Kyoto : Japan - Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Hondo

11th December 2010. Written by Xin Li.
Kyoto, Japan
Located up Kiyomizu-zaka, a slope on the east side of Higashioji-dori is the famed Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺. During my last visit, I did not visit the interior because it was terribly crowded.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

So this time round, YY and I headed to this temple early in the morning before the invasion of student excursions and tour groups.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

The Niomon in the morning (without tourist crowds!)

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Niomon

Detail of the Niomon, an important cultural property that was re-built in the 15th century.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Niomon

The bright colours, also observed in the Sanju-no-to are typical of Buddhist temples, reflecting influence from Chinese architecture.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

A couple enjoying some time to themselves with a view of the city near the Sanju-no-to.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Even outside the ticket area, one can get a decent view of Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Sanju-no-to

Located outside the ticket area, the Sanju-no-to or Three Storied Pagoda is another recognizable feature of Kiyomizu-dera. It is the tallest three-storey pagoda in Japan. The vermilion pagoda was rebuilt in 1633 and repainted in 1987.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Hondo

We were so early that the staff of the temple were still cleaning the temple and the souvenir shops has yet to open. The entrance fee to the temple cost 300 Yen.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Hondo

On certain periods of the year such as the cherry blossoms period, it is also opened at night for the night illuminations. There was a night illumination going on when we visited the temple that takes place from 1830 to 2130 hours.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Otowa-No-Taki 音羽の滝

The temple was founded in 788 AD and dedicated to the 11-face Kannon. The temple is probably most recognized for its main hall (hondo) which sits perched out over the mountainside on massive wooden pilings.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

On the verandah (butai) that juts out over the valley floor, we could see prominent landmarks of Kyoto such as Higashi Honggan-ji, Kyoto Station and Kyoto Tower city. The city was framed by hills and mountains on the horizon. It was quite a sight as the sun was rising.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Besides the interesting structure of the verandah, there was still some autumn foliage left to enjoy although it has passed its peak.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

It was quite peaceful early in the morning.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Ema with wishes written on them, a common sight in Shinto and Buddhist shrines and temples.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Otowa-No-Taki 音羽の滝

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Otowa-No-Taki 音羽の滝

From the main hall, the stairs lead down to Otowa-no-taki, a waterfall where visitors can sip water from a spring that is said to have many health benefits. It was from this spring where the temple got its name from.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

The temple is easily accessible via bus from Kyoto Station and gets extremely packed during the afternoon or late morning. Not surprising, as it is one of most common landmarks to be found on the itineraries of any packaged tours by the major tour agencies in Singapore, along with Kinkakuji and Nijo Castle.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Colourful Koyo.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

A view of the Sanju-no-ta uphill.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Downslope there is a pond with ducks.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Not photographed inside is a large group of students having a group photo taken at the steps. There were many students visiting the temple as we were leaving.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Sanju-no-to

We took a few more photographs as it got brighter and the sunlight creates a greater contrast.

Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 - Sanju-no-to

As mentioned before, the best time to visit this temple is in the early morning. It got quite crowded by 0730-0800 Hours with students and tourists spilling all over the place as it is a very popular sightseeing spot. Personally, I am intrigued by the structure that is supporting the verandah as well as the autumn colours.


4 comments:

  1. All your photos are very well-taken. I need to save up for Japan trip now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. to Andrew: Thank you! =)
    to BellaV: Thanks! You won't regret it ;) Japan is a really nice and interesting place to visit. Kyoto is my favourite!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love kiyomizu dera temple. Omamori of this temple is aivalable on www.omamori.com ... I hope one day to return to Japan

    ReplyDelete

 

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