So far in this BLOG I've covered a Castle that looks like a Palace (Nijo-jo) and a Shrine that's a replica of an Old Imperial Palace (Heian-jingu). Well, Daikaku-ji is a temple that was an Imperial Palace and then later a villa for retired emperors, before it became a temple. Even now this Buddhist temple still has a connection with the Imperial family as it's chief priest is chosen from the descendants of Prince Gojaku who was a grandson of Emperor Saga. There's also a special gate on the temple which is only used by the Emperor when he makes a visit.
It's interesting that this is a Buddhist temple, when the Japanese Imperial Family is more traditionally connected with the Shinto religion, but in Japan many people follow both religions. Although there have been times in history when there has been a strong separation between the two religions, now-a-days it is a rather blurry line, you can find Shinto shrines inside Buddhist temples for example.
Prominent in this photo is a stone stage which is the remains of the original main hall of the temple. This stage is now used for various performances. In the background on the right side of the photo is the Godai-do Hall which is the new main hall of the temple. In the background on the left is the Yasui-do Hall which was moved here from another location in Kyoto over a hundred years ago.
Daikaku-ji is in the Saga district of Kyoto city's Ukyo ward. The nearest train station is the JR Saga Arashiyama station, which is 17 minutes walk away. If that seems like a too long walk for you, consider taking a taxi from the station. Another possible way of getting there from the centre of Arashiyama is by rickshaw, which you can hire from near the Togetsukyo Bridge.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 35f/2D lens. This photo is the jpeg straight from the camera, it has not been post processed.