Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the second day of his four-day trip to Japan with a visit to the famous Toji Temple in the historic city of Kyoto. As he went around the complex of the ancient Buddhist temple, his Japanese counterpart and “good friend” Shinzo Abe accompanied him
The two leaders spent about half an hour at the complex during which they were briefed by the Chief Monk. Toji Temple is 57 meters tall and is one of Kyoto’s many UNESCO world heritage sites.
After the Toji Temple, PM Modi, dressed in a white kurta pyjama and jacket, also visited the 1397-built Kinkaku-ji (or Golden Pavilion) temple and the Kyoto University. At the university, he discussed sickle cell anaemia treatment with Nobel Prize winner for Medicine S Yamanaka. Later, he also met the Governor and the Mayor of Kyoto and attended a lunch hosted by the Kyoto Buddhist Association.)
“Rejuvenation of urban areas on agenda. Mayor Kadokawa tells @PMOIndia abt green, smart & modern yet historic Kyoto,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin about the meeting.
Yesterday, hours after PM Modi arrived in Kyoto, India and Japan signed the Kyoto-Varanasi partnership agreement to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, arts, academics, heritage conservation and city modernisation. Kyoto is a world class heritage city of the kind the Prime Minister wants to replicate in Varanasi, sources say.
An ancient city and a hub of ancient Buddhist traditions, Kyoto has been able to effectively blend its culture and heritage with cutting edge technology. For PM Modi, the Kyoto model could be essential in the process of rejuvenating Indian cities, a priority mission for this government.
PM Modi will fly to Tokyo later today for formal bilateral on Monday. The talks are expected to boost trade between Asia’s second and third largest economies.