Name: 清水寺 - Kiyomizu Temple
Enshrined Deity: Guanyin
Address: Setakamachi Motoyoshi, Miyama City, Fukuoka Prefecture, 〒835-0003
Accessibility: You can drive to the top, but it is strongly recommended to park further down the mountain and walk up. The path is quite beautiful if you're ready to walk for 20 minutes.
If you know anything about temples in Japan, you've probably seen or heard of Kiyomizu Dera. It's one of the most famous temples in Japan.
It was built in 780 CE over the Otowa waterfall in Kyoto. But, do you know the history and the sister temple in Fukuoka prefecture?
The founder of the Kyoto temple, Saichō, went to China in 804 to study Tendai Buddhism. When he returned to Japan in 806, he was guided to Mount Kiyomizu by a bird and found nemu trees in the mountain. He then made a pair of Bodhisattva Kannon statues from that tree. He put one of the statues in Kiyomizu Dera in Kyoto. And the other statue is now held at the Kiyomizu Dera in Fukuoka prefecture.
The Kiyomizu Dera in Fukuoka is not as old as the Kyoto temple. The main gate was built in 1745 by Sadanori Tachibana. And the three story replica of the pagoda at Shitenno-ji Temple in Osaka was built in 1836. They are both, of course designated Prefectural Cultural Properties.
The statue of the thousand-armed Guanyin is worshiped as a deity for fertility and matchmaking. So many people hoping to become parents and those who have recently given birth come to pray here. In fact, there's a smaller shrine on the property specifically dedicated to praying for easy and good lactation for new mothers!