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Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizudera was first founded in 778 at the end of the Nara Period by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. The current buildings were built in 1633 on the orders by Tokugawa Iemitsu. When the structures were built not a single nail was used to assemble them. Otowa Waterfall was chosen as the site and the name of the temple was derived from the pure water of the fall. Kiyomizudera was once part of the Hosso Sect, one of the oldest schools in Japanese Buddhism, but later formed the Kita Hosso Sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was listed as a UNESCO world heritage sites.

The temple is best known for its wooden stage located outside the main hall. It is 13 meters tall and over looks cherry blossom and maple trees located in the hillside below. While on the stage you can see the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall and wooden stage was built without the use of any nails. Inside the hall you can see the small statue of the eleven faced thousand armed Kannon. There are times when you can see monks and priests offering prayers to the statue. Behind the main hall of Kiyomizudera is the Jishu Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. One of the attractions of the area is these two stones placed 18 meters apart. It is said that if you can walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed then you will have luck in finding love. If someone helps you reach the stone then it is said that you will need the help to find love.

Below the main hall is where you can find the Otowa Waterfall. The water from the falls is divided into three separate streams. There are long poles with cups attached to the end to allow you to drink from the streams. It is said that each stream has a different benefit, which are longevity, success in studies, and love. It is recommended to drink from one stream at a time because it would seem very greedy to get more. Other structures you can visit are the Okunoin Hall and Koyasu Pagoda. The Okunoin Hall looks like the main hall, but on a small scale. There are halls nearby the structure that are dedicated to the Shaka Buddha, Amida Buddha, and Jizo. The Koyasu Pagoda is three stories tall and is located on the southern end of the temple grounds. It is said that those who visit the site will bring an easy and safe childbirth.

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