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Kiyomizudera Temple

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Kiyomizudera Temple
Famous Hanging Platform of Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizudera Temple is located on the eastern Kyoto city, on top of the Higashiyama mountains.  Kiyomizudera temple can be easily reached from JR Kyoto Station on a city bus.  "Take the plunge at Kiyomizudera" is a famous saying associated with Kiyomizudera temple.  This saying is associated with the main hall's hanging platform that overhangs the mountain where the temple is located.  This saying does not mean that one should jump off the platform, but only means that one should be true to their convictions.  Being a city temple, it is easily accessible to tourists and one of the most highly visited temples in the Japan.

This temple is the sixteenth temple in the Saikoku (33 Kannon temples of the Kansai region) pilgrimage circuit. 

Kiyomizudera Temple Seals

Kiyomizudera Temple belongs to the Kita Hoso sect of Buddhism, was founded by Enchin, the great priest, in the eighth year of Hoki (778, even before Kyoto officially became capital of Japan in 794), enshrines in main sanctuary an image of eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon Bosatsu.  This buddhist god of mercy and benevolence has been the object of the ardent faith of Japanese people of all classes through the ages. 

The present structures are rebuilt in the 17th century (1633) consist of RoMon (two storied gate), Sanjunoto (three storied pagoda), Shoro (Bell Tower), Kyodo (Sutra Hall), Tamurado (Founder's Hall), The Hondo (Main Hall) and many others.  The Hondo built in 1633, is the central building of the temple compound and is an example of Kake-zukuri or "overhang" architecture.  It is famous for it's so-called "Kiyomizudera- stage", an imposing veranda supported by a forest of tall wooden columns with wooden braces running through them crosswise and lengthwise.  The building, which consists principally of the stone-floored sanctuary, which houses the temple's primary Buddhist statue, and the plank-floored worship hall, is characterized below by it's false roof.  This type of architecture is handed down from the Heian period (794-1184).

All the buildings in the Kiyomizudera Temple precincts are designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. 

There is a place in the temple precincts where the water from the nearby Otawa falls, falls in three streams.  Many travelers form a line to drink the water from these falls.  It is said that you get a long life and prosperity drinking water from these falls. 

Here is a video of the Kiyomizudera Temple:

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