Located halfway up Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto City, Kiyomizu-dera is a historic temple that was established in 778, even before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. Since its foundation, the temple has burned down many times. Most of the current buildings were rebuilt by the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the early Edo period (1631 to 1633). The Main Hall (Hondo) of the temple is designated as a national treasure. The temple has many other important cultural properties including the Deva gate, west gate, three-storied pagoda and bell tower. In 1994, it was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. The two most famous places of the temple are the Main Hall, where the Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva - which is famous for the power of answering prayers - is enshrined and Kiyomizu Stage, which is the veranda of the Main Hall extended over a
precipice. Kiyomizu Stage was built using a special method; huge 12-meter high keyaki (Japanese Zelkova) pillars were assembled without using a single nail and the floor was installed using more than 410 cypress boards. The View of the city center of Kyoto from the Stage is magnificent. Kiyomizu-dera (the temple of clear water) was named after Otowa Waterfall. Water from a spring in the mountain has been falling there since its foundation. Fifteen colorfully-painted halls and pagodas stand in its verdant precincts.
The beauty of Kiyomizu-dera is enhanced by the cherry blossoms and fresh verdure in spring and colored leaves in autumn. It is well known as a landscape that represents Kyoto. It would be our pleasure if you took the time to visit and deepen your understanding of the Japanese culture and spirit.
Muromachi style gate built in late 15th century.
Western Gate built in 1631.
Built in 1718 for Daizuigubosatsu.
-3 Stories Pagoda-
Originally built in 847, and rebuilt in 1632.
Built in 1633.
Built in 1633.
It is the symbol of Kiyomizu Temple.
Current one was built in 1633.
-The stage of Kiyomizu-
The stage for performance to Kannon.
-Kake zukuri style-
Construction without nails.
Origin of Kiyomizu Temple and its name. It a sacred water for purification.
(reference: Kiyomizu-dera official site)
Official Site: http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html