Thursday, February 9, 2017

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, Kyoto

On the second day in Kyoto, after breakfast and checking out of Seikoro Ryokan, our first destination was Kiyomizu-dera. Both hubby and I have been to the temple, but C. and A. didn't quite make it there by themselves during the week. And it was just about a mile from the ryokan anyway.

Niomon (仁王門), then main entrance of the temple.

Bell tower.

Back view of Saimon (西門). There were lots of renovation going on when we were there, and many areas were blocked and not accessible to visitors, which was too bad.

The gorgeous and luscious green pond and pavilion in front of Joju-in (成就院), a sub-temple to Kiyomizu. We didn't go beyond this which we should have, but regardless Jojuin's famous Moon Garden was closed to the public at the time anyway.

More areas blocked off and not accessible to visitors.

View of Kyoto city from veranda of the Hondo (本堂, main hall), built 1633 on a cliff of Mount Otowa (音羽山).

View of the second pagoda and of Otowa no Taki (音羽の滝, Otowa Waterfall) below from veranda of the Hondo. There was a ridiculously long line to get a sip of water from Otowa no Taki. Known as konjiki-sui (金色水, golden water) or enmei-sui (延命水, life prolonging water), the brisk water supposedly grants health, longevity, and academic success.

A glimpse of Hondo's interior, although this is not the inner sanctuary, which is closed to the public.

Due the historical reasons, it's not uncommon to find a Shinto shrine withing a Buddhist temple ground, and vice versa. Fascinating, huh? Here's Jishu Jinja (地主神社, Jishu Shrine) where one prays for love and finding a good match. 

Here's one of the two "love stones" placed 18m (~59 feet) apart. Walking from one stone to the other with eyes closed will grant a love wish. I actually don't recommend doing this when the place's crowded.

Looking back at Hondo.

Stairs down to Otowa no Taki. We decided to go around to see the second pagoda, then down to see the waterfall afterwards. There's also an Okuno-in (奥の院) directly above Otowa no Taki. Supposedly, this hall has a spectacular view of the Hondo and is visitors' most favorite viewing spot. Too bad it too was closed for renovation :(

Going farther away and looking back at Hondo.

Here's Hondo and its picturesque pagoda.

Looking forward at the second pagoda.

Hubby taking a quick break while I took photos of the first pagoda and the Hondo from across the cliff.

On our way down to Otowa no Taki, we found this fellow running along in the dry gutter down the stair steps. Here's the maple leaves in the summer. Imagine they all turning gold and red during the fall, how beautiful would that be?

More views of the first pagoda on our way down.

Going towards Otowa no Taki now. There were shops and restaurant with roofed seating overlooking Mount Otowa's greenery below. 

Here's Otowa no Taki, and no, we didn't line up for a drink. the line was just too long and the weather was just too hot.

We didn't go back up the stairs to Hondo either. Instead, we followed along the path below the Hondo to exit the temple ground.

Apparently, there was a belief that if one were to jump from here and survive the 13meters fall, one would get his wish. Since the Edo period, there have been 234 jumps recorded with 85.4% survival rate. All I can say is thank goodness they outlawed the jump.

I really wanted to go down and see where those stairs and those stone steps lead to. However, the entrance was again blocked.

On our way out, we encountered another pretty pond with a turtle swimming in it ^.^

Looking up at the first pagoda from the exit.

Back out and departing Kiyomizu, we walked down the temple street with lots of shops and restaurants and treated ourselves to another round of snacks. No photos though :(

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