Kiyomizu-dera was on my must see places list for Kyoto. Why? The temple has a stunning view over Kyoto and is located near Gion. Also, the shopping street leading up to the temple has so many shops where you can buy lots of souvenir for friends and family. The place though, is very touristy, so be prepared for that. If you keep walking the path and visit the many shrines, you will also find a love stone that tells you if you can walk to it from a certain distance with your eyes closed you will find your perfect love! Luckily I made it, and yes I did find him!
Kiyomizu-dera is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the seventeen Historical Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. There are some very interesting things to do here. One of them is walking from one sacred stone to the other with your eyes closed. If you succeed, then you will be lucky in love. Another thing, which is actually prohibited now, is the chance to jump from a 13 meter high stage. Survival would mean your wish would be granted. This tradition happened in the Edo period. The survival rate then was 85.4%.
The main reason I came here though was to experience the ‘womb’ of Daizuigu Bosatsu. This occurs not in the main temple building, but the smaller Tainai-meguri Hall. It costs me ¥ 100 to enter. I take off my shoes and walk down a few steps, all the time holding onto the hand rail made of prayer beads. Beyond the steps I take a right turn and enter a room of complete darkness.
Daizuigu Bosatsu is a female Bodhisattva who has the power to grant any human wish. I stumble alone through the maze of corridors, all the while engulfed in the blackness. Complete darkness like I have never seen before. It is somewhat peaceful, but at the same time horrifying. After a few minutes of carefully walking, I see a light in the distance. A glowing stone. It is at this stone that I make a wish.
It is not everyday you get to go into the depths of a temple, but I highly recommend the experience. One of the highlights from my time in Kyoto, and my favourite temple in Japan.