Walk to Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Kyoto, Japan

Walk to Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. In today’s Japan Walking Tour, we will walk in Kyoto City, from Gojo Station to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), formally Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺), is a Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.

The place is not to be confused with Kiyomizu-dera in Yasugi, Shimane, which is part of the 33-temple route of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage through western Japan, or the Kiyomizu-dera temple associated with the Buddhist priest Nichiren.

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

The main hall has a large veranda, supported by tall pillars that juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. Large verandas and main halls were constructed at many popular sites during the Edo period to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims.

Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, where three channels of waterfall into a pond. Visitors can catch and drink the water, which is believed to have wish-granting powers.

The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and “good matches”. Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of “love stones” placed 10 meters (30 feet) apart, which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love. One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person’s romantic interest can assist them as well.

The complex also offers various talismans, incense, and omikuji (paper fortunes). The site is particularly popular celebrating festivals (especially at New Year’s and during obon in the summer) when additional booths fill the grounds selling traditional holiday foodstuffs and souvenirs to throngs of visitors.

In 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World, but was not picked as one of the seven winning sites.

Video Source:【4K HDR】Walk in Downtown Kyoto, Japan | Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺) | Japan Summer 2021 from 4K Japan Walk on YoutubeCC BY

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