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Kiyomizu Temple

UNESCO World Heritage Site and a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is one of Japan's most famous temples. Established in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall on the eastern hills of Kyoto, it takes its name from the pure water region of the waterfall.


2 hours 40 mins


Kiyomizumichi Bus Stop

History of Kiyomizu Temple

The temple is named Kiyomizu, meaning "pure water," due to its proximity to a clear stream flowing from Mount Otowa. Founded by the monk Enchin (円珍, 814-891) in 798 with the support of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758-811), a renowned Japanese military commander, the temple has undergone numerous fires since its construction. In 1633, it was reconstructed. The temple boasts several culturally significant structures such as the West Gate, Deva Gate, bell tower, three-story pagoda, and notably, the main hall. In 1994, UNESCO recognized Kiyomizu-dera as a World Cultural Heritage site.

What is special in Kiyomizu Temple?

Here, there are three sacred waterfalls, believed to correspond to three human wishes: longevity, love, and academic success. Visitors can drink this clear and refreshing water, as it is believed in Japanese tradition that making wishes while consuming this water will make those wishes come true. If one drinks from any of the three water streams and makes a wish, it is said that all wishes will be fulfilled. However, if you drink two sips, the divine favor will be reduced by half, and drinking three sips will result in only one-third of good fortune. Moreover, if you drink from all three streams, the sacred efficacy will be entirely lost. Before drinking from the waterfall, it is customary to clasp your hands and bow to Gyoei, the deity enshrined behind the falls, as a sign of respect and a sincere request for blessings from this pure stream of water.

The distinctive feature of Kiyomizu-dera is its unique and unparalleled architecture from the "Land of the Rising Sun," with the most famous being the main hall dedicated to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, adorned with a thousand eyes, a thousand arms, and eleven heads, considered a national treasure of Japan. The main hall of the temple is a spacious wooden building divided into three sections, with a front balcony called Kiyomizu Stage, approximately 90 meters wide.

Love Stones at Jishu Shrine

Kiyomizu-dera is not only a Buddhist temple, but within its precincts, there is also a Shinto shrine, the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to the Shinto deity Okuninushi, a god of love and "good matchmaking."

If a traveler needs assistance and someone helps them in this endeavor, the assistant plays a significant role as a bridge of emotions between the potential couple. In addition to its historical and cultural significance, this unique temple is also a sacred place for seeking connections and good fortune, particularly for young visitors who come to explore and travel here. Every year during the festival season, many tourists visit to admire the beautiful scenery, seek good luck and peace, and wish for good relationships and connections.

For further information, please access the official website:

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