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Kiyomizu Temple


Higashi-Honganji Temple | Kinkankuji (Golden Pavillion) | Ryoanji Temple and Rock Garden | Kiyomizu Temple | Himeiji

"Kiyo" means pure, "mizu" means water. This temple is a place Buddhists believe one can drink the pure water from one of three spouts which is said to offer the drinker luck in the area of either health, wealth or fame. According to the legend, people do not know which spout offers what...which may reveal something about the effectiveness of this method for improving your life.


This is perhaps one of the most popular photo opportunities at this temple.


I am sure the priest knew he was the object of a souvenier photo, but he stood still anyway.

All along the route you follow through the temple grounds, there is almost always something to buy...fortunes, lucky charms... or somewhere to put your money -- and even when there isn't something to buy, the surrounding signs offer evidence of commercialization.

Hitachi ad

It may be difficult to tell with the pictures so small, but these two signs (above and below) seem to bear advertizing. Above: Hitachi, below: Fujicolor.

Fuji ad


The three water spouts. I have actually read conflicting discriptions of what the water coming out of the spouts should do for you, but the above was the most common.


Here, people shake the wooden container you see on the counter, and out comes a wooden stick with a number on it. The number corresponds to one of the drawers you see behind the counter. In the drawer is a fortune which you can purchase for anywhere between $1 and $5 USD, depending on the temple.

This is a promise, not a fortune. I didn't get it at the temple, but it was free:

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11


This is a traditional new year's decoration. It is a rice-paste-pancake-ball called mochi. Here it is offered to (depending on which travel book you read) the god or goddess of mercy or childbearing.

On new year's day, it is a tradition to eat mochi. It is heated to make it soft, then sprinkled with soy sauce for flavor.

Solomon chose wisdom...

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

"Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.

Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.

So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,

I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

-1 Kings 3:5-12

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with it.
-Proverbs 8:10-12