Kiyomizu-dera Temple

One Of Japan’s Most Celebrated Temples & A New7Wonders Of The World Finalist


Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto, Japan. November 20, 2007

As the imperial capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, Kyoto conjures up the classic images of Japan: narrow lanes of traditional wooden teahouses; Geisha in a flourish of brightly coloured silks; & the inevitable weeping cherry tree surrounding idyllic temples. One of the best preserved cities in Japan & one of the oldest and most famous metropolises in all of Asia, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kyoto is endowed with an almost overwhelming legacy of ancient Buddhist temples & Shinto Shrines (over 1600 of them in the city alone), majestic palaces, traditional Japanese gardens, and gorgeous teahouses.

Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water) Temple, Kyoto, Japan. November 20th 2007.

Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water) Temple, Kyoto (map-pointer-icon), Japan. November 20, 2007 || From a November 2007 visit to Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto’s most visited temple is the Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water) Temple, one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 798 with the present structure dating to 1633 and remains associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest sects within Japanese Buddhism. It stands in the wooded hills in the east of the city and offers visitors beautiful views, visibility pending, from the famous wooden terrace/veranda of its Main Hall, from below which visitors can taste the spring water which gives the temple its name and which is said to have healing powers. The temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 & was one of the 21 finalist in 2007 for inclusion on the list of the New7Wonders of the World. It’s an especially popular place to visit in the spring when the surrounding hills are alive with cherry blossoms in bloom.

Built in A.D. 794 on the model of the capitals of ancient China, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from its foundation until the middle of the 19th century. As the centre of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture, particularly religious architecture, and the art of Japanese gardens, which has influenced landscape gardening the world over.

– UNESCO commenting on the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto

The three-storied pagoda (and another orange building) in the grounds of the Kiyomizu-dera temple. The temple originated in 778 and remains associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest sects within Japanese Buddhism. In 1994 the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, having being recognised as 'a place of exceptional and universal value; a cultural heritage site worthy of preservation for the benefit of all mankind'. Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan. November 20th 2007.

The three-storied pagoda (and another orange building) in the grounds of the Kiyomizu-dera (Pure Water) Temple, Kyoto, Japan. November 20, 2007 || From a November 2007 visit to Kyoto, Japan

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