OWL Magazine Korea

Kyoto’s Famous Temple “Kiyomizu-dera”

In the eastern part of Kyoto City, you can find a renowned temple known as “Kiyomizu-dera” in Japanese or “Cheongsusa” in Chinese characters, meaning a temple with clear water.

“Founded in the Heian Period, Kiyomizu-dera”

Kiyomizu-dera was established during the Heian Period. It is known to have been founded by General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the first Shogun of the Heian Period. The temple’s origins trace back to an encounter between Tamuramaro and a monk named Enchin, who was practicing and venerating the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kannon.

Moved by this encounter, Tamuramaro expressed remorse for his violent actions, devoted himself to Kannon, relinquished his mansion, and funded the construction of a grand temple, Kiyomizu-dera, making it a center for Kannon worship.

“Temple with Repeated Fires and Reconstructions”

Despite its significance, Kiyomizu-dera faced several fires and reconstructions. Most of the buildings, including the main hall, were reconstructed in 1633 with the support of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.

The name Kiyomizu-dera, meaning “pure water temple,” is derived from the Otowa Waterfall that flows within the temple grounds. The temple has been well-maintained, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1994.

“Scenic Beauty of Kiyomizu-dera”

Kiyomizu-dera boasts breathtaking scenery, particularly renowned for its unique ambiance throughout the four seasons. To fully appreciate this beauty, it is recommended to visit in each season. The view overlooking Kyoto city from the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera is particularly outstanding.

“Missed the Chance to Enter Kiyomizu-dera Due to Late Arrival”

Regrettably, I arrived too late to enter the temple. Kiyomizu-dera closes at 6:00 PM, and arriving well past 8:00 PM, it was understandable that I couldn’t enter. Nonetheless, this visit provided the opportunity to explore the entrance and get acquainted with the surroundings. I’m hopeful to return and explore the interior on my next visit to Kyoto.

“Japan Kyoto Kiyomizu-dera”

  • Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu 605-0862, Japan
  • Phone: +81 75-551-1234
  • Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/
  • Operating Hours: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM