A lone pagoda rising overlooking the floating world of Gion below, Yasaka-no-To Pagoda is a lovely sight by day or night.

While most pagodas come complete with temples, Yasaka-no-to Pagoda stands mostly alone, the buildings of the temple of which it once belonged (Hokan-ji Temple) having been destroyed by fires, earthquakes and wars over the years. We’re thankful that the pagoda survived, because it’s a beauty.  It stands at the top of Yasaka-dori, which is itself unique for the lack of overhead power lines, which were removed to preserve the view of the pagoda.  The pagoda can easily be accessed from Higashioji-dori, or by ducking off of the bottom of Ninen-zaka.

This is one of our favorite spot.  The stroll along Ninen Zaka and Sannen Zaka is always a great source of pleasure.  Indeed, Yasaka-no-To is roughly in the middle of probably the best walk in the area, going from the Maruyama park (Yasaka Shrine) all the way to Kiyomizu Dera temple, via the Ninnen Zaka and the Sannen Zaka streets.  These streets are preserved areas with numerous boutiques, restaurants and other stores lined up.  It is also a perfect place to view Maiko Taiken (women made up and dressed up as Maiko) walking around.