Japan Tourist Attractions – Kiyomizu Temple

by ebazaar 14 November 2009 No Comment

Japan is most well-known for its many outstanding and extraordinary build of temples and shrines, one temple that is very well-known is the Kiyomizu Temple or Kiyomizu-dera.

It will pretty wasted if you didn’t get the chance to actually seen Kiyomizu Temple with your own eyes, if ever you have the chance to visit Kyoto even for a shirt while. I can guarantee most tour groups to Japan will have a short stop here at Kiyomizu Temple. You can say it is one of the most famous tourist spot in Japan and Kyoto especially. Kiyomizu Temple too is the most famous and favorable place to view sakura and kouyou (red Japanese maple leaves during the spring and autumn seasons. Be it day or late evening, you would not be disappointed with the views.

Short History of Kiyomizu Temple

kiyomizu temple at night

Kiyomizu temple at night (MSN Japan)

It was during the Heian period that Kiyomizu Temple was found, dated back to 798, by the Hosso sect of Buddhism, which is one of the six virtually extinct schools of Nara Buddhism. Later during the Tokugawa period in 1633, it was being reconstructed as part of restoration program by Tokugawa Iemitsu. This means that the Kiyomizu Temple had been around for more than a millennium and the most extraordinary part of it is the fact that there’s not one nail used in the whole of the temple!

The main attraction of Kiyomizu Temple, aside for it being a very old landmark is the view offered while standing at the broad veranda, which serves as the main hall. You can see part city, part forested hills of South-East Kyoto which view were breathtakingly beautiful and striking especially in autumn and spring. It felt almost like you’re stepping into another world. There’s also a waterfall beneath the main hall which was called the Otawa waterfall. The water from the waterfall runs on three channels, each believed to provide different therapeutic properties. The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine which s dedicated to the God of love or ?kuninushi. The term Kiyomizu itself means ‘pure water’ with ‘kiyo’ means pure and ‘mizu’ means water.

It is not that remote, but you will still have to walk from the bus station up the path to Kiyomizu Temple to get inside. During festival periods like New Year’s day and Summer festival, there will be a lot of yatai or stalls set up along the path selling traditional holiday foodstuffs and souvenir. You can also buy at the temple various talisman, incense and paper fortunes.

How to get to Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto Station

If you’re staying in Osaka and still don’t want to miss the chance to visit Kiyomizu Temple, the good news is that you’re able to do so and it will probably only take about half day since Osaka is only about 30 minutes away from Kyoto by train. From Osaka station, take a train straight to Kyoto station using the JR Tokaido main line and it will cost you about ¥540 per way. Hop on the City bus no.100 or 206 to Gojozaka from Kyoto station that will take about 10 minutes to get to Kiyomizu Temple and it cost about ¥220 per way. From Gojozaka you would have to walk up the gentle slope to get to the top but it’s a promising pleasant journey up the hill with all the beautiful views, much greeneries and tranquility. The place is open all throughout the year from 6 a.m to 6 p.m and until 6.30 pm during summer.

Address of Kiyomizu Temple: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Telephone Number.:075-551-1234

Entrance Fees:Adults JPY 300 / Junior High and Elementary school students JPY 200

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