The five-story pagoda at To-ji Temple is both beautiful, and extremely strong. Those that designed the temple figured out a way to engineer earthquake-proof features into it, without sacrificing any of its beauty.
Another masterful design feature are the roofs. They are all quite large, with the purpose of protecting the delicate wood underneath from the wetness of rain and snow. There are many other such features. Yet at the same time, the graceful silhouette of this temple is one of the most iconic and famous in Japan. Inside the pagoda, brilliantly colored golden Buddhist statues surround and protect the center pillar. These are open to public viewing a few time a year. As the sun sets each day, the sky lights up and the pagoda's silhouette dominates the surrounding skyline.
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Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。