Situated in the eastern quarter of Kyoto, between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple, is Hokanji Temple - also known as Yasaka Pagoda. It is to Kyoto what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris - the eternal symbol of a city steeped in history and culture.
According to historical records, it was constructed by Prince Shotoku Taishi (exact date unknown) in dedication to Buddha. In 948 AD, it was realigned in a massive reconstruction project after starting to lean precariously to one side. Unfortunately, it could not escape calamity for very long.
In 1179, the pagoda was burned down during a squabble between the rival forces of Kiyomizu Temple and Yasaka Shrine. It was re-erected in 1191 under order of Shogun Minamoto Yorimoto but destroyed by fire in 1291, and again in 1436.
The present structure was re-erected in 1440 by Shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga and has remained standing ever since.