Pictures of Kiyomizu temple (Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera)

The Buddhist Kiyomizu temple is located in eastern Kyoto. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.

Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera

It is famous for stage and waterfall. Not one nail is used in the whole temple.

Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera

The Otowa waterfall

Three channels of water from the Otowa waterfall confer wisdom, health and longevity. A cap with long handle, your pray and swallow of pure water are the keys for your dreams.

Otowa waterfall
Otowa waterfall

The main hall has a veranda, supported by tall 13m pillars. The popular Japanese expression “to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu” is the equivalent of the English “to take the plunge”. This expression has historic roots: if one were to survive a jump from the stage, one’s wish would be granted.

Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera

The deva gate:

The deva gate.


The temple complex includes the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to Okuninushi, a god of love and “good matches”. A lot of Japanese school-girls are making a wish, buying lucky souvenirs and trying to pass between a pair of “love stones” with their eyes closed in order to find love, or true love. Their friends help them with advice as it occurs in the real life.


© Irina Samonova 1999-2020