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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Kiyomizu Temple

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Nestled in the Otowa Mountain, to the east of central Kyōto, the Buddhist temple of Kiyomizu is one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing millions of visitors a year. The current temple buildings date from the 15th to 17th centuries, but there has been a temple here since 778.

Enter through the red and gold Deva gate, and head up a steep incline to the temple. There are two approaches you can take, each lined with stalls selling snacks, local pottery work, incense and souvenirs. The Main Hall is the prominent feature of the temple, and houses an image of the goddess of mercy, Kannon Bodhisattva.

Pilgrims have visited the temple for hundreds of years. To accommodate the pilgrims, a veranda was built on the Main Hall during the Edo period (1603-1868). Huge poles support the cedar slabs that make up the veranda. From here you have a view out to the city and over the hundreds of cherry trees planted in the temple gardens.

You can also visit Otowa-no-taki waterfall and sip the water, which is said to have special properties, giving the drinker longevity, wisdom and good health. The romantic minded can venture to the Jishu shrine, where it is said that if you walk from one rock with your eyes closed and find your way to the second, you’ll find true love. The temple grounds also feature a three-tiered pagoda and 1,000 stone Buddha statues. During autumn the gardens are lit up so that you can enjoy the fiery colours of the maples in the garden.

The temple is open daily and there is a fee to enter the complex. Take public transportation or a cab as there is no car parking on site. Buses depart from Kyōto Station, the city’s main transportation hub. It’s best to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds.

It's not hard to spend a whole morning or afternoon at Kiyomizu Temple. Here are a nice selection of the activities you can enjoy here:

For even more activities, peruse our Kyoto things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Kiyomizu Temple


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RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto P3,803
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi (3 km). Kyoto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Toji Station is 12 minutes.

    Park Hyatt Kyoto P39,961
    Park Hyatt Kyoto

    Park Hyatt Kyoto

    360 Kodaiji Masuyacho, Higashiyama, Kyoto
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hokanji Temple and Kodaiji Temple. Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner are also within 15 minutes. Higashiyama Station is 19 minutes by foot and Gion-shijo Station is 16 minutes.

      Hyatt Regency Kyoto
      Hyatt Regency Kyoto

      Hyatt Regency Kyoto

         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kyoto National Museum and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kiyomizu Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Shichijo Station is 6 minutes by foot and Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 14 minutes.

        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji P2,578
        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi and Pontocho. Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre and Shijo Omiya are also within 15 minutes. Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 9 minutes by foot and Shijo Station is 9 minutes.

          Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery P7,152
          Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

          Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

          84 OHASHICHO, Kyoto
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market and Chion-in Temple. Heian Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within 2 mi (3 km). Sanjo Keihan Station and Sanjo Station are within a 2-minute walk.

            The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu P27,229
            The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

            The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Higashiyama, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kiyomizu Temple, Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 16 minutes by foot and Gion-shijo Station is 17 minutes.

              Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
              Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

              Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sanjusangendo Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner. Kyoto Tower and Heian Shrine are also within 3 mi (5 km). Kiyomizu-gojo Station is 14 minutes by foot and Shichijo Station is 16 minutes.

                ORIENTAL HOTEL KYOTO GALLERY P2,137
                ORIENTAL HOTEL KYOTO GALLERY

                ORIENTAL HOTEL KYOTO GALLERY

                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Higashiyama, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sanjusangendo Temple, Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market. Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre and Pontocho are also within 15 minutes. Kiyomizu-gojo Station is only a 2-minute walk and Shichijo Station is 8 minutes.