Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Kyoto Prefecture > Kiyomizu temple

Kiyomizu temple

Kiyomizu templeMap around Kiyomizu templeKiyomizu temple is a Buddhist temple located about 3 km east-northeast of Kyoto station.
It is on the east mountainside of Higashiyama mountains.
In Japanese, it is called "Kiyomizu-dera".

This temple was founded in 778 before the transfer of the national capital to Kyoto (794).

A young priest training in Kofukuji temple in Nara received a Buddha's prophecy in his dream.
According to the prophecy, he travelled toward north.
Around current Kiyomizu temple, he found golden water flowing in a brook.
After he walk along the brook, he met an old priest who was 200 years old.
The old priest said, "I has long been waiting for you. I must travel toward east, so you do for the future."
The old priest gave a sacred wood to the young priest, and left.

The young priest realized that the old priest was an incarnation of Kan'non (Buddhist God of Mercy).
Then he created a statue of Kan'non with many arms from the sacred wood, and built a temple.
It was the origin of Kiyomizu temple.

In the precincts, there are many buildings.

Kyoto, Kiyomizudera temple

The most famous and unique building is the main temple, and it is designated as a national treasure.
A broad terrace is attached in front of the main part of the temple, and it is supported by 139 pillars with no nail because it is over the slope of the mountainside.
It looks like a great stage.

In the main temple, three miniature shrines are set up, and each shrine houses an important Buddha statue.
One of them houses the original statue of Kan'non with many arms, and the statue in the shrine is exposed only once every 33 years. (The last exposition was in 2000.)

On the east side of the main temple, there is "Otowa no taki".
It is a spring that the young priest found golden water, and clear waters fall through three gutters.
(Of course, the water is not golden color.)
It is said that you will live long if you drink the water.

The other buildings in the precincts are designated as national important cultural properties.
And this temple is one of 17 constructions of "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto" designated as a World Heritage Site.

The admission fee to this temple is 300 yen.

There are some approaches to the temple.

On Higashi-oji Street, there are two entrances.
One is Kiyomizu-zaka street from Kiyomizumichi intersection.
Another is Gojo-zaka street from Higashiyama-Gojo intersection.
Both approaches are about 1.0-1.2 km long from the intersections, and there are many souvenir shops and cafes along the streets.

An old and narrow street merges into Kiyomizu-zaka street.
It is a street with Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka.

How to get to here

By route bus

From Kyoto station, about 15 minutes to Gojozaka stop, about 17 minutes to Kiyomizumichi stop, by bus with route No. 206, 208.
Then about 15-20 minutes from each bus stop to the temple.

Kiyomizu temple
Main temple of Kiyomizudera
Supporting columns of main temple
Photo by Railstation.net
Niomon gate
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Three story pagoda
Photo by Railstation.net
Kyoudo temple
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan

Copyright © travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links

Popular spots in and near Kyoto Prefecture

Yasaka Shrine
Nishiki Market
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Nijo Castle
Shimogamo Shrine
Moss temple

Hozu Gorge