Kiyomizu-dera (Clear Water Temple) was established in the year 778 AD (Nara Period). After a vision, Zen priest Enchin, went in search the origins of the Yodo river. He came to a waterfall at the base of Mount Otowa where mist hovered like clouds. Here he received a log holding the spirit of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva from the hermit Gyoei. Enchin had the log carved in the shape of Kannon and created a shrine for it there, the beginnings of Kiyomizu-dera.
The sub-temple Joju-in‘s garden is known as the Moon Garden. Its beautiful pond relays a feeling of mystery with the shores obscured by stones and plants, then revealing a dark opening where one might expect a dragon or boat to emerge.
Kiyomizu-dera is known for its Hondo with the Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva and Kiyomizu Stage, standing 12 meters high on huge Zelkova posts.