Japan Travel :  Kiyomizu Temple in comparison with Yonggung temple

Yonggung Temple reminds me of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan.


Kiyomizu temple is located by the hillside, and it provides grand view from the temple like Yonggung temple. The most famous spot is the main hall veranda built upon the hill and made of wood. It is not only the view that is amazing, but also the unique construction technic. All structure is completed without using a single nail. It means that wooden pillars were firmly cross-piled and the building remained nearly 400 years.

kiyomizu pillar

Of course,
there are several differences between two temples. First, Kiyomizu temple is much bigger and has more shrines. Second, Kiyomizu temple has mountain views, while Yonggung temple has sea views.

In spite of that, the reason why I feel similarity between two is that both temples locate high and look down to the nature and both unbelievably look beautiful making harmony with the surrounding. I would say that Yonggung temple is the small version of the Kiyomizu temple, or vice versa.

However, in terms of the tourist attraction, 
                               situations are totally opposite.


Kiyomizu temple is full of visitors including foreigners as well as Japanese. On the path to the gate, Japanese traditional souvenir and Kyoto local products attract tourists. Various kinds of Japanese snacks please their eyes and nose. I am sure that you cannot pass the road without buying anything. Entrance tickets are sold 300 yen and brochures prepared in diverse languages are given to foreign tourists. World travelers enjoy the historical of the temple through the information on the tourist guide, of course, with the spectacular natural sceneries.



< Gaysha and kind clerk in Kiyomizu temple>

Comparably, Yonggung temple is crowded with domestic visitors, namely Korean, more specifically Busan citizens. You can hardly see foreign visitors here. On the way to the temple, a variety of Korean street snacks such as bungeoppang, hoddeok, and ddeokbokki are sold, but sadly not traditional snacks or local products. You can enter for free to the temple, but no brochures. Visitors appreciate the wonderful scenery but no historical background about it.

What I realize through this comparison is

Yonggung temple is under-optimized for tourism. It doesn’t concern about foreigners who travelled to the temple from the far side of the world. Most tourists expect the brief explanation at the tourist spot, for example, an information center, or just a simple pamphlet. Some might have studied before visiting, but others might not have looked it up. For the others Yonggung temple remains without the annals. It’s sad news that they admire only the view un-knowing the related stories.   

I suggest developing Yonggung temple as the tourist-friendly spot. I don’t mean just attracting foreign travelers and making money. I insist we put the historical value on our proud religious remain. It will intrigue and impress the visitors and make the place holy and sacred.     

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