Five College Center for East Asian Studies Study Tours Website
"The expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge." Kiyomizu-dera Temple is perhaps the most beloved of Kyoto's temples, and is a fixture in the minds of the Japanese people. The temple's platform juts out of the side of a mountain supported by 13-meter-high wooden columns. The main hall with its distinctive hip-shaped roof of cypress bark rests on the platform, and houses within it a priceless statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, the goddess of mercy. From the platform, one can appreciate fine views facing west over the city of Kyoto. This is an auspicious place to watch the sun set, which may also explain the romantic associations accorded to the temple.
Several other buildings designated as "national treasures" dot the grounds, as do waterfalls and landmarks which have entered the popular lore. Thus people come to the temple to drink water from the falls by collecting it in tin cups; the water is said to have therapeutic properties, and drinking from the three different streams is said to confer health, longevity and success in studies." (Kyoto Travel Guide)