Spring

Cherry blossom viewing in the Kiyomizu-dera Temple: Hanami spots in Kyoto

Miwa

Writer

The Kiyomizu-dera Temple(清水寺) is the most popular sightseeing place throughout the year in Kyoto and also is designated as a world cultural heritage site. It is also famous for the beautiful scenery in cherry blossom and autumn leaves season. They open for night visit in these season, you can enjoy marvelously illuminated temple and mountain.

History of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple:

Kiyomizu literally means pure water.
In the 8th century one Buddhist monk, Enchin, found a pure waterfall in the Otowa Mountain and built a small thatched hut for Kannon Bodhisattva. This is the origin of this temple. Later it was enlarged by the Shogun, Sakanoue Tamuramaro(坂上田村麻呂), but it burned down many times.
Today’s building are about 400 years old which was rebuilt in 1633 by the third Tokugawa Shogun IEMITSU(家光).

What to know about the Kiyomizu-dera Temple:

1. The structure of the main hall

To build the main hall on the edge of the hill, special construction technique known as Kakezukuri(懸造り) is employed. Surprisingly no single nails are used!!
Many zelcova tree are assembled and support each other, and it has the excellent earthquake resistance system. With this technique the Kiyomizu-dera temple is still standing without being destroyed by an earthquake for over 400 years.

2. The stage

The stage or verandas of the main hall is jutting over the hill. You can enjoy the wonderful view, and I want you to look down and feel how high it is. It is about 13 meters high.
We have an old saying “jumping off the stage of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple”, that means making our strong decision. People made a wish to Kannon Boddhisatva and jumped off the stage to achieve their wishes.
Actually we have over 200 jump records until the 18th century and surprisingly about 85 percent of them survived. Of course jumping from the stage is banned now.

3. Blessing water

The last and important one are the three lines of waterfall, the origin of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. They are believed as the blessing water which give us longevity, academic success, and happy marriage. Many people always wait in a long line to drink blessing water.

Others things to see:

1. The three story pagoda(三重塔)

It is one of the highest three-story pagoda in Japan. Beautiful vivid vermilion red and gorgeous painting attracts people. You can find a dragon on the southeast corner of the roof. Dragon is the god of water in Japan and it protects buildings from fire. That’s why you see many dragons in temple and shrine.

2. The Zuigu-do hall(随求堂)

This hall represents the inside of mother’s womb and it is totally dark inside. People move down slowly in the dark with holding on the string of Buddhist rosary beads. It is so exciting, and what a relief when we find a ray of light near exit. (100 yen)

3. The Jishu jinja Shrine(地主神社)

It is very popular shrine especially among young girls. It is the famous for love and happy marriage. You will see the two stones which is called “the love-fortune-telling stones”. It is believed that if you succeed in walking from one stone to the other stone with your eyes closed (about 10 meters), you will find true love. Although it is sometimes very hard because of the crowd of visitors, many young people enjoy trying.

Also, you will realize the rabbit in the shrine. They are signified as the messenger of God. It came from the legend that Okuninushi no Mikoto(大国主命), the Shinto deity of love, helped a rabbit in trouble. Like this you can find a variety of animals in each shrine as a messenger of deity such as foxes, deer, and oxen.

 

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Kyoto Stay!

Kyoto is an old capital of Japan and a cultural and historical mecca for everyone who visits this country. It is the most popular city among tourists and a must-see destination indeed. Kyoto boasts over 4000 historical places including shrines, temples, and attracts visitors with its charming atmosphere of an ancient city. This city is great for shopping, bicycling, hiking, museums, galleries, green spaces, and features many famous festivals. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Kyoto! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/100-things-kyoto-sightseeing-spots-traditional-japanese-events

See More Kyoto Spring Events and Festivals This Year!

Kyoto features different beauty in each season. A lot of people visit Kyoto to enjoy the elegance from canopies of beautiful cherry blossoms that cover the whole city of Kyoto in spring. On the other hand, there are many other spring events to boast and worthy of note. The following article picked up the must-see events in the ancient capital of Japan this spring. Please take a look!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/popular-kyoto-spring-events-festivals

Enjoy Sakura in Japan!

Cherry blossoms are an essential part of Japanese culture. And, viewing cherry blossoms (Hanami) is very popular in Japan during the spring. This is because cherry blossoms, which the Japanese call “Sakura” are stunning at this season.

If you are planning to visit Japan this spring and want to discover more cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto area, please check the following article. It’s covering the best Hanami spots in the old capital and provides you with the essential information, so you can get the most from your Sakura trip!

Here’s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/ 

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. It will be a miss if you don’t visit Osaka to see cherry blossoms when you are in the Kansai area in spring. Please check the following article to find out the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Osaka and Kansai!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/osaka-kansai-cherry-blossoms-spots-sakura-festivals-feel-spring 

Kyoto and Osaka have many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have excellent places for hanami. Tokyo features many of those spots as well! If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossoms, Why don’t you check the following article?

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1805/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6572/

Miwa

I'm an English speaking tour guide in Kyoto. You can enjoy a variety of events in each region throughout a year. I hope to see you soon.

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