Kiyomizu-dera: The Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Temples of Asia | | August 18, 2011 at 12:30 am




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The Kiyomizu-dera is a Buddhist temple located in the eastern part of Kyoto, Japan. The temple was originally constructed in 798 BC; however, the current building of Kiyomizu-dera was built in the year 1633. The unique feature of this temple’s building is that it does not involve the use of a single nail. The temple was named after a waterfall situated in close vicinity of the temple; the term Kiyomizu actually means pure water or clear water.

Kiyomizu-dera

Let us now discuss the architecture of the Kiyomizu-dera in brief. The chief hall of the temple possesses a hefty veranda; the veranda is supported by lofty pillars. This kind of architecture i.e. architecture adorned by hefty verandas and lofty pillars was a common feature of the construction of Edo period. This pattern of construction allowed the temple area to accommodate a large groups of pilgrims.

Chief hall veranda of Kiyomizu-dera Chief hall veranda of Kiyomizu-dera

Just below this main hall of the Kiyomizu-dera temple, there is the Otowa waterfall. The visitors coming to this Buddhist temple are allowed to drink water from this waterfall; it is said that water Otowa waterfall possesses powers of granting wishes.

Otowa waterfall at Kiyomizu-dera

The other areas of the temple complex house a number of other shrines. One of the most popular ones among them is ‘Jishu Shrine’; this shrine is dedicated to the god of good matches and love, Okuninushi. Here, you will get to see two love stones; these stones are placed 20 ft or 6 meters away from each other. There’s a belief that if a visitor can successfully cover the distance between the two stones with the eyes closed, he or she will find true love in life. If you need to be assisted by another person for covering the distance between the two stones with the eyes closed, it will mean that you’ll need a middle-man for settling your relationship with your true love.

Love fortune telling stone at Kiyomizu-dera

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