Kiyomizu Dera

Kiyomizu-dera, which is officially called ‘Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera’ is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. Kiyomizu Dera (temple) was founded in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633. What’s astonishing about this very large structure is that there is not a single nail used in the entire structure, which is quite astonishing considering the main structure is overhanging a cliff around 40m tall.

Kiyomizu Dera takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. If you visit the complex you are able to drink the water which is believed to have wish-granting powers.

The Kiyomizu Dera complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Ōkuninushi, a god of love and “good matches”. Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of “love stones” placed 6 meters/20 feet apart, which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love.