The main hall of the Kiyomizu-dera Temple from Kyoto was built in 1633 and it is famous because the whole construction was made of wood without using a single nail. The large wooden veranda built on tall pillars right in front of the main hall, 13 meters above the hillside, is one of the most crowded places in Kyoto, for the simple reason that the view from up-there is spectacular in every season…
Like the nearby Otowa Waterfall, the Kiyomizu-dera veranda has its share of legends regarding fulfilling wishes. During the Edo period, there was a weird belief that if someone survives a leap from the veranda (13 meters high!), his wish will be fulfilled. It may seem incredible, but a number of 234 people tried the jump… and only 200 survived. Obviously the practice was forbidden.
The best place to admire Kiyomizu-dera is from the Okunoin Hall, located above the opposite hillside, known as the temple’s secondary balcony. Currently under renovation, I had the chance to take a glimpse at the works in progress:
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Yesterday’s Japan Photo: