Takagamine, which flourished as a village of artisans. Home to Daitoku-ji Temple and other historic and cultural sites.
The Takagamine and Murasakino districts are situated on the western side of the Kamo-gawa River in northern Kyoto. This area flourished as an artisan village where many artists and craftspeople lived during the 16th and 17th century.
Daitoku-ji Temple, located in Murasakino, has 21 towers in its vast precinct, as well as teahouses, Japanese gardens, 'fusuma' (a framed and papered sliding door) paintings and many other historical sites and cultural assets. Must-see attractions include a garden in the shape of a cross with round white pebbles and rocks, a dragon painted on three fusuma doors, and inlayed carvings.
Adjacent to Daitoku-ji Temple is Imamiya-jinja Shrine, worshiped for the deity enshrined there who is said to protect people from epidemic diseases. They celebrate the Yasurai-matsuri Festival there in spring, which includes a parade attended by participants dressed as red and black demons who dance to the music of flutes and drums. It is believed that if you walk under the Furyu-gasa, an elegant umbrella adorned with flowers and grass, you will not become ill for the rest of the year.
Koetsu-ji Temple, in Takagamine, used to be a residence of Hon'ami Koetsu, an expert in calligraphy, ceramic art, gold lacquering, tea ceremony and many other fields of art in the 17th century. The residence was transformed into a temple after his death. Other attractions include Genkoan Temple, built in the mid-14th century, and the Koryo Museum, which has a collection of 1,700 pieces of art from the Korean Peninsula.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line 'Nozomi,' or 2h 45 min by 'Hikari.' 15 min from Kyoto to Kita-Oji Station by subway, and 5 min from Kita-Oji to Daitoku-ji-mae by bus.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 28 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Line (new rapid service).