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Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Heading abroad to attend a conference sounded more relaxing that it actually ever was. Not only that the traveling could be a haul, trying to stick to the schedule once you arrived at the destination was another thing. For the Kyoto trip, I actually traveled in late - the lectures were already starting on the morning I touched down in Japan, and I actually missed the last day since my flight was early morning on the Sunday. It couldn't get any tighter than that!

So, I decided to make my escape on one of the morning when the schedule was a bit lax, and I was lucky that the weather was gorgeous that morning. Only one morning, that was the only time I could afford to do the sightseeing, and the rest was all business. And I hooked up with my current and previous bosses for the quick trip. According to the plan, there would be three shrines that we would be dropping by - at least according to my "Top 10" book on Kyoto which I bought before going to Japan.

The first spot - it was well before the place was crowded was the Kiyomizu-dera temple. A big complex housing dozens of shrines, and should you only have only one place to visit here in Kyoto, you could not go wrong with this one!

The main entrance complex "deva" gateMessages for good luckMy two bosses by the entranceWe set off from my boss' hotel near Kyoto Station, and the taxi ride took about 15 minutes. Alighting, we had to walk up a small hill lined by cute little gift shops - they were yet to open on the way into the temple. We quickly shuffled in and snaps some photos by the entrance. And the place was huge.

The entrance took us to the main complex where there was a huge verandah overlooking the city centre, and on this sakura season, the scenery was heavenly ….

Looking down on the fountainOne have to realise that this was a Buddhist temple after all

The main complex also housed a temple with a big Buddha statue. From here, one could just exit or venture further in. This would take you down the valley where the otowa-no-taki was located. This was a fountain with soothing water coming down the hill. Legend has it that it would give calmness to whoever who took a sip and true to the Japanese etiquette, there was a queue to get to the fountain.

More on part 2. You can see the slideshow of this trip here. Alternatively, you could also enjoy the photos on my SmugMug or Flickr sites. The blog entries for the whole Kyoto trip is hosted here.

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