Daigo-ji was founded in the early Heian period. In 874, Rigen-daishi (Shōbō) founded the temple.
Enchō 8, 22nd day of the 9th month (930): Emperor Daigo fell ill and then abdicated.
Enchō 8, 29th day of the 9th month (930): Emperor Daigo entered the Buddhist priesthood in the very early morning hours. As a monk, he took the Buddhist name Hō-kongō; and shortly thereafter, died at the age of 46. This monk was buried in the precincts of Daigo-ji, which is why the former-emperor's posthumous name became Daigo-tennō.
The bright colors of maple leaves attract tourists and others in the Autumn season. Emperor Suzaku's mausoleum, known as Daigo no misasagi, is located near Daigo-ji.
On August 24, 2008, the Juntei Kannon-dō at the top of the hill on the east of the temple burned. It stood in the Kami Daigo part of the temple. Kami Daigo is Number 11 in the 33 temples of the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage. The structure dated from 1968.
Brown, Delmer and Ichiro Ishida, eds. (1979). [ Jien, 1221], Gukanshō; "The Future and the Past: a translation and study of the 'Gukanshō,' an interpretive history of Japan written in 1219" translated from the Japanese and edited by Delmer M. Brown & Ichirō Ishida. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03460-0
Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869. Kyoto: The Ponsonby Memorial Society.