Yasaka Pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Kyoto and it dominates the skyline of central Higashiyama. Except for the
garden, the pagoda is the only remaining part of Hokanji temple that was founded in 589.
The original pagoda was built between 589 and 622 and over the years it was destroyed and re-built several times.
The present building was constructed in 1440. It is 151 feet tall and it is, perhaps, the only pagoda
in Kyoto that can be entered. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top.
Construction of Yasaka Jinja began in 656, although at that time it was called Gion Jinja.
In 869 the mikoshi (divine palanquin) of Gion Shrine were paraded through the streets of Kyoto to ward off
an epidemic that had hit the city. This was the beginning of the Gion Matsuri,
an annual festival which has become world famous.
Category:Architecture and Structures
Keywords:History, Japan, Pagoda, Shrine
© Dick Harris Photography