The dai represents great. Walking up towards the dai mark you should stop to see the lifts used to transport the wood used in the Daimonji festival.
From here most people turn around and go back towards ginkakuji but we had other plans to get to the summitt ansd then go down the opposite way to visit Nanzenji. We climbed the steps to the top of the clearing. The trail onwards is indistinct aim for the crest of the hill. After the trails enters the forest it's a 15 minute hike along the ridge over 2 subsidiary peaks to the true 466metre summit of daimonji yama.
At the summit there were 3 locals who hike this mountain everyday, we talked for awhile and they gave me directions on how to get to Nanzenji.
Just past Kotuku-an you pass under a most un Japanese piece of architecture- the suido -kaku acqueduct, built in the early Meiji period to bring water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto. Walk under this and you enter the main prescent of Nanzenji, which was rather beautiful has there were many cherry blossom trees throughout the grounds. After looking around Nanzenji we stopped to ask a man and his son where the nearest bus station was. They were so nice that they offered to drive me back to the train station instead. My opinion of Kyoto people has definately changed after this hike as people from Kyoto are known throughout Japan as being snobbish and not at all friendly but the people I met on this hike couldn't have been friendlier