Seeing the sun start its descent on another day in Kyoto, we double time it from Sanjūsangen-dō up to what looks like a park that will cut right through to the Kiyomizu-deru. We come to a fantastic bridge leading through the autumn colors up to yet another temple.
Looks cool but we on a mission so we cut right through and exit out the back into a massive graveyard. Wow this goes on forever.
Whooo! Made it. We come up on the Kiyomizu-deru and there is another thick multitude of people. This place was founded in 778 and the current buildings constructed in 1633. The light on the orange gate, pagoda and temple leading up to it is superb. We get there just in time to catch some kimono’d selfie masters doll it up.
The main building is a massive wooden structure that is apparently free standing. No Nails! It is completely covered in a restoration sheet at the moment, unfortunately, so it’s tough to get an idea of what it truly looks like. Autumn colors woot!
(I nabbed a pic from wikipedia to get an idea of what we were supposed to see. Photo Attribution: By Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53593907)
We go inside and navigate the herd of people. There are some Buddhas and a water spring. There is a waterfall into a natural spring in the middle of the building but we don’t really get a good look.
But while we’re in there Queenie recognizes someone she knows!
It’s Mary from when Queenie first visited Akron, Ohio! Before Queenie moved there she visited in 2005 and met Mary at her cousin’s place. They spend a moment getting over their disbelief and then catch up on things (in mandarin, I have no idea what’s happening. Should learn that some day).
Awwwww old friends!
This place is gigantic. Looking out from the deck I spot another pagoda in the distance. Let’s get to it!
Along the way is a swath of trinket and prayer shops and a whole area of mini shrines. We go up and take a peek.
The Hammer of Love!
We find a love rock. A sign tells us that if you walk away from it to another stone across the walkway, then close your eyes, turn around, walk back and place your hand on it with your eyes still closed the whole way, you will find true love. With so many people in here this is nigh impossible. Somehow Queenie does it anyway!
The view from the other love rock is swell
We continue our tour of the superstitious shrines
Like many other places we’ve been to in Japan, notably Nikko, all of these shrines, trinkets, prayer notes, games and things relate to love, family, and health.
The Kiyomizu-deru may be covered up but the view back towards central Kyoto is still remarkable.
We cross the gap and come to the matching pagoda on the other side. There are some snazzy looking teenagers gathered around for jump shots so we let them finish up before getting a pic.
Well, looks like that’s about it. On the way back we hear a cackling of kids playing in the natural spring water with cup-poles.
While the sun is going down we peruse the craft shops outside the temple. I really want a fox figurine from Fushimi Inari-taisha but everything is cutesy cartoony. I want one like that badass kitsune holding a granary key but there’s none to be found. Ok well, I’d definitely settle for a tanuki! We look around but can’t find a good one of those either. You will be mine TANUKI!!
Seems like you can fit in 3 super awesome things a day here in Kyoto and we’ve met our quota. Fortunately, our top secret mission from Watering Hole never ends: Japanese Craft Beer!