Kyoto Tower (above) and Kyoto Station (below), on the way to Kiyomizu-dera.
This white and brown building is Zuigudo. After paying to go inside, you walk down stairs that twist and turn until you're underground and there is no light at all. And I mean no light whatsoever. Finally, you reach a stone that is somewhat lit up (which produced a very strange visual effect after being in the darkness for so long). The stone apparently says "womb" on it in Sanskrit and it's supposed to represent the womb of Daizuigo Bosatsu, the mother of Budda. You're supposed to turn the stone and make a wish, but I didn't read the English instructions until I left the cave so I didn't know to do that. It was very strange... Although the underground part was a nice relief from the heat.
I couldn't get a picture of both stones because people were always standing in front of the second one.
[Return to Japan 2009 photos]