Kiyomizudera in Kyoto is the temple of the Goddess of Mercy. Since its foundation, the temple
has burned down so many times and most of the buildings were rebuilt during the early Edo
period between 1631-1633. It was listed a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994
and is Jinlovestoeat's top place to visit in the former imperial capital of Japan.
The Deva Gate
The Guard of the Deva Gate. Hear her roar!
OINK!!!!! Hahaha! :D
Next to the pagoda is the Zuigudo Hall dedicated to the mother of Buddha. Make sure to walk
through the basement where you will be enveloped in complete darkness. The pitch black
space is said to symbolize a mother's womb. There is a minimal fee involved, but do it!
It's a cool experience.
Obligatory washing or cleaning of the hands before entering the main temple
The Main Hall is a national treasure of Kyoto and houses the eleven-faced thousand-armed
Kannon, who is said to possess the power to grant every heart's desires.
There were too many people praying to it I gave up trying to take a decent photo.
But I took one of this pretty lamp :)
Connected to the Main Hall is the Kiyomizu Stage, which is probably the most photographed site
in all of Kyoto. More than 410 cypress boards make up its floor and the whole structure was built
using 12-meter high pillars assembled without the use of a single nail! Whoa!!!
The view of Kyoto and its sea of colored leaves from the Stage is truly magnificent!
Behind the Main Hall stands the Jishu Shrine, the mecca of love and matchmaking.
The Chinese character in the round signage says "Yuan" which means Fate or Destiny.
In front of the shrine you will find the two famous love stones, placed 18 meters apart
It is said that finding your way successfully from one stone to the other with
your eyes shut will make your love wishes come true. I DID NOT DARE TRY!!!
I am terrible enough with directions with my eyes wide open so I refused
to do this and subject my "yuan" to more delays! Lol!
Rules of the game
You see hopeful young girls with their eyes closed walking EVERYWHERE!!!
Those who were not walking were busy hanging up their love wishes on this board
There's really nothing to lose by trying, plus it looked like a lot of fun, so yes, I wrote my
own personal wish, too. ;)
Look at all the successful love stories. On this board are names of couples who came and
prayed and lived happily ever after. And hopefully, still living happily together!
The most amusing thing for me was this bucket of miracle water
Miracle because you write down your troubles on a 200-yen piece of paper, drop
it into the water, watch the paper dissolve and ta-da!!! Gone are your sorrows!
Isn't it grand???
And what is a visit to the love shrine without buying a set of love keychains?
Like this one, to "bind your love tightly"
Patting the bronze Daikoku's head for more prayers to be answered
At the base of Kiyomizudera's main hall is the Otowa Waterfall where water has been flowing
from the mountain since the temple's foundation. Visitors use a ladle to drink the sacred water,
choosing from three different streams that represent longevity, success in school and
luck in love. Choose only one, don't be greedy!
On the way out I stopped and looked back so many times to marvel again and again at this beauty
This man tried to capture the splendor in watercolor. His painting looked like a dream.
I believe Kiyomizudera is beautiful all year round... a gentle, snowy white in the winter,
pretty cherry blossoms in the spring, but I'm glad we came during my favorite season - autumn!
In autumn, the sky can be as feisty as szechuan peppers
Or as romantic as a pistachio strawberry cake
Or matcha with adzuki beans!
There is really nothing like it.
Kiyomizudera is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan and absolutely
a must-visit when in Kyoto!
The fun actually starts on the walk up to the temple through the streets of Higashiyama District. The busy alleys are lined with restaurants and shops selling souvenirs, local delicacies, trinkets, cream puffs and whatnots. Check out my photos here.
To browse through my other Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo posts, please click here.