Yasaka Pagoda (Yasaka-no-to) in Kyoto

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  • Yasaka Pagoda in Kyoto

    Yasaka Pagoda In Kyoto

  • Yasaka Pagoda in Kyoto

    Yasaka Pagoda In Kyoto

  • Yasaka Pagoda Higashiyama District in Kyoto

    Yasaka Pagoda Higashiyama District

  • Yasaka Pagoda in Kyoto

    Yasaka Pagoda In Kyoto

  • Yasaka Pagoda Higashiyama District in Kyoto

    Yasaka Pagoda Higashiyama District

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Facts & Figures

Yasaka Pagoda (Yasaka-no-to) is with a height of 46m the most prominent landmark sign and symbol of the Higashiyama District in Kyoto. The five-story pagoda with the temple treasure (Yasakato-ezu), a designated important cultural property, belongs to the last remaining parts of the Hokanji Temple. The pagoda is surrounded by smaller residential buildings and stands at the top of Yasaka-dori. Do not miss the opportunity to climb up the inside of the oldest pagoda in Kyoto. From the second floor, you will have an amazing view over the city of Kyoto. The unique architectural style of the roofs is called "honkawara-buki". The earthquake-safe construction of the pagoda with its long central wooden beam is still a study object for modern architects/experts. The area around the pagoda is one of the most photogenic places in Kyoto. Even the overhead power lines, which are typical for cities in Japan, were completely removed to preserve the atmosphere of the past.

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  • Yasaka Pagoda:
  • Opening Hours - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Closed: - irregularly
  • Admission Fee - 400 yen (Adults) - important: Children under 12 are not allowed to enter the pagoda

My tips for local activities

Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The personalized tour can take between 2 - 8 hours. Check out this page > for more details.

History

In 592 the Yasaka Pagoda was established by Prince Shotoku-taishi (574 - 622) during the Asuka period (538 - 710). The pagoda is dedicated to the five great Nyorai, which are Amida Nyorai, Shaka Nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai, Hosho Nyorai and Ashuku Norai. The temple and pagoda were destroyed numerous times by fire. During a dispute between the Yasaka Shrine and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in 1179. Shogun Minamoto Yorimoto (1147 - 1199) gave the order to rebuild the temple in 1191. Another fire happened in 1291 and 1436. The existing structure was rebuilt in 1440 by the 6th Shogun of Muromachi government Yoshinori Ashikaga (1394 - 1441). Many famous artists like Tomikichiro Tokuriki (1902 - 1999) or Takeji Asano (1900 - 1999) took the pagoda as an inspiration for their Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and paintings.

Location

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Yasaka Pagoda is located within the Higashiyama District in Kyoto between the Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Address: 388 Yasakakamimachi, Kiyomizu Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Yasaka Pagoda?

  • 15min from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu-michi bus stop by Kyoto City Bus 100, 206 and
  • 5min walk from Kiyomizu-michi bus stop to Yasaka Pagoda

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Buddhist relics - Inside the pagoda, you will see four Buddhist statues of Gochi Nyorai Zazo, which are arranged around a central wooden column. The statues stand on top of a platform called Shumidan Dais.

Yasaka-dori - This historical uphill street within the Higashiyama district leads you directly to the Yasaka Pagoda. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Kyoto. Enjoy traditional buildings, restaurants and, shops in the city's best-preserved historic district.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

March

Higashiyama Hanatouro Festival (Early - Mid March)
The illumination of local temples and roads by thousands of lanterns in the Higashiyama neighbourhood last for 10 days and starts at 6pm until 9:30pm. It is an unforgettable experience.

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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