The Toji Temple Pagoda is one of the most iconic sights of Kyoto.  And with a high of 55 m, it is also the tallest pagoda in Japan. 

Toji Temple was founded in 794 on imperial orders from the Emperor Kammu to pray for national peace and in 823 was given to Kobo Daishi (aka Kukai), the founder of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism. The grounds are beautiful with impressive buildings and exquisite gardens.  The plain, wooden main hall (Kondo) dates from 1603 and contains statues of the Yakushi (Healing Buddha) and his assistants Nikko and Gakko. But the most beautiful place is definitely the garden in front of the pagoda that is a pleasure to walk around at any seasons, and more so during the Fall and the Spring. During these periods, I highly recommend not to miss the evening light ups.