Kyoto – the ancient capital of Japan – houses a range of beautiful temples that make anyone feel calm and serene. Among those, the 2 more famous are the golden Kinkaku, and the temple on the mountain – Kiyomizu.
Ever since little kid, I had been looking at photos of the Kinkaku and memorized that view – a golden 3-story temple perching peacefully yet proudly amid the clear lake with a fence of evergreen trees around. That view had become the symbol of Kyoto in my mind. When I finally had the chance to see the temple with my own eyes, the gorgeous view didn’t fail to mesmerize me. In the bright sunlight of a spring noon, the temple, with it golden gild, sparkled in its most glorious beauty.
Too bad that we couldn’t get closer to the temple. A fence was erected around it to protect the UNESCO heritage from possible damage caused by accidental tourists. However, just looking at it from afar, walking round it under the shade of zen trees was rewarding and relaxing enough.
Kiyomizu had more to offer. Located on top of the mountain overlooking Kyoto, the pagoda is well-known for it 100 pillars. Inside the pagoda was nothing impressive – just regular statues of Buddhist figures – but its massive and unique architecture made from wood would definitely caught your eyes and mind.
Kiyomizu is also famous for its 2 love stones. If you close your eyes and walk successfully from one stone to another, your love will be realized. During this walk, you can receive help or instruction from other people, and that would mean you will need their advice in life to be with your love. I tried, and with help (you can even call it urge) from my mother’ holding my hand and pulling me toward the other stone, of course I arrived safe and sound and quickly at the destination.
After trying the love stones to assure yourself that you’ll be with your love, get in the line to drink from one of the three streams that are rumored to bring health, success, or love. Don’t drink water from all of them though, just pick one, otherwise you’ll be considered greedy. The problem is you really don’t know which stream will bring which.
And did I mention that the mountain where Kiyomizu tops overlooks the city o Kyoto?
Yes, Kyoto, the peaceful land of temples and pagodas, the old capital where everything slows down and seems ancient, where the colors black and white make you feel the true Japanese zen culture. Be there once, and you’ll understand the old of Japan.