Kiyomizudera, The Pure Water Temple in Kyoto

  • KYOTO
  • SPOT
  • KIYOMIZU DERA

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    Kiyomiszu Dera (清水寺) is an independent Buddhist temple. In 780, this temple was founded on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the east of Kyoto. It is also a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.

    THE MEANING

    Kiyomizu Dera (清水寺) consists of three words, “Kiyo” (清), “mizu” (水), and “Dera” (寺). “Kiyo” means pure, “mizu” means water, and “Dera” means temple. It literally means “Pure Water Temple”.

    THE ATTRACTIONS

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    There is a wooden stage supported by tall pillars, that juts out from the main hall, 13 meters above the hillside. There is a popular expression “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”, which is a Japanese analogy of “to take the plunge”. It is also believed that if one were to survive a 13 meters jump from the stage, one’s wish would be granted. At the time, two hundred thirty-four jumps were recorded, with 85.4% survivors. Needless to say, this practice is prohibited now.

    DRINK THE WATER

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    Visitors can collect and drink the water of Otowa Waterfall in the main hall. It is believed that the water has wish-granting powers.

    ACCESS

    You can visit the place between 6:00 to 18:00 with entrance fee of 300 yen, while during spring and fall illuminations (mid March to mid April, and mid November to early December) the entrance fee is 400 yen.
    You can reach this temple by bus number 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station. Get off at Gojo Zaka or Kiyomizu Michi bus stop, from there you can walk to the temple in around 10 minutes. The other way to reach it is to walk for about 20 minutes from Kiyomizu Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.