Witnessing Kyoto's 1200-Year HistoryDrone Shooting of Five-story Pagoda in To-ji Temple
Little by little, a drone flew up the side of the tower, a soaring landmark of Kyoto. It passed the roof of each tier, then reached the metal pinnacle at the top. When it moved several dozen meters away from the tower to capture an overview image, the densely built-up urban area spread out behind the tower.
"To-ji Temple," also known as Kyo-o-gokoku-ji Temple, the head temple of Shingon Sect Buddhism, Minami Ward, Kyoto, was founded in 796. Later it was entrusted to Kukai, posthumously known as Kobo Daishi. The temple fair held on the 21st day of each month is familiarly called "Kobo-san" and crowded with many citizens and tourists.
The five-story pagoda, a National Treasure standing in the southeast corner of the temple precincts, is approximately 55 meters high. It is the tallest wooden building in Japan. It has burnt down four times due to lightning strikes and other reasons. The current tower, built in 1644, is the fifth one.
Despite a series of disasters, the pagoda has not been destroyed by an earthquake. Its anti-seismic structure centered around a main pillar that passes through the tower from the base to the top demonstrates the high-level high-rise building construction technology possessed by carpenters of those days. In the first tier of the tower, the main pillar as a representation of Vairocana Buddha is surrounded by four statutes of Buddhas and eight statutes of Bodhisattva.
Although the surrounding cityscape has changed with the passage of time, the five-story pagoda has kept its shape which remains the same since it first stood in this place that once was the ancient, Heian Period Kyoto and is still witness to the ancient capital.
Unauthorized drone video-shooting over shrines, temples, public facilities, urban districts and other places is prohibited.
The Kyoto Shimbun uses drones to shoot videos with special permission and with due consideration for safety in the vicinity.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)