For me, the idea of leaping off a 13m Edo period stage isn’t all that frightening. What makes me nervous is the sudden stop when I would hit the ground. The pay-off could be worth it, though. According ancient Japanese legend lore, anyone who survives a jump from the platform at Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto will be granted one wish. Kind of like collecting all seven Dragon Balls, but without the hassle. After 234 attempts, of which 200 were successful, the practice is now illegal and the temple has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When Lori and I visited, we were on rented cycles for the day. From the main road, we took a site street leading parallel to the main tourist path and took about 15 minutes of uphill pedaling. Once at the main gate, we happily accepted a free guided tour in English by some Japanese university students looking to practice their English. After 40 minutes we had seen the famed stage and walked the entire grounds.
It was difficult to find a unique angle to snap a photo since there is really only one main viewing area of the 13m platform. Around the grounds, however there were loads of interesting details to focus on such as the small statue pictured above that is supposed to give you good luck if you rub it with your hands. Also, at several places along the walking paths were silent monks with collection bowls. All in all, in my opinion, the experience and the photo opportunities were worth the 300 yen admission fee.