Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple, Wonder of Kyoto
Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple, Wonder of Kyoto
It took me long enough to visit Japan for the first time last year. One of the major attractions on my list is not Tokyo but Kyoto. To be precise, it is the Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple in Kyoto.
I was a stamp and post card collector more than decade ago. On top of that, I am always a big fan of Japan as a travel destination for its food and culture. I remember I collected two unique almost a century old post cards of Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple in Kyoto some time ago and it will be a dream to visit the temple one day. Hence, when I planned to visit Kansai, I made sure Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple in Kyoto is part of our itinerary.
Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most beautiful and unique temples in Japan. The whole structure is built without using a single nail for this more than a thousand year old temple.
It took us one an half hour to travel from Namba, Osaka to Gion Shijo, Kyoto with a few train changes. If you are not sure on which station to change train, please talk to the train conductor at the entrance of each train station. Most of them can speak simple English and please take a note on which station you need to switch trains. One of the best passes around is the Kansai Thru Pass, you can read about it at Kansai Thru Pass Review and Where to Buy?
You can walk to Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple from Gion Shijo Train Station or you can take a local bus. (Ask for bus number at the station). If you walk, you will take around 30-40 min of brisk walking and taking a local bus will take around 10 min with 10 min of walking. There are signs and maps along the way or ask the locals or the tourists, they will show you the way.
Read: Geisha and Maiko in Gion Kyoto
If you are planning to take a bus, you will take from Shijo Street (at Gion Shijo Train Station) and you will be alighted at Higashioji Street.
For those who didn’t know. Gion City is the center of Maiko and Geisha. If you are lucky enough, you might bump to a few of them on the street or else you can pay to watch them to perform.
You will eventually need to take a short hike at the Kiyomizuzaka road up to Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple from the main road of Higashioji Street. There are many souvenir and food stalls along Kiyomizuzaka road.
Prepare to spend some time on Kiyomizuzaka road for some local food delights. The prices are still reasonable and sometimes you can see bus load of tourists on this street.
When you reach the entrance of the temple you will not reach the main building yet. There is a small entrance fee of 300 Yen for Adult and 200 Yen for Children.
Just a brief history on this spectacular temple:
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
However during my visit, I didn’t see much or the waterfall or probably I missed it by chance. It was winter and I was praying for snow but I wasn’t lucky enough. It is very uncommon to have snow in this part of Japan even though they recorded snowfall in the past.
(View of Kyoto City from Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple)
(Side view of the platform of “hondo”)
(Visitors on “hondo” hall)
(Another view of the “hondo”)
(The 139 wooden supporting pillars of Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple)
(Full view of Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple)
(There is a little forest near the Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple as you descent down from the temple.)
(Bottom view of Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple)
Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple attracts more than 4 million visitors annually and the main attraction is the hondo or the main hall which built on the steep slope with the stage in front of it. The hondo is supported by 139 pillars and stood as it is since it is constructed.
Read also: Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺 Golden Pavilion in Kyoto
That’s why you shouldn’t miss Kiyomizudera (清水寺)Temple as it is the must visit places of attractions in Kyoto.Please allocate at least an hour or two at this temple for picture or photography taking.