Japan Kyoto Southern Higashiyama

Hokanji Temple

Yasaka Pagoda, symbol of Kyoto and a beacon of tradition and spirituality.

Photo of Hokanji Temple, Japan (At Yasakakamimachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture, Japan. View of the five-story pagoda at Hōgan-ji Temple. 京都府京都市東山区八坂上町にて。法観寺の五重塔(通称「八坂の塔」)を見る。 Camera: Sony ILCE-6000Lens: Sony SEL1670Z (Carl Zeiss) by 663highland)

Hokanji Temple, commonly known as Yasaka Pagoda, is a prominent Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. Its five-story pagoda serves as a notable landmark at 46 meters tall. The temple continues to uphold the traditions of Kyoto and remains an active place of worship.

About Hokanji Temple

Hokanji Temple, in the Higashiyama district, is a celebrated icon of Japan’s cultural and architectural heritage. The temple’s foundation is associated with the historical figure Prince Shōtoku, who, according to tradition, established it in the 7th century after a vision of the Wish-fulfilling Wheel Avalokitesvara (Kannon).

The pagoda we see today was reconstructed in the 15th century, preserving the original heart pillar foundation stone through various reconstructions. Its unique architectural style is characterized by having balustrades only on the top tier, which is uncommon among Japanese pagodas.

The temple has connections to significant historical figures, including Ashikaga Yoshinori, a shogun who contributed to its restoration. Additionally, the temple has been involved in significant events, implying its regional influence.

Within the temple complex, the Yakushido Hall enshrines Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, and the Taishido Hall features statues of Prince Shōtoku, linking it to this important historic figure. The Yasaka Inari Shrine and the Chōdōan tea house further enrich the temple’s cultural landscape.

Visitors may have the chance to climb the pagoda for cityscape views, although access is limited, and the staircase can be challenging.

The temple is central to the Gion Matsuri festival and remains a vibrant place of worship. It offers a quiet sanctuary amidst the lively atmosphere of Kyoto and insights into the city’s spiritual practices.

The surrounding Higashiyama District provides a journey through Kyoto’s history with its preserved traditional ambiance. Along with attractions such as Kiyomizudera Temple and Kodaiji Temple’s gardens, Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park contribute to the area’s charm.

In essence, Hokanji Temple, or Yasaka-no-To, is not only an architectural wonder but also a living part of Kyoto’s history and culture, offering a rewarding experience for those exploring the soul of the city.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Hokanji Temple

KH 39

 Keihan Main Line

 5-10 minute walk (600m)
HK 86

Hankyu Kyoto-kawaramachi
 Hankyu Kyoto Main Line + 1 more

 5-10 minute walk (800m)
T 11

Sanjō Keihan
 Kyoto Tozai Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.1km)
K 09

 Karasuma Line

 10-20 minute walk (1.6km)

Around Hokanji Temple

Hokanji Temple

Buddhist Temple in Kyoto

open 10am - 4pm
closed Irregularly


法観寺, 京都

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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