Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

the famous hanging veranda of Kiyomizu-dera, sometimes I do think how much weight it can hold esp with all the "chibi maruko" lil feet on it. I must say Japanese kids are so well behaved, never once I see them screaming, bullying, running, stomping their feet or fighting.

oh now I just described myself....who screamed in glee at beautiful sights, bullied JS to buy me ice creams, ran around courtyard and gardens, climbed every monuments I could, and fought with JS for the last bite of Dorayaki .
I am so shameless....tsk tsk tsk....Malaysians.....

the shameless notti Monkey. She was quite a notorious menace in Japan -_-
tsk tsk tsk beyond control~~~~

Kiyomizu-dera is best accessed by foot...the slow uphill walk was a sight to behold. As u walked, throngs of buses made their climb too. It is by foot that u get to do tonnes of pitstops at those lil shops selling knick knacks from food, snacks to souvenirs.

Once u have arrived, the first Niomon Gate greets you in such happy sight. Most of the attractions in Japan is surprisingly free. Kiyomizu requires a small entrance fees of 300 yen.

most stairs....huffed and puffed...
Right after this flight of stairs, there is a much forgotten hall....yea so forgotten till JS forgot to snap pics of it. Hahahahaha

It's Zuigudo Hall dedicated to Buddha's mother. After removing our shoes, we took a narrow flight of stairs down the basement of this building...It was pitched black with nothing to see....the really old attendants who worked there told us in japanese, to hold our belongings with our right hand...with only the left hand freed, we were supposed to hold a wooden rope that guides us through the walk in pitched black.

It was really pitched black, our feet were cold touching the semi stone semi wooden flooring....right hands carrying cameras and bags....left hand glided across a long dangling wooden rope...As I felt it, the wooden rope is the shape of rosary. Huge beads...I wouldn't even call it beads...huge wooden balls follow one another on the rope.

Inside the basement hall is said to be the womb of Buddha, the walk was short, less than 5 minutes but u won't know where it leads u to. U won't know when to turn or will there be steps...so I was gliding my feet as well WAHAHAHAHAHA. Soon I realised the purpose of this walk....it is not to SEE with your EYES *u can't see anything anyway*...u are supposed to calm urself..close ur eyes...use ur left hands and touch the rosary, say your prayers and move through.

I am glad I found "enlightenment" in those few seconds and realised this quick...which was to close my eyes and walk through. It was so much easier rather than walking in frantic and squeezing ur eyes trying to see where's the end of this tunnel.

Somewhere towards the end, u'll see a stone with a single spotlight on it. Visitors can make wishes in front of this single lighted stone before proceeding to the pathway towards the daylight. The sudden glare of daylight hit us as we re-emerged out on the other end, gleaming at each other for the short surreal experience.

and we continued on our visit after putting on the shoes. U'll need a good walking pair of shoes in Kyoto...not just any good walking shoes but one that's easy to be removed all the time...or should I say perpetually. Hahahaha.

my loyal pair of Tod's is the best travel shoes-mate ever :)))

and we arrived on the famous hanging veranda of Kiyomizu-dera
there were so many japanese and local tourists plus all the super well-behaved and CLEAN "chibi marukos"

where on earth do u find CLEAN children? Only in Japan and maybe outer space.

Chibi Marukos of all ages praying and trying to get a whiff of incense for good health.

As we were busy wandering and snapping pics...there was another group of really really young chibi marukos...think they were about 7-8 max....they politely removed their shoes and head to the main hall. Folded their legs and sat down on the wooden floor. Hats all removed.

Soon the "leader" of all the young cute and clean chibi marukos lifted the wooden stick and hit the gong. He lead his classmates and soon they started praying.

Such well behaved children..... Soon I joined them at the back, watching their actions intently. Yes notti monkey, u better behave urself. Young children can be so well-mannered and you....tsk tsk tsk...I guess they were trained since young....hehehehehe and as for me, I m too old to be re-trained on etiquettes BAHAHAHAHA...yeah even I luff like a Hyena. Maybe we can start with laughing gracefully and mouth covered with my hands.

From the veranda, among the lush greenery there is another Pagoda on the South of Kiyomizu. The Koyazu Pagoda, if you want to wish and pray for children and safe birth...this is the place.

Join the path and walk to the other end of Kiyomizu, this side is nearer to the mountain and u'll have a spectacular view not only on Kiyomizu but Kyoto city. Even the Kyoto Tower is so prominent from here and its mountain range.
*pic stolen fr the web*

if you visit Kyoto in late Autumn, this is the beautiful spectacular scenery u'll have....oh my~~~~~There are some renovation works around here, in fact most of the heritage buildings in Kyoto are being restored. So do visit their website for notices and update. These kind of restoration works are important and take years. Some till 2019. Just right before the Olympics 2020.

we then made our way down to view the veranda from the bottom with its wooden base structure. Founded in 778 and built without a single nail makes you wonder...a lot....

Japanese has a saying "to jump off the stage of Kiyomizu"
it literally means to take the plunge....in fact during the Edo period 234 jumps were recorded of coz not all survived. Come on!!! it's a 13 metre jump how could one survive unhurt. So right now, the jump has been prohibited unless one would like to commit suicide.
the other important sights is this waterfall. Drink from it for longevity.
The name Kiyomizu derived from Clear/pure water, precisely from this waterfall.

If drinking from the waterfall and jumping off the veranda isn't ur thing, there is a Jishu shrine dedicated to the God of Love

One for the album :))))))
Isn't Kiyomizu beautiful? :))))))

No comments: