Kyoto: Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the second day of his Japan trip by visiting the Toji temple- a UNESCO world heritage site- along with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
On Saturday, Modi and Abe signed the Kashi-Kyoto agreement. The agreement is aimed at using the Kyoto model for developing Varanasi, Modi's constituency. The pact is in line with Modi's vision of building 100 smart cities across India.
"Kyoto has been able to preserve its thousand year legacy and cultural heritage while also staying abreast of all technological advances that is necessary in today's life. We are planning to do something similar in India as well, where we can achieve a similar union between preservation of culture and technological progress," said Modi.
At the Toji temple complex, Modi stayed for nearly half an hour during which he inquired about the history of the eighth-century Buddhist pagoda.
The Toji temple stands 57 meters tall, making it the tallest pagoda in Japan, and has become a symbol of both the temple and Kyoto as it can be seen from many places across the city. Monk Hasi, who was also accompanied Modi said, "We are happy that the Prime Minister visited us. It is a matter of pride for our temple. He has a big heart".
Modi also visited the Kinkaku Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto as well as the Kyoto University stem cell research facility along with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet the mayor of Kyoto later for discussions on the city's heritage preservation program.
Modi's visit is aimed at boosting defence, civil and nuclear energy and infrastructure technology by cooperating with Japan.
There is another meeting with the business group in Kyoto after which Modi will lhead out to Tokyo where he will address a lunch gathering of CEO's and industrialists before he resorts to summit level talks with Japanese PM Abe'