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Great Sunset from Kiyomizu-dera

Ancient Buddhist Practice at the Sai-mon West Gate

One of the great sunsets in Kyoto can be seen from the Sai-mon West Gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. When I was there on a day late in December the sun was going down slowly, and the gate and famous three-story pagoda next to it were glowing a soft orange hue.

Overlooking this city of Kyoto which is laid out in a basin and surrounded by mountains, Sai-mon Gate used to be a sacred spot for a special Buddhist practice, wherein priests would watch the sun go down, embedding the perfect fiery round image (a symbol of a perfect life) in their minds. Although this gate was built in 1631, a gate has existed here since the late 12th Century.

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Find out more about Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

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