Gozyu-no-to(五重塔)in Kyoto

February 8, 2019


〜Five Storied Pagoda〜

Saki Hirobayashi
Ikumi Maeda
Ryoya Miura


Kyoto has four five-storied pagodas, which are located in temples around the city: Hokan-ji, Daigo-ji, To-ji and Ninna-ji. All of them are significant buildings in Japan and have been added to the World Heritage List. They have five roofs, and each roof has a special meaning. Going from the bottom roof upwards: ‘round’, ‘water’, ‘fire’, ‘wind’ and ‘sky’. The meanings depict each worldview and express the universe in Buddhism. We highly recommend you go to these pagodas to feel each worldview. Well, let’s take a look at each one.



Five Storied Pagoda in Hokanji

Hokan-ji Temple is located in the traditional area of Higashiyama in Kyoto. Its pagoda is called Yasaka-no-to. It was built in 1440, and the height is 46 meters. Yasaka-no-to is the oldest pagoda in Kyoto and the third highest in Japan. The Higashiyama area doesn’t have a lot of tall buildings, so the pagoda is a landmark in the Higashiyama area. Yasaka-no-to is surrounded by traditional Japanese-style houses so if you go there, you can feel the history of this area.

To Yasaka-no-to takes about 25 minutes by foot from Kawaramachi. The area around Kawaramachi is quite lively and wonderful so you can go to Yasaka-no-to from there by walking while doing some nice sightseeing. Of course, you can go there by bus too. Visitors should make an appointment to go to Yasaka-no-to. Please contact there directly: Tel & Fax: 075-5512-417 (10:00am-4:00pm).



〒605-0862 388 Kiyomizu-yasaka-jomati, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto-prefecture ℡:075‐5512‐417



From Kyoto Station: Kyoto City Bus No.100, No.206

Get off at Kiyomizu-michi or Higashiyama-Yasui and walk for 5 minutes.


From Kawaramatchi (Shijyo-Kawaramachi): Walk for 25 minutes, or take Kyoto City Bus No. 207 and get off at Kiyomizu-michi or Higashiyama-Yasui and walk for 5 minutes.



Five Storied Pagoda in Toji


To-ji Temple is located in Minami-ku, near Kyoto Station. It was built in 1644; however, it has been rebuilt many times. The current structure is the fifth version. Its height is 55 meters, making it is the highest Japanese wooden building in Japan. You can see a super nice view of autumn leaves and feel the power of this five-storied pagoda in the autumn season. There are lots of tourists at that time as it is the best season for visiting this pagoda in Toji. We absolutely recommend you go there in the autumn. Of course, you can have a good experience in other seasons too!



〒601-8473 1 Kujo-Mati, Minami-ku, Kyoto city

TEL. 075-691-3325 / FAX. 075-662-0250



From Kyoto Station

By train: Take the Kintetsu Kyoto Line for 2 minutes. Get off at Toji Station and walk for 7 minutes.


From Kawaramachi (Shijyo-Kawaramachi)

By train: Get on the Keihan Line for 9 minutes. Get off at Tanbabashi Station and transfer to the Kintetsu Kyoto Line for 7 minutes. Get off at Toji Station and walk for 7 minutes.

By bus: Kyoto City Bus No. 207

Get off at Kujo-Kintetsu-mae and walk for 7 minutes.



Ninna-ji is a temple that was established in 888 and is now the head temple of the Shingon faction. Shingon faction is a religion that was established in the 9th century by Kukai, who was a Japanese poet. In the precincts, there is the five-storied pagoda and a two-way gate. The best view of the cherry tree is in April. The contrast between the five-storied pagoda and the cherry tree is stunning. In 1994, Ninna-ji was registered as a World Heritage Site. Historically, this temple had a good relationship with royal and aristocratic people. Many royal and aristocratic people visited here to enjoy the view and to soothe their mind. It has also been written about in Japanese poetry. It has been popular for many centuries.



〒616-8092 Omurooouchi33, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City, TEL/075-461-1155, FAX/075-464-4070



From Kyoto Station

By train: Get on the JR Sagano Line for 11 minutes. Get off at Hanazono Station and walk for 20 minutes.


From Kawaramachi (Shijyo-Kawaramachi)

Take Kyoto City Bus No. 59, get off at Omuro Ninnaji and walk for 6 minutes.




Daigo-ji Temple was established in 874 and in 1994 it was registered as a World Heritage Site. Buddhist images, old rare books and pictorial art of this temple are well-known all over the world. There are about 15,000 national treasures from the middle ages in this temple. The five-storied pagoda in this temple was built in 951. This is the third oldest five-storied pagoda in Japan. The height of this pagoda is 37.44 meters and is also one of the highest pagodas in Japan. Due to its long history and height, this temple is designated as a national treasure. Also, Daigo-ji Temple is famous for its extensive grounds, so there is not only the five-storied pagoda to enjoy but also you the other buildings that are national treasures.



〒601-1325 Higashioojityou22, Daigo, Fushimiku, TEL:075-571-0002, FAX:075-571-0101



From Kyoto Station

Get on the Kyotosiei Karasuma Line for 5 minutes and change trains at Karasuma Oike Station. Get on the Kyotosiei Touzai Line for 21 minutes. Get off at Daigo Station and walk for 15 minutes.


From Kawaramachi (Shijyo-Kawaramachi)

By train: Get on the Keihan Line for 9 minutes. Get off at Tanbabashi Station and transfer to the Kintetsu Kyoto Line for 7 minutes. Get off at Toji station and walk for 7 minutes.

By bus: Take Keihan Bus No.84 and get off at Nakayamadanchi and walk for 14 minutes.


These four pagodas are located around the center of Kyoto City so you can visit all of them in one day. To do this, here is a recommended route. Leave Kyoto Station to go to Ninna-ji in the morning. It takes about 60 minutes by city bus. Next, leave Ninna-ji to go to Hokan-ji. It takes about 60 minutes by city bus and change to the subway. Next, leave Hokan-ji to go to Daigo-ji. It takes about 60 minutes by city bus. Finally, leave Daigo-ji to go to To-ji. It takes 60 minutes by subway and train. There are many ways to go these pagodas, but a big recommendation to buy the One-day ticket for the city buses and subway. You can buy this ticket for 900 yen. If you use this ticket, the total cost of this tour will only be 1300 yen.


Model plan

9:00 Kyoto City

↓City bus No. 26

10:00 Ninna-ji (60min)

↓City bus No. 26 and change to bus No.207 at Shijyo-Karasuma

12:00 Hokan-ji (60min)

13:00 Lunchtime: Around Hokan-ji (60min)

↓Subway Tozai Line

15:00 Daigo-ji (60min)

↓Subway Tozai Line and change to the Karasumi Line, then change to the Kintetsu Kyoto Line.

17:00 To-ji (60min)

↓Kintetsu Kyoto Line

19:00 Kyoto Station


If you visit these pagodas, you can not only enjoy viewing them but also their beautiful and historic surroundings. We hope you enjoy your trip around these national treasures!


By Keisuke SAKAMOTO, Tsukasa SUMIKAWA, Tetsuya KINJO.

                                  KYOTO’S TOWERS

Do you know the Five-story pagoda? We call that building Goju-no-to. It seems like most people misunderstand about Goju-no-to. Most people think that there is only one Goju-no-to. In fact, Kyoto has a lot of Goju- no-to. We are going to introduce various Five-story pagodas.

daigoji3 DAIGOJI

Five-story pagoda has several types. There are several five-story pagodas. They are national treasures. Daigoji goju-no-to is in Kyoto. It was completed in 951 . When ONIN WAR broke out, Daigoji was burned out, but a five-story pagoda was built later. Daigoji is the oldest building in Kyoto. Daigoji is surrounded by the deep forest, larger than 300 hectares, with many old and large trees. In addition, as many as 80 species of wild birds inhabit the forest. Especially in the summer season of fresh green, we can feel the sounds of wind, birds and water captivating our hearts. Daigoji is well known for its cherry blossoms. They begin to bloom at the end of every March and the trees become in full bloom in April when the temple holds a Hanami Parede of in honor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, originated from Hanami Party in Daigo (cherry blossom viewing party). Toyotomi Hideyosi used to enjoy cherry blossom viewing. Just like the four seasons, the faces of Daigoji also change to reflect the different times of the year. For three weeks starting from the vernal equinox, visitors can enjoy different cherry blossoms,called sakura or zakura in Japanese, starting from Kawazu-zakura at Kenjinrinen, to Shidare-zakura, Somei-yoshino,  Yae-zakura next to the Kondo. Kawazu-zakura are a darker color than someiyoshino color. Shidare-zakura tree has long branches. Yae-zakura has many varieties in Japan. but other names are botan-zakura. kawazu-zakura, shidare-zakura, yae-zakura. The daigo-ji is arounded by a lot of cherry blossoms.

Admission Fee

Admission fee for adults is 600yen. Junior and senior high school students 300 yen. But under elementary school kids are free. Daigoji goju-no-to is open from 9 am to 5 pm. Wheelchair accessible.


Walk 10 minutes walk from Daigo station on the Tozai subway Line. or Keihan Bus stop Daigo-sanpo-in.


東寺 無料 TOHJI

The five story pagoda of TOHJI temple was originally built by monk KUKAI in 883. Though the present building was constructed in 1644 because it has needed rebuilding five times. This pagoda is 55 meters high and is the highest pagoda in Japan. The elegant pagoda can be seen from the window of the Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train). In cherry blossom season, Tohji temple, including the pagoda, is illuminated at night and is a beautiful sight. The interior of the pagoda is opened for a short period over New Year and has Esoteric Buddhist (Mikkyo) illustrations within.

Other buildings in Tohji temple grounds are listed as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties include the Rengemon Gate, the Lecture Hall and the Founder’s Hall or Meido, where Kobo Daishi himself is reported to have lived.

Admission fee

Adults 500 yen .

High school students 400 yen.

Under Junior high school students 300yen


10 minutes walk from To-ji station on the Kintetsu Railway, City Bus Stop To-ji-higashimon-mae, 15 minutes walk from JR Kyoto station Hachijo-guchi.



It is one of the many great temples in Kyoto which are registered as World Heritage Sites.We call it NINNAJI. It is also known as the most popular site in Kyoto where is used by many movie directors and Japanese historical drama’s directors frequently.

Ninnaji was originally built in 888 by the 59th Emperor Uda. However, occurring ONIN war occurred, all construction of Ninnaji was burned down in the fire. In the Edo period, in 1637, about 160 years after the ONIN war happened,  it was rebuilt as a replica of the original. Now we can see a very gorgeous five story pagoda and other buildings.

Features:this pagoda is 32.7 meters high.

Admission fee

Adult 500 yen.

Others 300 yen.


About 2 minutes walk  north from Omuro Ninnaji station of Keifuku railway(Kitano line).

You can get on the Kitano line of Keifuku railway at Kitano Hakubaicho station(Keifuku railway)

About 15 minutes walk from Hanazono station of JR railway (Sagano line).

yasakanotou9 YASAKA-NO-TO

There is Goju-no-to called Yasaka-no-to near kiyomizu temple. But, this building has a original name. The original name is Hokanji. There seem to be few people who enter the precincts. . Yasaka-no-to is the  important cultural property  in Japan. Open day is irregular. If you are sure that you want to visit Yasaka-no-to, you should call beforehand.  There are various sightseeing spots near Yasaka-no-to.  This building is 38.8 meters high and this is the fourth highest pagoda after Tohji temple, Kofuku-ji temple, and Daigoji temple , all of which were built before the Edo era. T his temple was created by Prince Shotoku in 592.

Admission fee

Over high school students  500 yen. Yasaka-no-to is open from 9 am to 5 pm.


20 minutes walk from Kyoto stasion D2 bus stop.

City Bus to Higashiyama-yasui or Kiyomizu-miti.  5 mintes walk from Higashiyama-yasui or Kiyomizu-miti.


p8256684 KYOTO TOWER

Not only does Kyoto have  a lot of temples, but also Kyoto has a fantastic building.  which is Kyoto tower. Kyoto Tower was constructed in 1964. It’s first opening day was December 28. This tower is located at Karasuma-dori Higashi Shiokoji -cho. The steel tower is the tallest structure in Kyoto with its observation deck at 100 meteres and its spire at 131 meters. This building is a 9-story building and houses a three star hotel and several stores. LED lights were finally put up on March 14 in 2016. This decreased electricity, consumption by 60%. Tawawa-chan is the mascot of Kyoto Tower, which is located in Simogyo-Ward, Kyoto city. Also, a weather camera installed on the tower sends live images of Kyoto city for television station. Kyoto station is near Kyoto tower. Kyoto station is main railway station of Kyoto city, and many commercial facilities are located around it.


City Bus to Kyoto JR Line, Subway Karasuma Line or Kintetsu Line to Kyoto. located in front of Kyoto station.

Admission fee

Adults are 770 yen. High School Students are 620 yen. Elementary and Junior High School Students are 520 yen. Kindergarten Students and under are 150 yen. Business Hours: Kyoto tower is open from 9 am to 8:40 pm. : Open seven days a week.

At last, Kyoto has a lot of elegant and graceful buildings. If you are interested in Kyoto culture, you should visit these places.