Japan is a very progressive, advanced and culturally rich country. The old and former capital Kyoto is a beautiful and must visit city
I had an opportunity to visit Kyoto though I spent most of my stay in Osaka. There are so many temples and palaces to see in the city. One of the temples I’ve visited is Kiyomizudera or “Pure Water Temple”. It is one of the most renowned Buddhist temple in Japan which is frequented by tourist both local and foreigners like me J
The temple as was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto. It was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. UNESCO added the temple in its list of heritage sites In 1994.
Kiyomizudera is known for its wooden stage that extends out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. What I like about the stage is that it affords visitors like me a nice view of the cherry and maple trees below. I was lucky enough to be in the area in fall because the trees reveal a sea of colours where are very pleasing and soothing to look at. I can also see Kyoto city from the distance.
According to our company assigned guide the main which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon. I was informed to say a prayer and ask for what I desire.
While exploring the area we came to pass Jishu Shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. In front of the shrine are two stones, placed 18 meters apart. Successfully finding your way from one to the other with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in finding love. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to walk my way around with eyes shut and that’s probably why I haven’t found my true love! They said I can also have someone guide me from one stone to the other, but that is interpreted to mean that an intermediary will be needed in my love life as well.
Walking further we saw the Otowa Waterfall which is located at the base of Kiyomizudera’s main hall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. Each stream’s water is said to have a different benefit, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life but drinking from all three streams is considered greedy. I drank from one of the stream which I did not bother ask what for, contemplating I realised that I might have drank from success stream instead of love!
Aside from the waterfall, Okuoin and other Halls which I cannot recall how they would affect my life there are other exciting thing to do check-out in the area. Visitors must not miss the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. Shops and restaurants in the area have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs. I did not leave the place without buying a set of Japanese dolls which are very costly; I decided to take a pair of 1 foot high doll for 5,000Yen each.
Kiyomizudera is a very charming place. I was enticed not only but its beauty but as well as the traditions that it shares with everyone. It is advisable to visit the temple with friends or guide as you woudn’t want to go home without a photo of you taken in every corner. This photo was taken together wwith friends and coleagues from SE Asia.