The famous cherry blossoms of Mt. Daigo-san. The distinctive and formal beauty of Kiyomizu-yaki pottery.
The area including Yamashina and Daigo lies to the southeast of Kyoto City. Its location on the Nara-kaido Highway, which connects Kyoto and Nara, has made it an important traffic point for many centuries as the eastern entrance to Kyoto. Daigo is renowned for Daigo-ji Temple, home of many precious cultural assets.
Daigo-ji Temple is the head temple of the Shingon-Daigo sect. The grounds of the temple cover the whole of Mt. Daigo-san, and are famous for their beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. A number of priceless structures remain within the temple area, including a 38-meter-tall, five-storied pagoda, the oldest structure in Kyoto, and the Sampo-in, housing the Aoi-no-ma Chamber, the Akikusa-no-ma Chamber and the Chokushi-no-ma Chamber (Chamber for the Imperial Messenger), with murals on its walls and 'fusuma' doors (framed and papered sliding doors) that date back to the Momoyama Period in the late 16th century.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, many kilns for Kiyomizu-yaki pottery were built in northwestern Yamashina. The shops of over 80 potters and wholesalers line the streets of Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi, and the area produces tableware, as well as pottery for 'ikebana' (flower arrangement) and tea ceremonies, and various other ornamental goods. Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, distinguishable by the variety of techniques used and its brilliant but formal beauty, is displayed and sold throughout the area, and a pottery festival is held there in summer.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 5 min from Kyoto to Yamashina Station by JR Biwako Line (rapid service). 8 min from Yamashina to Daigo Station.
* It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto by Hikari Shinkansen.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 34 min to Yamashina Station by JR Tokaido Line (new rapid service).