Kiyomizu-dera
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Looking for Love & Love at Kyoto's Kiyomizu-Dera Temple
Kiyomizu-Dera is the most "fun" of the temples I've visited. I was entertained just walking to the temple, up a store-lined pedestrian street teeming with animated students and excited tourists, most of us indulging in green tea soft serve cones souvenir shopping. Inside, interaction is encouraged. Tour groups surround a tall metal pole, cheering-on/chiding their young, male travelers as they attempt to lift it from its base. Many try; none succeed. A walk along the wooded path rewards you with a view of the shrine's famous wooden stage and the sight of Kyoto sprawling beneath you. If you seek love you have two options: walk the 15 feet from one stone to another with your eyes closed at the Jishu Shrine or drink from the love life stream of water cascading from the Otowa Waterfall. You can partake of good fortune (love, longevity or success in school) from two of the three streams but drinking from all three -- considered greedy -- will bring you bad luck.
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