Credits to Research Team Muhd Efan
Prefecture this week: Kyoto Prefecture
Kiyomizu-dera also officially known as Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. If it were to translate to English it literally means “Pure Water Temple”.
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633.
There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
The main hall has a large veranda, supported by tall pillars, that just out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city. Large verandas and main halls were constructed at many popular sites during the Edo period to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims.
The popular expression “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu” is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression “to take the plunge”. This refers to an Edo period tradition that held that, if one were to survive a 13m jump from the stage, one’s wish would be granted. 234 jumps were recorded in the Edo period and, of those, 85.4% survived. The practice is now prohibited.
Although, the picture shown below is inside the temple and is called Otowa-no-taki(Otawa Waterfall), the waterfall where visitors drink for health, longevity, and success in studies.
In 2007, Kiyomizu-dera was one of 21 finalists for the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, it was not picked as one of the seven winning sites. ☹
Fun fact! you can see Kiyomizu-dera in animation form in an anime called Oregairu(short name). S2EP1