If you only visit one temple in Kyoto, make it this World Heritage behemoth. From the balcony at the eastern edge of the complex, you can view an awesome sight: a massive hall and Noh stage supported by 139 wooden pillars. This architectural marvel was built in 1633 using not a single nail, but relying instead on wooden wedges. The temple has a reputation for bestowing good fortune, with numerous ways to appeal to the gods. A natural spring has a sign that states confidently: ‘You can make any wishes here and they will all come true’. Just west of the Main Hall is the Tainai-meguri, a pitch-black tunnel that represents Buddha’s womb. Feel your way down the short, twisting path and you’ll find a stone that can also grant wishes. Despite all this, some worshippers used to leap from the 13m-high stage, believing their prayers would be answered if they survived the drop.
1 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku
|Opening hours:||6am-6pm daily|
|Transport:||Kiyomizu-Gojo Station (Keihan line)|
|Price:||Admission ¥400; Tainai-meguri ¥100|