Along a narrow and crowded corridor, as on one side, a major construction work was on-going, a long flight of steps descended downhill towards Otowa Falls, “Otowa-no-taki”, the namesake of Kiyomizu- dera. The water from the fall is segmented into three and drops into a pond below. A large crowd of visitors queued to get into the pavilion. With a ladle on a long stick, they tried to catch the falling water and drinking it afterwards. It is believed that this act grants wishes, good health, longitivity, success in education and love, etc. I did not wait around for the crowd to thin out. My future, it seems, is firmly on my own shoulders.
“Take the plunge at Kiyomizudera” is similar to “Go jump off a cliff “. This saying refers to the hanging platform – the veranda above the mountain where the temple is located. It doesn’t literally mean that one should jump off the platform, but instead, one should be true to their convictions “- a popular Japanese saying
“Zen is not just about religion – it is in fact about everything – breathing, walking, working, family, farming, etc. Everything or activity that we do can be Zen. Being mindful and doing things consciously. This is greatly reflected here in Japan – the gardens, pagodas and even in their everyday lives”
” Kachou Fuusetsu” literally means Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon – experience the beauties of nature and in doing so learn about yourself”.
We continued to walk higher up. The views of the “hanging stage” are clearly visible from here with its wood work underneath. From these Eastern Mountains, magnificent views of sprawling Kyōto is clearly visible. The nearby reddish Koyasu Pagoda was also under construction. We retraced our steps back towards the entrance of this massive temple complex via Todoroki-mon Gate and eventually through the West Gate ,”Seimon”. A steady stream of people continuously flowed through the entrance. We re- entered the bustling streets once again. Kiyomizu- dera is a very impressive temple complex indeed surrounded by greenery and wonderful views. However, here on the concrete paved streets, I was distracted by “mochi” and kimono clad women.