To-ji Temple and its dark pagoda dominate the surrounding skyline (Photo: Larry Knipfing)

To-ji Temple: Symbol of Kyoto

This is the temple you see from the Shinkansen train

Larry Knipfing   - 1 min read

Over the years, I had gone through Kyoto on the Shinkansen a few times but never had enough time to stop and enjoy any sightseeing. From the train, though, a dark, black, imposing pagoda was always visible.

I didn't realize then that this was To-ji Temple. Although the temple was established in 796, the pagoda of this World Heritage Site was built in the Edo period (1603-1867). It is almost 55 meters high (the same as a 16-story building) and is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. The temple itself is home to some amazing statues, while the pagoda dominates the surrounding skyline. There is something powerful and foreboding yet beautiful in its appearance.

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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30 years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! My other love is fiction writing and I have pub...