Do You Know Unique Anecdotes Related with Kiyomizu Dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan?

In my last trip of Kyoto, I also visited Kiyomizu dera Temple which is the one of the famous sightseeing spot as a historic and sacred place.

Kiyomizu Dera Temple
Kiyomizu Dera Temple

Our group arrived there around 4pm, but it was super crowded.

It must be one of the popular place.  I had visited even my private trip with my friend, in addition, here is a standard place for Japanese school excursions.

The season I went there should have not been so much crowded because it is not special season to show a great spectacle or an event, however, there were so many people.

I guess more people would come to see leaves in autumn.

Anyway, you would have roughly understood how much popular Kiyomizu dera temple is. Let me introduce the unique episodes related to Kiyomizu dera Temple that I’ve heard from our guide. 

The Main Gate, Niomon, Did Not Exist at First.

When you walk up from the approach, the massive gate, Niomon, appears at first.  Surprisingly, the gate did not exist at first. 

The Main Gate, Niomon
The Main Gate, Niomon

So, why was it built?

Because people were capable of seeing the imperial palace, Kyoto Gosho, in a full view. In other words, nothing hid the palace from Kiyomizu dera Temple. 

OMG, it must be awkward!! (Sure, it is)  Then, Niomon was built.

So, Niomon has another name Mekakushimon which means Blinder Gate in Japanese.

I wonder why no one realized the point while building… Didn’t  people dared not to build it at first?

Bought a Mountain to Prepare for Repairing after 400 Years 

The lumber used for Kiyomizu dera temple haven’t been replaced for 400 years.  Certainly, the wounded one are partly repaired, but it basically has continued to use the original one. 

However, it is wooden. It is pretty sure that it is going to collapse in someday. Then, Kiyomizu dera temple figured out the fact that the lumber 100% gets ruin in 400 years by researching. 

To make matters worse, appropriate trees for the lumber are a quite a few in the present situation.

To settle it, Kiyomizu dera temple make a big decision. 

They bought a mountain to foster trees for the lumber.

They are planning to foster trees there and use them for repairing after 400 years. 

The very long plan is more surprising thing than buying a mountain. 400 years… I cannot imagine how it is.

Many People did “Jump Off the Stage at Kiyomizu”

In Japan, there is a proberb “Jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”(清水の舞台から飛び降りる Kiyomizu no butai kara tobioriru) which means making a decision to do something after thinking about it for a long time.  Actually, many people have jumped off among many people regardless of age or gender.  The number is over 200.  The youngest age is 12 years old, and the oldest age is 80 years old.  The reason is because it was popular as making a wish in Edo period. 

The survival rate is relatively high, 80%.  The 70 % is female.  Our guide said women were strong. 

BUT DO NOT JUMP OFF!! It is too dangerous!!!

Extra : It is said that the randam fortune (おみくじ) of Kiyomizu dera temple contains a lot of “bad luck” (凶), furthermore, it contains “extremely bad luck” (大凶). 

There is a rumor that “bad luck” fortunetelling papers are likely to be drawn in the randam fortune of Kiyomizu dera, moreover, it contains “extremely bad luck” papers.

By the way, the fortune I drew was “half luck” (半吉).  Is it good or not?

A Foutune Telling Sheet
A Foutune Telling Sheet


I am pleased if my post helps you.


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