Sunday, October 3, 2010
Kiyomizu means "pure, clear water" and refers to the founding legend of the temple and the water found here. There are a lot of Kiyomizuderas in Japan, the most famous being the one in Kyoto, but this one is one of the oldest if not the oldest temple with the name, being founded in 587.
Located in the hills near Yasugi, close to the border with Tottori, the temple disappeared and was refounded in the ninth century, though nothing here now dates from anywhere near that time as the temple and the whole mountain was reduced to ash during a war between the Amago and Mori Clans in the 16th Century.
There is the only 3-story pagoda in the San-in region, and unusually, it is open to the public for a small fee. If one can navigate the steep stairs inside one is rewarded with views across the surrounding countryside.
The temple belongs to the Tendai Sect, and is one of the temples on the Chugoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage as well as the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage.