When Heian-kyō (today’s Kyoto) was planned as the new capital of Japan, besides the temple of the Imperial Palace, only two other temples were allowed, Tō-ji and Sai-ji. The law was regulating only the area covered by Heian-kyō, because on the outside, in zones covered by modern Kyoto, several other Buddhist temples were already established.
However, this law didn’t last long, and with the expansion of Buddhism, many other temples were established around the city. During the 16th century, the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi started a vast program of reconstruction, and many temples were relocated to the newly established Tera-machi “Temple Town".
Tera-machi survived until today, and offers a unique mixture of temples and commercial venues, being one of the most lively and pleasant areas in Kyoto…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: