Kiyomizudera Temple
 
Kyoto is famous for many things, cultural center, ancient capital of Japan, the geisha of Gion, and its many temples. The largest and most famous temple in Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera temple on the west side of Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple was first built over 1000 years ago. It was reconstructed in 1633 and is the most famous temple in Kyoto. The way up to the front gate of the temple is called "Teapot Lane" and is lined with handicraft, omiyage, and sweet shops. It's a huge marketplace of activity and the only reprieve is when you finally make it up the hill to the massive entrance gates of the temple.

Nio-Mon (Gate of the Deva Kings)
 

Kiyomizu-dera's temple grounds are huge with many grand, elaborate structures built on them. Most of the buildings are designated "Important Cultural Property", even the stables.

Sanju-No-To
(Three Storied Pagoda)
Sai-Mon (West Gate)


Its formal name is "Eleven-headed thousand-armed Kanzeon Bosatsu" and is one of the sacred images in Buddhist religion. This Kannon is a little different than others for its two extra arms holding a small Buddha body above its head. It is said that this is the Kannon among Kannons which manifests the all-encompassing power of the Dharma teachings as it is taught in the Senju Darani Sutra. This statue is enshrined in the Main Hall of the temple.

The Kiyomizu-style Kannon

Hyakutai Jizo Hall
This small building enshrines almost 200 stone "Jizo" images. They are protectors of travelers and children. It is told that if someone who has lost a child comes here to worship they will be sure to find a Jizo image that resembles their deceased child. Here, prayers are offered for the spiritual repose of those children who are lost.

I see this often at any temple I visit where a person touches a part of the statue of Buddha or another god. It is said to have healing properties, but exactly what kind of healing depends on the which god it is and which part of the statue is touched.

Otowa-No-Taki
(Sound-of-Feathers Waterfall)
This waterfall is counted among the ten most famous pure water sites in Japan and it is the source of Kiyomizu-dera's name (mizu means "water"). Many devout worshippers stand beneath the waterfall to perform the rite of cold water ablution while worshipping Fudo Myoo (the God King of Fire) who is enshrined at the waterfall's fount.

 

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