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Published on 06.07.2016
You hear this proverb quite often in Japan which means “to take the plunge, to bet your life”. This demonstrates how Kiyomizudera has been captivating the heart of the Japanese. If you visit Kyoto, you shouldn’t miss this festive yet sacred place.
Kiyomizudera is arguably the most famous temple in Kyoto and it’s always populated with locals, tourists and students from their school trips.
The temple, founded in 778, stands on the mid slope of Mt.Otowa in the eastern part of Kyoto. It is said that Kenshin, a monk who lived in Nara, was told to go north and find a crystal spring by a man in white clothes in his dream. He discovered a pure waterfall on Mt. Otowa and lived there. One day, an old priest who also lived near the waterfall told him to guard this area as it is the sacred place of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. It is believed that the priest was an incarnation of Kannon.
As Kannon is one of the most widely worshipped deities in Japan, meaning that the temple has been loved by, not only nobles and samurai, but the general public until today.
The famous stage is situated the side of Hondou (Main hall) which stands on the steep cliff of Mt. Otowa. It was built in 1633 using traditional Japanese method without any nails but solidly enough to support the 12m heights stage.
Otowa waterfall, the origin of the temple, is situated behind Hondou and below Okuno-in hall. Visitors catch each of the three streams of pure water with ladles and pray to make their wishes come true.
The iron spear and sandals of Benkei are situated on the left of the entrance of Hondou. They are actually donated by an ascetic practicing monk, however, because of their size and weight, they’re called Benkei’s, a Japanese warrior monk commonly depicted as a man of great strength. The spear is over 90kg and visitors can even try lifting it.
1-294 Kiyomizu Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City
*10-minute walk from City Bus Stop Gojozaka (from Keihan Gion Shichijo Station and JR Kyoto Station)
*10-minute walk from City Bus Stop Kiyomizu-michi (from Keihan Gion Shijo Station/Hankyu Kawaramachi Station)
*25-minute walk from Keihan Kiyomizu Gojo Station
*10-minute walk from City Bus Stop Higashiyama-gojo
Open year round
Hours: 6:00 - 18:00
* Closes at 18.30 in August and September, and on weekends during April and July
*Closes at 17.30 during spring and autumn special night time viewing days (see below)
There are special night time viewings 3 times a year.
*Spring (cherry blossom viewing) 18.00 to 21.00 (last entry)
*Summer (Thousand-day Pilgrimage/Special Viewing of nainaijin in the Main Hall): 19.00 to 21:00 (last entry)
*Autumn (autumn colours viewing) 18.00 to 21.00 (last entry)
Dates can vary depending on a year. Check the special night time viewing dates on their website.
If you want to enjoy cherry blossom and autumn colours season
Cherry blossom late March to early April
Autumn colours mid November to early December
Adults and High school students: 400 yen
Junior High and Elementary School Students 200: yen
"The Days Go By" by Dan Phillipson. Licensed from PremiumBeat (http://www.premiumbeat.com/royalty_fr...)
Source: Happy in Japan