Written by Shirley T
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 00:00
Inspired by the original architecture of magnificent Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Ueno Kiyomizu Kannon-do was established by Abbot Tenkai Sojo, who was also the founder of the Kanei-ji Temple. Built in 1631, this structure is a much smaller scale compares to its model. Yet, this Buddhist temple miraculously made it through the battles of civil war and air bombing raids. Today, Ueno Kiyomizu Kannon-do is recognized as the national treasure and one of the oldest temples in Tokyo.
The principal image of this temple is a figure of Senju Kannon or 'Thousand Armed Goddess of Mercy', similar to the original temple in Kyoto. Another image of worship enshrined here is Kosodate Kannon or better known as 'Goddess of child-rearing'. She receives a greater homage and is sought after by the women whom have difficulty in conceiving. To those whom had their wishes fulfilled, they would return with a doll for offering as a gesture of thanking and at the same praying for good health of their children. Every year on September 25, a ceremony is conducted to burn all the dolls accumulated in the year.
If one is coming from Shinobazu Pond or Bentendo Hall direction, a few flights of staircase would lead you into the inner loop of Sakura tunnel. Then, a bright red structure nestled within a slope is Kiyomizu Kannon-do Temple. The pedestal of its structure is supported by beams and therefore, the patio right in front of temple offers a great sight of cherry trees and Shinobazu Pond.
Less than 5 minutes walk from Ueno Koen exit at Ueno Station (via JR Yamanote Line, Ginza Line or Hibiya Line) or right next to Ueno Kensei Station.
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