Thursday, December 5, 2013


Kyoto is so densely packed with temples and shrines and gardens it is remarkably easy to just pass by beautiful, historic sights without even pausing.  Yasaka-no-To Pagoda, built in 1440, is one of those slightly over-looked landmarks.  I must have passed by this pagoda half a dozen times en route to other places.  It is on the way to or from some of the heavy-hitters on the Kyoto tourist map: Kiyomizu-dera, Kodai-ji, Chion-in, Ryozen Kannon.

You can't miss this striking five-story wooden structure; it shoots up 46 meters from a cozy neighborhood of traditional machiya tea houses and shops.  Still, somehow Yasaka-no-To blends in to the landscape when you are focused on its more famous neighbors.

Today I stopped and looked and gave it the respect it deserves.

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