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Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Kiyomizu Temple

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INTRODUCTION

Kiyomizu Temple, one of Kyoto’s most famous tourist attractions, is a wonderful place to experience Japanese history and culture. founded in 794, the temple is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts visitors with its magnificent architecture and natural beauty. The famous “Kiyomizu-no-butai” (stage of Kiyomizu) in particular offers a beautiful panoramic view of Kyoto city and the changing scenery of the four seasons.
The charm of Kiyomizu lies not only in its historical value, but also in the unique cultural experience it offers. The approach to the temple is lined with souvenir stores and food shops, where visitors can obtain traditional sweets and crafts unique to Kyoto. The Kiyomizu area is also dotted with places to stroll and enjoy the charms of the ancient capital of Kyoto.
For foreign visitors, Kiyomizu Temple is a place where they can experience the harmony of Japanese tradition and modernity. Every time you visit, you will discover something new, and its charms are endless. Through this article, we hope to show you all the charms of Kiyomizu Temple so that you can choose it as your next travel destination.

History and Culture of a Tourist Attraction

Kiyomizu Temple is one of the most historically significant tourist attractions in Kyoto. Its origins date back to 794, and it represents the development of Japanese religion and culture during the Nara and Heian periods. Kiyomizu Temple was founded on the ancient Japanese religious belief in Kiyomizu, a belief that has sustained many people throughout its long history.
The most distinctive architectural feature of Kiyomizu Temple is the main hall’s stage, known as the “Kiyomizu-no-butai. This stage is built overhanging a cliff and is constructed using a unique method called “kakezukuri,” or “suspended structure,” which does not use any nails. This magnificent architecture attracts many people and is a must-see for visitors to Kiyomizu Temple.
Another cultural feature of Kiyomizu Temple is its seasonal scenery. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and in fall, the autumn leaves adorn the temple. This fusion of natural beauty and historical architecture is an unforgettable experience for visitors.
Kiyomizu Temple is not just a tourist attraction, but also an important place for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese history and culture. By visiting, you will be able to experience firsthand the rich cultural heritage of the ancient capital of Kyoto, and your visit will be deeply etched in your travel memories.

Places to visit

Kiyomizu Temple is worth visiting throughout the year, but the best times to visit are spring and fall. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the area around Kiyomizu is covered in beautiful pink. In autumn, the autumn leaves brightly illuminate the temple, creating breathtaking scenery. During these seasons, the temple is also lit up with special illumination, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery day and night.
The main attraction of Kiyomizu Temple is the “Kiyomizu-no-butai” (stage of Kiyomizu). The view from this stage is breathtaking, offering not only a panoramic view of the city of Kyoto, but also the changing scenery of the four seasons. Next is “Otowa Falls,” a spot where clear water flows from the temple’s namesake, Kiyomizu, and has long been popular with people who drink the water to make a wish.
Another spot, “Jishu Shrine,” is famous as a shrine of matchmaking and attracts many tourists. For those wishing for romantic fulfillment, this shrine is a spot not to be missed. The “three-story pagoda” is also a beautiful vermilion tower and a popular photo spot.
As a note on tourist attractions, Kiyomizu Temple is crowded with many tourists all year round, so visiting early in the morning or on a weekday is recommended. Also, the temple grounds are large, with many slopes and stairs, so it is best to wear comfortable walking shoes when visiting. In addition, please be quiet inside the temple and remember to be considerate of other visitors and locals.

Access

Access to Kiyomizu Temple is very convenient and can be easily reached from Kyoto Station. Below are the directions from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu Temple.

Access from Kyoto Station

City buses and trains are the most convenient ways to get to Kiyomizu Temple. You can get there by the following ways:

Using city bus

  • City Bus No. 100 (express): Take City Bus No. 100 (express, bound for Ginkakuji) from Kyoto Station bus stop, and get off at Kiyomizu-michi or Gojozaka bus stop. The trip takes about 15 minutes. From the bus stop to Kiyomizu Temple is about a 10-minute walk.
  • City Bus No. 206: Take City Bus No. 206 (bound for Gion/Kitaoji Bus Terminal) from Kyoto Station bus stop, and get off at Kiyomizu-michi bus stop or Gojozaka bus stop. The trip takes about 15 minutes. From the bus stop to Kiyomizu Temple is about a 10-minute walk.

By Taxi

It takes about 15 minutes from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu Temple by cab. Cabs are also convenient if you have a lot of luggage or if public transportation is crowded.

By foot

It takes about 30-40 minutes from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu Temple on foot. On the way, pass by Higashi Honganji Temple and the Kamo River, and walk east along Gojo Street to Kiyomizu Temple. Walking while enjoying sightseeing is also recommended.

Bicycle Rental

Bicycle rental is also widely used in Kyoto. One option is to rent a bicycle near Kyoto Station and ride it to Kiyomizu Temple. The trip takes about 20 minutes. Bicycle transportation is recommended as it allows you to enjoy the scenery of Kyoto while sightseeing.

Either way, access to Kiyomizu Temple is easy and comfortable. Please use public transportation, a cab, or a bicycle to visit Kiyomizu Temple while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Kyoto.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees

When visiting Kiyomizu Temple, it is important to check the information on opening hours and admission fees in advance. Kiyomizu Temple’s hours of operation vary according to the season, but are usually open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. During the particularly busy cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons in spring and fall, respectively, special nighttime viewing is sometimes held. In these cases, it is recommended to check the official website in advance to enjoy the beautiful scenery illuminated by lights.

Admission is 400 yen for adults, 200 yen for junior high and high school students, and free for elementary school students and younger. The admission fee to Kiyomizu Temple is very reasonable, and many tourists appreciate that the experience is more than worth it. Please note that a special fee may be charged in addition to the regular admission fee for nighttime viewing.
Kiyomizu Temple is often the site of special events and functions, and the hours of operation and admission fees may change during such events. We recommend that you check the official website of Kiyomizu Temple for the latest information before visiting. Also, depending on the time of day you visit, it may be best to visit early in the morning or in the evening to avoid crowds.

When planning a visit to Kiyomizu Temple, it is also a good idea to research nearby tourist attractions and restaurants to make your trip more fulfilling. Make sure you have all the information you need about the opening hours and admission fees of tourist attractions, and enjoy an enjoyable visit to Kiyomizu Temple.

Gourmet

There are many restaurants and cafes in the Kiyomizu area where you can enjoy delicious meals unique to Kyoto. One of the pleasures of a trip is to stop in between sightseeing and enjoy Kyoto’s flavorful cuisine. Here are some recommended dining spots.

First, there is Saryotsujiri. This cafe is popular for its sweets using Kyoto’s matcha green tea, and its matcha parfait and matcha ice cream are especially recommended. Why not take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the exquisite matcha sweets?
Next up is Okutan Kiyomizu. This is a long-established restaurant specializing in tofu cuisine with a history of over 300 years. Located within walking distance from Kiyomizu Temple, you can enjoy a variety of dishes using fresh tofu. Especially popular are yudofu and tofu steak, which are healthy Kyoto dishes.
You should also visit Ito Kyuemon. This is a long-established Uji tea shop where you can enjoy sweets and dishes using tea. There is a wide variety of menu items that can only be found here, such as matcha soba noodles and matcha cheesecake. In particular, dining in the restaurant with the aroma of matcha green tea will give you a taste of Kyoto.
Another recommended item is a store specializing in “Ajari-mochi,” a type of rice cake with a sticky, chewy texture. Ajarimochi is a Japanese confectionery with a sticky texture and sweet red bean paste filling, and is popular as a souvenir. Try it as a souvenir of your visit to Kiyomizu Temple.

There are many other delicious restaurants and cafes in the Kiyomizu area. Enjoy Kyoto’s traditional food culture in between sightseeing tours and have a memorable trip.

Shopping

There are many stores around Kiyomizu Temple where you can purchase specialties and souvenirs unique to Kyoto. Why not stop by between sightseeing tours and pick up a memorable item? Here are some recommended souvenirs and specialties.

First, there are “Kyoto pickles. Traditional Kyoto pickles are very popular as souvenirs. In particular, specialty stores such as “Nishikiri” and “Uchida” offer a wide variety of Kyoto pickles, which can be tasted. Please be sure to buy some for yourself or as a souvenir for your friends.
Next, you should not miss out on yatsuhashi, or yatsuhashi bridge. Yatsuhashi is a typical Japanese confectionery of Kyoto, and there are two types: “Nama-yatsuhashi” (fresh yatsuhashi with the aroma of nikki) and “Yaki-yatsuhashi” (baked yatsuhashi with a crunchy texture). You can enjoy a variety of flavors at the popular stores “Izutsu Yatsuhashi Honpo” and “Honke Nishio Yatsuhashi.
We also recommend “Kyo Sensu” (Kyoto folding fans). Kyo Sensu is a traditional craft that combines beautiful design and excellent practicality, and is popular as a fashionable souvenir. In particular, you can get high-quality Kyoto fans at specialty stores such as Hakuchikudo and Ito Jakuchudo.
In addition, “Kyoto pottery” is not to be missed. Kiyomizu-yaki Danchi, a cluster of famous pottery stores around Kiyomizu Temple, is where you can purchase beautiful Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki ceramics. A variety of items such as tea bowls, teacups, and vases are available, making them ideal as personal mementos or gifts.
Finally, we also recommend “Japanese paper products. Washi letterheads, envelopes, bookmarks, and other items made of Japanese paper are elegant and beautifully designed. High-quality washi products are available at specialty stores such as Oedo Washi and Washi no Sato.

Enjoy shopping around Kiyomizu Temple and find specialties and souvenirs that remind you of Kyoto’s traditions and culture. You will find wonderful items that will add color to your travel memories.

Summary

Kiyomizu Temple is a historical tourist attraction in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 794. Visitors can enjoy the “Kiyomizu-no-butai” (stage of Kiyomizu) and the beautiful scenery of the four seasons. Access is convenient by Keihan Line or Kyoto City Bus. Opening hours and admission fees change depending on the season and special events, so advance confirmation is recommended. Nearby are delicious dining spots such as Saryo Tsujiri, which serves matcha green tea sweets, and Okutanshimizu, which serves tofu dishes. There is also a wide variety of souvenirs such as Kyoto pickles, yatsuhashi (a type of Japanese sweet made from fermented soybeans), and Kyoto fans. Enjoy Kyoto’s culture and gastronomy at Kiyomizu Temple.