Witness the Mesmerizing Beauty of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple
The wooden platform that protrudes from the main building of the temple at an elevation of around 13 meters offers a mesmerizing view of the colorful sea of maple and cherry trees. Besides the amazing view, the stage is also known for its peculiar architecture. It was made using 78 Keyaki which was assembled without using any nail and stands put at present surviving numerous earthquakes. There is an old saying associated with the platform according to which if you jump from the platform and survive the fall unharmed then your wish will be granted. In the past, few falls have been recorded from the stage out of which many survived, but the act is prohibited now.
Behind the main hall of the temple is the Jishu Shrine dedicated to Ōkuninushi, god of love and match-making. The shrine has two love stones placed around 18 meters apart. It is believed that if you are able to successfully walk from one stone to another blindfolded then you will be lucky in finding love. However, if you take the help of someone else in finding your way then in love too you would need the help of some intermediary.
Otowa waterfall located beneath the main hall is another important attraction of the temple. The water from the Otowa waterfall gets divided into three streams and drinking water from the different steams brings three different benefits of longevity, success in school and luck in love. However, the twist to the tale is that drinking from all the three streams is considered to be greedy and brings bad luck hence you can drink from any one stream.
The vibrant and striking architecture of the Kiyomizu-Dera temple is completely amusing to its visitors. If you wish to experience something in stark contrast to the whole complex then head to Zuigudo Hall. Dedicated to the mother of Buddha, the hall is pitch black representing the mother's womb.
The Kiyomizu-Dera Temple has special evening illuminations during the spring and the fall season when nature is at its best. Enjoy the panoramic view of the brightly lit foliage around the temple. Though the area is too crowded during the season, it is worth a watch.
After exploring the temple, you may head to Sannenzaka for some shopping. It is a shopping lane filled with numerous traditional shops selling Kiyomizu-yaki (Japanese pottery) and Yatsuhashi, a Japanese sweet.
How to Get Tickets?
There are entrance tickets to the temple which can be bought at the gate of the temple itself. There is a separate admission fee to Zuidogo Hall. Also, there are separate tickets for evening illumination. Please note that during the evening illumination the temple is closed if you wish to visit it then buy a morning ticket to the temple.
How To Get Around?
You can stroll around the temple premises and explore the beauty of the entire complex. There is a little bit of hiking involved as it is situated uphill. If after exploring the temple you wish to climb the hill you can very well do so.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code to the place, but you are expected to dress decently to not offend the sentiments of the locals. Also, do wear good hiking shoes for comfortable walking.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the temple is during the cherry blossom (March to May) and the fall (September to November) season. It is mostly crowded during these times hence if you wish to avoid crowds then plan your trip early in the morning or late evening before the temple closes. Also, it would be better to visit during the weekdays as weekends are certainly more crowded. The temple opens from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening (it may extend to 6:30 during the weekends and the holidays). The timing of evening illumination is from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you will not require the guidance of anyone to explore the temple complex. You can easily find your route through the area. The place is mostly crowded, if you do not know where to go follow the crowd.
How To Get There?
You can take a bus ride from Kyoto Station Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop and from there walk uphill to temple. The stop is at a 10-minute walking distance from the temple. Alternatively, you can also take a train to Kiyomizu-Gojo Station on Keihan Railway Line from where the temple is a 20-minute walk away. If you do not wish to walk, then private taxi or cab is another good option.