Well, well, well, it’s time to temple-hop in Kyoto! I’ve got a few jokes up my sleeve to spice up your journey, so hold on tight!
First up, we have Kiyomizu-dera, which was founded in 780 by a monk named Enchin. Legend has it that he was inspired to build the temple after seeing a waterfall, which is why the temple’s name means “clear water.” But the real kicker is that the main hall of the temple was built entirely without nails, using only interlocking wooden joints. Talk about a carpentry feat! You could say that Kiyomizu-dera is the OG Lego master.
Next, we have Fushimi Inari Taisha, which was established in 711 AD to honor the god Inari, who is associated with foxes. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few fox statues or even real-life foxes around the shrine! But what’s not normal about this temple is its stunning torii gates, which form a tunnel-like path up the mountain behind the main shrine. There are over 10,000 of them, and they’re all bright orange, making for a spectacular photo-op. You could say that Fushimi Inari Taisha is a real-life version of Candyland.
Last but not least, we have Kinkaku-ji, which was built in 1397 by a shogun named Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as his retirement villa. But after his death, the villa was turned into a temple, and the main hall was covered in gold leaf, hence the nickname “Golden Pavilion.” The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times throughout history, but it still shines just as bright as ever. You could say that Kinkaku-ji is the original bling-bling.
But what legends are associated with these temples, you ask? Well, at Kiyomizu-dera, it’s said that if you jump off the temple’s veranda, which is 13 meters high, and survive, your wish will come true. But don’t worry, there’s a safety net now, so you won’t end up like Humpty Dumpty. At Fushimi Inari Taisha, it’s believed that if you walk through all the torii gates, your wish will be granted. But with over 10,000 gates, you might need to pack a few extra snacks for the journey. And at Kinkaku-ji, there’s a legend that the gold leaf on the main hall was actually stolen from the teeth of the Buddha. But don’t worry, I won’t make any “tooth fairy” jokes.
All jokes aside, these temples are truly breathtaking and worth visiting for their rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural significance. Each one has a unique charm and beauty that will leave you in awe. So grab your camera, your sense of humor, and your walking shoes, and get ready to temple-hop in Kyoto!