Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto

A buddhist temple founded in 8th century, Kiyomizudera Temple has amazingly been built without using a single nail. Located in the Japanese city of Kyoto, this hillside temple is named after the pure water of the Otawa waterfall in the area. Being on the hill means that the Kiyomizudera temple offers wonderful views of Kyoto city. There is a shrine called Jishu shrine behind the main hall of Kiyomizudera. This shrine is dedicated to the deity of love, and there is an interesting custom at the shrine. Two stones are kept 20 feet apart, and successfully finding the other stone while starting from the first stone with your eyes closed is said to bring you luck when it comes to dating and finding love.

Even though the best time to visit this temple is in Spring/Autumn, when the rich colours of the blossoms can be seen, the pictures taken below were during winter season.

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(on way to the temple through the Chawan-Zaka or “teapot alley” lanes of Higashiyama district)

Walking through the narrow Chawan-Zaka lanes is an experience in itself, as there are various food vendors who cook outdoors to tempt you with the smell of grilling and frying, and by offering you free samples to taste.

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        (traditional Japanese style structures along the narrow lanes)

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       (interesting way to house the air conditioning compressor unit)

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                                     (Entrance of the temple)

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                     (protector of the temple)

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                                                (ticket counter)

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        (colourful wooden structures of the Nio-mon gate)

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         (place for cleansing yourself before you enter the temple)

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                                  (inside the main temple hall)

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                                (view of a pagoda from the main hall)

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           (centuries-old wooden stage below the main hall)

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            (Daikokuten – the deity of business)

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                                       (statue of Buddha)

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                                           (temple main hall)

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                            (view of Kyoto in the background)

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                                                (temple halls)

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  (Otawa water fall, you have to drink from the stream for good fortune)

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 (UV sterilizers for the water cups – even the temples are high tech in Japan)

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                                                    (Nio-mon gate)

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                                                 (Nio-mon gate)

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      (real Japanese Geisha on the narrow Chawan-Zaka streets)

One place that you should certainly not miss when you go to Kiyomizudera temple is a dessert shop called Saryo Tsujiri. This place is famous throughout Japan for having some of the best Japanese desserts. Their trademarks are the green tea, and the green tea parfait with an ice cream sundae and mochi, as shown in the picture below. A branch of Saryo Tsujiri is located along the narrow Chawan-Zaka lane when walking north from the Kiyomizudera temple. Their official website is listed here. See map below for details.

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     (Green Tea ice cream parfait sundae at Saryo Tsujiri)

Below is an area map showing Kiyomizudera temple in blue and Saryo Tsujiri in yellow.

kiyomizudera area map


Items: A visit to Kiyomizudera temple.

Price: Entry ticket is 300 Japanese yen or around ₹183.

Location: 294 Kiyomizu 1 Chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0862, Japan

Telephone: +81 75-551-1234

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm. Open all days.

Type: Historical/Cultural

How to get there: Bus 100 and 206 from Kyoto Station (bus map here), or Karasuma line to Shijo station and walk west for 20 mins (subway map here).

Language: Mostly Japanese speaking.

Also visit: Saryo Tsujiri dessert shop, Yasaka shrine, Gion district.


3 thoughts on “Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto

  1. Very pretty, however those girls, if they’re real, are Maiko. I’m having a hard time figuring out if they’re real or fake though, as most everything looks right, except the Maiko that is facing us has a kago bag that is just way too empty and they seem to be wearing kanzashi for different months… Can you tell me when that picture was taken?

  2. moushifj, thanks for your comment. You may be right. The picture was taken in late December, almost around new year time. While I am not sure whether they were maiko or geisha, they certainly captured everyone’s attention on the street.

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