Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kiyomizu Temple, World Cultural Heritage, in Kyoto

Kiyomizu temple is located on the foot of Otowa Mountain in Kyoto city.  It was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
Kiyomizu means "pure water" and this temple was named after the waterfall from the mountain. The temple's precinct is very large, and it is good to have one hour to walk around.  

The temple is on the mountain, let's go up and up...
You will see the 3 storied pagoda on the right side.

Temple bell.

One of the famous place in this temple is the Mail Hall.  It is also called Kiyomizu stage, and the view from the stage is great.  Kiyomizu Stage was built from 12-meter high Japanese Zelkova pillars and they were assembled without using a single nail. The floor was installed using more than 400 cypress boards.  In Japan, when we make a big decision to take a chance, we say, "Try as if you are jumping from Kiyomizu stage!"

At the left side of the main hall, there are 2 iron canes and clogs.  It is said that Benkei, who was one of the strongest samurais in Japan, had them. The bigger cane weight 90kg! Try to lift them.  

Next, go down to the Otowa waterfall. There are 3 lines of waterfall, and each has meaning, Love, Intelligence, and Health from the left.  Choose one of them and sip one time, then it is said that you will have the divine favour of chosen waterfall.  If you drink more than one sip, or drink three of them, the divine favour will be gone. This is the lesson for not being greedy in Buddhism.

In the precincts, you will see many guardian deities of children. 

Kiyomizu Temple opens at 6:00 in the morning, but closing time varies depending on the season. The admission fee is JPY300 for an adult. The temple has special night-time illuminations some time.  You can check the visitors guide and the opening hours here.

Experience Japan!