Yakushiji was Japan’s first temple to feature a pair of pagodas, with the West Pagoda (Saito) built to flank the Main Hall in symmetry with the East Pagoda. The West Pagoda is thought to have been originally erected at the time of the temple’s founding, but was destroyed by fire in 1528. In 1981, it was rebuilt in the style of the Hakuho period (645–710). The brilliant red and green colors stand in contrast to the weathered hues of the East Pagoda and give an idea of how the older pagoda must have looked in its original glory.
”Yakushi-ji Saito (West Pagoda)”
When the West Pagoda was rebuilt in 1981, it was built slightly higher than the East Pagoda, taking into account the shrinkage of the wood. The reason is designed to shrink to the same height as the “Yakushiji Toto (East Pagoda)" in 200 years!