Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spiritual Heart, Soul and Holy Spring

The Buddhist temple of Kiyomizu-dera has been said to be the spiritual heart and soul of Kyoto. Built around a holy spring, the temple has been drawing pilgrims since the 8th century.

Today was no exception. Hundreds of school kids walked up the narrow street to the temple sweeping us up with them.

Some of the students are wearing face masks. Japanese wear masks to prevent getting colds or flu. Also if they are sick they are considerate of others and wear a mask. Some people wear masks during allergy seasons and others for fashion. Also pollution... they are extremely common.

So beautiful!

The main hall of the temple features a veranda that juts out over the sacred well and is supported by 139 wooden pillars. People buy prayer plagues to ensure happy relationships (and to pray that the veranda stays put, perhaps...) and burn incense to show gratitude and reverence to the Buddha (and to show gratitude that the veranda has stayed put for so long, perhaps...).

Lots of photographing occurs--

 Everyone lines up to drink the sacred water from the spring...

Mysterious bibs on figurines...

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