Guze-den Hall resembling Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple was established in consideration for the people of Sado who could not make it as far as Kyoto to worship
Seisui-ji Temple which was established in 808 is Sado’s oldest temple of note which has existed since the Heian Era. At the time, Emperor Kammu, who deeply worshiped the Thousand-Armed Kannon which was the principal image enshrined at Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, took into consideration the people of Sado who couldn’t make the trip to Kyoto to pray there and started the building of a temple which resembled Kiyomizu-dera. A Buddhist monk who had been searching for the appropriate location for the temple to be built nearby on the island discovered something shining in a flowing river and found the river’s source which would become the area where the temple would be built. The kanji for both Kiyomizu-dera and Seisui-ji 「清水寺」 are identical with the former being the name for the temple in Kyoto while the latter would identify the Sado temple. Although small compared to Kiyomizu-dera, the main hall of Guze-den which was built to resemble the Kyoto temple is a beautiful structure filled with dignity and character to evoke the image of a forest sanctuary. There is a wonderful view to be seen from the hall and the murmuring of the sacred river echoes within the tranquility of the area.
Cultural properties within the mystical temple grounds surrounded by deep nature
Seisui-ji Temple which stands on a slope of a small mountainous hill surrounded by countryside and rice paddies has an attractive unique mysticism which melds nature and the cultural properties. All of the properties have been registered as civic cultural assets and include the profound Niomon Gate which greets visitors to the temple, the luxuriant sando path lined with cedar trees that are several hundred years old, the Chuumon Gate leading to the wide front garden, the bell tower and Guze-den Hall. As well, you can also view valuable buildings on the grounds such as the beautiful plaster scripture house with the dragon carving and the lecture hall. Since its foundation in 808, these cultural properties were repeatedly rebuilt once every 200 years and preserved. The current buildings were rebuilt in 1730 as mid-Edo Era structures.