Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple 400
On the grounds of Kiyomizu Temple
Photo by: lightmatter, Creative Commons

The Kiyomizu temple, also known as the Kiyomizu-dera or Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera, is considered as a sovereign Buddhist temple situated in the eastern part of Kyoto. The architecture was first constructed during the early part of the Heian period and is believed to date back to the year 778. The most remarkable thing about the construction of this temple is that not a single nail is used upon building it. Its name is derived from the waterfall inside its complex making, also known as clear water or pure water temple. The main hall of the temple houses a large veranda with tall pillars as its foundation that protrudes over the side of the building giving a beautiful view of the city. This style of having large verandas as well as main halls in temple designs was done in order to accommodate some huge numbers of pilgrims in it.

Just underneath the main hall is the famous Otowa waterfall where three channels of waterways fall together in one pond. Visitors of the Kiyomizu temple can drink these waters which are believed to possess some miraculous therapeutic powers. These waters are also said to be powerful enough to bring longevity, health, and wisdom to whoever drinks it. However, an ancient belief of the Japanese tells that it is morally right to choose only two of these options because people who are greedy enough to take three of the offered gifts will only cast misfortune upon themselves.

The Kiyomizu temple complex also houses some other shrines like the Jishu shrine is built in honor of the god of love, Okuninushi. Found inside a shrine is a pair of “love stones” set to ground 18 meters apart. Visitors looking for good luck in love matters can only walk between it with their eyes closed. If a person was able to reach the other stone, it means that he/she will soon find true love. Other offerings of the temple are talismans, omikuji, or paper fortunes and incense.

2 responses to “Kiyomizu Temple”

  1. gabby says:


  2. jess says:

    Why is this temple important?

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