Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto (must see)

The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is an independent Buddhist temple in Kyoto associated with the Hosso sect of Buddhism. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

The Kiyomizu-dera was built in 778 by the Buddhist monk Enchin in honor of the Bodhisattva of mercy and compassion, Kannon Bosatsu. The present building commissioned by the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu dates back to 1633. Kiyomizu-dera means Temple of the Pure Water and gets its name from its location near the Otowa Waterfall. Today many parts of the temple are being renovated and the refurbishments are likely to be completed in 2013.

The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is unique because it is constructed without using a single nail. The street leading to the temple is flanked by shops selling handicrafts and sweets. The gates have statues of Deva Kings and Korean Dogs that are believed to protect the temple from damage. The main hall has the design of temples in the Haien era. The outer sanctuary is decorated with paintings donated by local tradesmen and the inner sanctuary has gold leaf images carved on lacquer. There is also a shrine dedicated to the Shinto deity of love within the temple complex. The wooden terrace of the temple offers spectacular views across Kyoto.

Why You Should Visit:
Multiple Shinto-style temples and buildings well kept and positioned up a hill giving access to the great surrounding scenery.
There's a large number of visitors; fortunately, though, the site is large so it can accommodate the volume.
Lots of walking to do but the uphill road leading towards it is lively and packed with interesting souvenir shops.

Tip:
Some shops let you try the foods/delicacies they sell and that is always helpful as there is such a wide array of products to choose from.
Please note that the main temple is under restoration work and covered with scaffolding until 2020.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 6am-6pm (until 6:30pm on weekends/holidays from mid-April through July and every day in August & September).
Special illumination hours are held in spring for cherry blossoms, summer for the high tourist amount, and autumn for fall foliage. The illumination hours end at 9pm.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Kyoto, Japan within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kiyomizu-dera Temple on Map

Sight Name: Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Higashiyama Area Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

The ancient capital Kyoto embraces several aspects of Japanese culture, being packed with shrines, temples, museums and other interesting spots. Each ward of this city boasts its own cultural heritage, as does the Shimogyo area, located right in the heart of Kyoto. Discover Shimogyo's most popular attractions in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku Temples and Shrines Tour

Kita-ku is one of Kyoto's wards, located in the northern part of the city. Kita Ward contains some spectacular religious sites, such as the famous Golden Pavilion and the ancient Daitoku-ji Temple, as well as a museum dedicated to world peace. Find them all selected and described in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 km
Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Kyoto is a city made for tourists, especially the ones with love for history, interest in religion and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are located in the eastern part of the city, which, in turn, is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples of Kyoto, as well as the popular Gion geisha district. To find out more about...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Central Kyoto Walking Tour

Central Kyoto Walking Tour

They say visiting Japan without seeing Kyoto is worthless, because a visit to Japan will never be complete without knowing Kyoto's treasures. A city of tradition, history, and culture, Kyoto has plenty of touristic spots to offer. The next walking tour takes you to the core of Kyoto and the main attractions of the city that are located in its central area. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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