|The veranda and 3-story pagoda of Kyoto's legendary Kiyomizu Temple|
|Enter by the Deva Gate with the 3-Story Pagoda behind it|
Many Japanese tourists enjoyed this national treasure and UNESCO Cultural World Heritage site along with us. Some were bundled up against the chill weather while others were dressed in traditional kimonos.
|Dressed for a day of picture taking and sightseeing|
One of the iconic buildings of the temple grounds is the Main Hall and the veranda of its Kiyomizu stage. Its 12 meter high (36 feet) support pillars were constructed without using a single nail, and
the floor was assembled from more than 410 cypress boards. The view of Kyoto from up here is spectacular. This place inspired the Japanese idiom "jumping from the veranda of Kiyomizu Temple" to mean that someone is about to take a bold or daring adventure. Supposedly, you would be granted your wish if you survived the jump. In the Edo era, 234 jumps were recorded, and 85.4% survived. The others were not so lucky. I decided not to test it out.
|Looking up at the veranda. No way would I jump from there!|
Another tradition at Kiyomizu temple is walking between the Love Stones at Jishu Shrine. This Shinto shrine behind the Main Hall is the dwelling place of Okuninushi, the god of love and matchmaking. According to the sign, "If you walk safely from this stone to the other with your eyes closed, for once, your wish will be granted soon. If you can't, it will be long before your love is realized." The greatest challenge of crossing the 6 meters (18 feet) between the two stones was avoiding the numerous people wandering across your path and being deflected off course. I'm sure it's easier to stay straight on less busy days. My daughter failed in her attempt, but since she was only 6 years old, I was hoping it would be a long, long, very long time before her love is realized, anyways.
|Walking between the Love-fortune-telling Stones|
Kiyomizu-dera means "Temple of the Clear Water" and is named after Otowa Falls. Water from a mountain spring has been falling her since before it was originally built back in 778. Many visitors drink the sacred spring water from a ladle since it's supposed to have wish granting powers. In retrospect, I really should have done it and asked for quick transport back to our hotel after a long day.
|I think drinking spring water from Otowa Falls seems like a better option for gaining luck than jumping off the veranda.|
The cherry blossoms were indeed beautiful, and I can see why so many people flock to this site in the springtime. When we were there, the temple was going to have one of its rare night openings, but we were too tuckered out to last much past sunset.
|Cherry Blossoms blooming over the pond by the 3-Story Pagoda|
We eventually left and began walking back down the hill through the shopping street. It's been catering to temple tourists for centuries and have used that time well to hone their skills at offering tempting wares. I really could have done some damage to my wallet here, but all of us just wanted to get home. (Or perhaps my hubby drank from the Otowa Falls when I wasn't looking and wished for me to have an uncharacteristic lack of interest in shopping.) Eventually, we made it to the main street where we caught a bus back to Kyoto Station. Kiyomuzi Temple is an Ancient Kyoto icon and a must-see when visiting this town.
|Oddly, I wasn't at all inclined to shop despite the gorgeous wares displayed in the shops.|
Perhaps strange forces were at work.
Click here to view the Visitor's Guide with Admission fees, Operating Hours, and an Access Guide for Kiyomizu Temple.
Kyoto Station is Enchanted
The 10,000 Torii Gates of Kyoto's Fushimi-Inari Shrine
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday on Budget Travelers Sandbox and Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.