Day 10 – Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) known more fully as Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺) is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. (It should not be confused with Kiyomizu-dera in Yasugi, Shimane, which is part of the 33-temple route of the Chūgoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage through western Japan.)

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple dates back to 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, during a restoration ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. Not one nail is used in the whole temple. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

It was originally affiliated with the old and influential Hossō sect dating from Nara times. However, in 1965 it severed that affiliation, and its present custodians call themselves members of the “Kitahossō” sect.

Via Wikipedia.

Ascending through the Gion district, climbing my way up the Kyoto mountainside, I was very pleasantly greeted by Kiyomizu Temple, the great gate towering over the city, and the pagoda just beyond.  It is a classic pilgrimage, venturing through the hustle and bustle of the crowds of people, the shops, and the narrow canyon-like avenues of Gion, to then have the scenery explode open at a place of worship.


10 2009