Toji means temple of this and has many very long history. The religious foundations of Kyoto were laid here, and its Buddha guards the city where Kukai founded the temple in 796. Kukai made Touji the main seat of Shingon Buddhism. The esoteric rituals of the sect depended heavily on the mandalas. In the Kodo, there are 21 statues that make up a three-dimensional mandala, in the center of which is Daiichinorai, the cosmic Buddha who first enunciated the esoteric teachings. Each of these and other 1,200-year-old images are carved from a single block of wood.
The grandiose pagoda of Toji The massive wooden structure of Japan – 55m – and a symbol of Kyoto, was rebuilt in 1644. Inside rest the images of four Buddhas and their followers. Kukai’s death is commemorated on the 21st of every month in the compound with a market that the locals call Kobo-san. Many shoppers take time to make a short pilgrimage to Miei-do where they make offerings of money and incense.