TokyoCityTOUR AreaGuide

Kansai Region

Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizudera

Kiyomizu-dera known more fully as Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple dates back to 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, during a restoration ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. Not one nail is used in the whole temple. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. It was originally affiliated with the old and influential Hosso sect dating from Nara times. However, in 1965 it severed that affiliation, and its present custodians call themselves members of the Kitahosso sect.