Yasaka Pagoda

A symbol in a traditional townscape

The approach to Kiyomizu-dera Temple is lined with traditional architecture that attracts a steady stream of tourists,
The five-story pagoda with a pure Japanese style, hon-gawara roof stands tall in this neighborhood.
The 46-meter-high five-story pagoda is a landmark.

The five-story pagoda, called “Yasaka-no-to” (Yasaka Pagoda), is located in the precincts of Hokanji Temple,
The temple itself is commonly called “Yasaka-no-to” (Yasaka Pagoda) because the temple grounds are small and there is no significant structure other than the pagoda.

According to tradition, the five-story pagoda was built by Prince Shotoku in 592,
The current pagoda was rebuilt in 1440 and is designated as an important cultural property.

Reconstructed five-story pagoda

Although there are doubts about the authenticity of the tradition that the pagoda was built by Prince Shotoku, it is an old temple that existed before the relocation of the capital to Heian-kyo,
Although the authenticity of the legend that Prince Shotoku founded the temple is questionable, it is believed to be an old temple that existed before the capital was moved to Heian-kyo.

It was destroyed by fire in 1179, but was rebuilt in 1191 with the support of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first barbarian general of the Kamakura shogunate.

It was later destroyed by lightning in 1291 and rebuilt in 1309 with the aid of Emperor Go-Uda.
After being destroyed by fire in 1436, the present pagoda was rebuilt in 1440 with the assistance of Ashikaga Yoshinori, the 6th barbarian general of the Muromachi Shogunate.

Interior of the five-story pagoda

Yasaka Pagoda is the only five-story pagoda designated as an Important Cultural Property in Japan that allows visitors to enter the interior.
The public can usually climb up to the second level of the pagoda for viewing, and from the second level, which is reached via a steep staircase, visitors can look out through a window at the cityscape.

On the first level of the pagoda, there is a statue of Dainichi Nyorai, the main deity of the temple, and a statue of Wu-chi-nyorai, the five wisdom buddhas.

However, due to the steep and dangerous stairs inside the pagoda, children under junior high school age are not allowed to enter the temple.
The pagoda is open to the public irregularly (only on days that are convenient for temple officials), and is usually open on weekends during the season, but you must call in advance if you want to be sure.

Houkan-ji Temple precincts

The Yasaka Pagoda can be seen from Yasaka-dori Street, which runs alongside the temple.
Yakushi Nyorai, Nikko Bosatsu, Gekko Bosatsu, Yumemi Jizo Bosatsu, as well as statues of the Twelve Divine Generals are enshrined in the Yakushi Hall,
Taishi Hall, which houses statues of Prince Shotoku at the ages of 3 and 16,
Yasaka Inari Shrine, and the Hearing Bell House, a tea ceremony room.


Yasaka Pagoda
388, Kiyomizu Yasakaue-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City
Telephone number
Hours of operation



Open to the public irregularly (only on days convenient for temple officials)

Admission fee

500 yen for junior high school students and older
Children under junior high school age are not allowed to enter the temple.


5 min. walk from Higashiyama Yasui or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop by city bus.

Kyoto Gion, Higashiyama Kyoto City
Temples Shrines, Temples, Churches


Kyoto City