Long, long time ago, when the capital of Japan was moved from Nara to Heian-kyō (today’s Kyoto), Emperor Kammu issued a law allowing only two temples in the new capital city (except for the one located inside the Heian Palace). The reason was that at the time the Buddhist temples from Nara were becoming so powerful that they were interfering with the political rulers.
The two temples allowed were Tō-ji, the “East Temple", and Sai-ji, the “West Temple", located on the sides of the main street running from the South gate of the city to the Imperial Palace. Sai-ji burned two times and, after the second fire from 1233 it wasn’t rebuilt anymore.
But Tō-ji survived until today and it is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: