The other day, I visited the symbolic Yasaka Pagoda (Official name: Hokan-ji Temple) in Higashiyama area of Kyoto.
It was still in the middle of the autumn leaves season, so it was in the morning but the area was very crowded with many people.
Yasaka Pagoda is a popular spot for tourists from all over the world.
I have visited Yasaka Pagoda many times in the past, but I have never been inside.
I was curious about it this time, so I decided to look inside.
The entrance fee is 400 yen per person, and the opening hours are from 10 AM to 3 PM.
It is the regular holidays are irregular and the closed are early depending on the weather and the temple staff.
This time of day, although there were many people outside the gate, there were only one person who visited Hokan-ji Temple except me.
The precinct is not large and there is a five-storied pagoda in the middle.
The official name of Yasaka Pagoda is Hokan-ji Temple.
According to temple legend, the temple was founded in 592, when Prince Shotoku built a five-storied pagoda following a revelation in a dream by Nyoirin Kannon and named it Hokan-ji Temple after storing three pieces of Buddha’s sariras.
The five-storied pagoda was burnt several times, and the current pagoda was rebuilt in 1440 with the help of Shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga.
It is now designated as an Important Cultural Property.
Then let’s go inside!
There was a Buddha in the middle front of the five-storied pagoda.
The inside of the tower is a one-way street, and enter from the stairs on the far right.
Now it’s time to go up!
I’m so excited!
It’s pitch black.
I was see some autumn leaves from the window.
The ceiling is low and the inside is completely dark, so it doesn’t feel like you can enjoy it very slowly.
I was alone, so I got a little scared and decided to get off in a hurry.
When I get off, I use different stairs from the one I came from, so I walk to the opposite side.
When you walk, the floor makes a big noise, so you should be worried.
The stairs to go down are also steep.
I had a big camera, but I put it in my bag once because it was dangerous.
Hold the handrail firmly and go down slowly.
The picture below is the center of the tower.
The central pillar of the tower extends from the foundation stone to the top of the tower,
and this single pillar keeps the balance of the whole tower.
I was able to experience that Japan, which is an earthquake-prone country, has great technology since ancient times.
The stairs down are the ones I came down.
It was pretty hard.
Next time, I will just look at it from outside.
If you are confident in your physical strength and like exercising, you may try it.
I think it will be a memorable experience.
Please be careful not to get hurt when you go up the stairs!