Kamidaigo-ji (上醍醐寺) is one of the temples on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage I went to with my wife and her mother many years ago. At the bottom of the hill is the Daigo-ji temple, but at the top is the Kami (upper) Daigo-ji temple where you can get your scroll signed. It was a fun and easy hike. I had a day off and wanted to try it again. Instead of going up and back, I figured there was a way to go up over the mountain and eventually get to Ishiyamadera in Shiga. I didn't end up going that far, but I was very surprised where I got to.
Daigo Station is on the Kyoto Subway Tozai Line. I took the Shinkaisoku from Osaka and changed to the subway at Yamashina. Heading back to Osaka from Rokujizo it was faster to take the JR Nara Line (Rokujizo Station) directly back to JR Kyoto and take the Shinkaisoku from there. The hike costs ¥600 to enter the mountain. Up till Kamidaigo-ji the trail is well used and easy to follow. After Kamidaigo-ji the trail becomes much less used and signage is pretty much non-existent--and no English. Trees are marked however. I really should have brought my GPS and a good map for this.
From the little valley and back into the city you have to walk a skinny road with some heavy traffic. That part wasn't that fun. Be careful.
Photos on Flickr: Nov 3, 2016 Daigoji Hike 醍醐寺ハイキング
Stumbling upon the Okunoin was just one of those I-love-living-in-Japan moments. I had seen some signs saying the Okunoin was on the trail, but it kind of just popped out in front of me after curve in the trail. The Okunoin is something that you'll see at many larger temples. It's a sometimes hidden place behind or tucked away from the main shrine or temple building where the spirit of the temple's founder is enshrined. See this definition.