Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kiyomizu Temple

The hugely popular Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizu-dera, in Japanese) is a must for most visitors to Kyoto. The main hall is built out onto pillars. The effect is that of a deck reaching out from the foot of the mountain.

The original Kiyomizu Temple dates from the eighth century. 

After visiting the temple, wander around Sannenzaka, a small shopping street lined with traditional shops and wooden houses. You can follow this road as it winds its way down to Gion - the traditional pleasure and geisha quarters of the city. On the way is Yasaka Gojonoto, a five-story pagoda.

Kiyomizu-dera is composed of several Buddhist temples and is a must see. The temple was founded in 798, and it is named for a waterfall on the grounds ("Kiyoi mizu" means pure water). 

The most well-known aspect of Kiyomzu dera is the huge veranda of the main hall. It juts out on wooden pillars and is an impressive site. 

After taking in the views of Kyoto city from the veranda, most tourists wander down to the waterfall below. The water is said to have healing properties.

In addition to the veranda and for health reasons, Kiyomizu dera temple brings in visitors hoping for luck in love. The sub-temple Jishu-jinja has two love stones placed roughly 20 meters apart. If you can manage to walk between with the stones, eyes closed, you will find love--or so the faithful believe. (Cheating however is allowed: pilgrims are often seen being led by their significant other.) 

In addition to being a World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu was recently submitted as a candidate as a New Seven Wonders of the World. (


Seno January 12, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

Wow, nice journey.

How are u my friend? Long time not visit. Are u Ok?

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