Tōji Temple (東寺) in the south-eastern part of Kyoto is a large complex with a history dating back more than a 1000 years ago. In the year 794 Emperor Kanmu moved the capital from Heijō-kyō (平城京-Nara) to Heian-kyō (平安京-Kyoto). He wanted to have two guardian temples to protect the new capital, one in the East and another one in the West. Tōji Temple is the East one and the only one surviving today. A few decades later, Emperor Saga donated the temple complex to Kūkai (空海), also known as Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師), founder of the Shingon or "True Word" school of Buddhism. The sprawling complex of Tōji Temple is quite large and several of its buildings are classified as “World Heritage” and “National Treasures” of Japan. The famous five story pagoda (五重ノ塔) is perhaps the most celebrated landmark of Kyoto through the ages. It is the tallest wooden tower in Japan and dates from the Edo period, when it was rebuilt by order of the third Tokugawa Shogun, Iemitsu in 1644.
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Japan, Kyoto, Kōbō-Daishi, Tōji, 弘法大師, 東寺