Kiyomizu Temple

Overlooking Kyoto from the base of the eastern mountains, Kiyomizu Temple takes its name from the pure water of the cascade which runs down the hill behind the complex.

Founded in 780, this temple of the Buddhist Hossō sect is older than Kyoto itself, though Kiyomizu-dera has been rebuilt many times over the years – most recently in 1633. The temple is renowned for its construction, which uses no nails to support the elaborate wooden structure of the main hall.

In addition to the three streams of clear water, believed to promote health, longevity, and scholastic success, the temple precincts house Shinto shrines dedicated to love, and many hopefuls come to try to walk, eyes closed, between the “love stones”.