Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺)

Kiyomizu-dera(清水寺) is a famous temple situated above Ninenzaka(二年坂) and Sannenzaka(三年坂) overlooking Kyoto. It is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Entering the temple complex, visitors pass by a niomon(仁王門), or two king gate, with statues of divine kings guarding the temple.


From here, there is a three-story pagoda and a couple other buildings before the grand main hall. The stage beside the main hall is built on steep pillars famed for their height and danger. Apparently, people used to leap from the stage believing their wish would be granted if they survive the jump.



Past the main hall and pagodas, there are also smaller shrines and halls in the complex. Below, Otowa Waterfall(音羽の滝) flows into a small pond below the main hall. Drinking from the waterfall is believed to grant good health and longevity as well as scholarly success. The temple was supposedly named for the pure water here.

Another pagoda sits further out past the waterfall.

From here there are great views over Kyoto City and the surrounding hills. Kyoto Tower is a prominent landmark.