Spotlight On Kiyomizu-Dera

Above, Kiyomizu-dera's stage on the main building undergoing renovation in August 2004.

Spotlight on Kiyomizu-Dera

Text and Photos by Armand Vaquer

In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Godzilla passes Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto while seaching for Baby Godzilla.

According to Wikipedia:

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺?), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺) 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.

I visited Kiyomizu-dera in August 2004 with G-TOUR and found it to be one of my highlights of the trip. Although the walk to the temple was a tad strenuous (it is on a steep hill), the beauty of the temple and its surroundings were well worth the hike.

Above, Kyoto as seen from the stage of Kiyomizu-dera's main building. Note Kyoto Tower, which was blasted by Godzilla in "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II."

The main building of the temple with its stage was shown in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II with Godzilla in the background. At the time of our visit, it was undergoing renovation. It was built over Otowa waterfall. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

Kiyomizu also has a pagoda (left) and down the hill from the temple are numerous shops that would satisfy the most rabid shopper.

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan provides directions on how to get to Kiyomizu-dera.

For more on Kiyomizu-dera, go here.

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