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Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

4.5
#3 of 26,096 in Things to do in Japan
Lookout Historic Site
Have your wishes granted at Kiyomizu-dera, an independent Buddhist temple and World Heritage Site dating back to 1633. Constructed during the Heian period, the main temple and its famous stage were built without using nails. From the stage, look out onto the treetops below and the view of Kyoto in the distance. In the temple complex, drink from the three streams of the Otowa waterfall, whose waters are believed to have wish-granting powers. At the Jishu shrine to the god of love and matchmaking, try to walk between two stones with your eyes closed: those who are successful will also successfully find love. Using our international travel planner, Kyoto attractions like Kiyomizu-dera can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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  • The temple is filled with so many tourists its overwhelming, the view is great, however I found a dirt path leading into a trail. I followed it until i found a very subtle dirt path leading into the m...  more »
  • This is a sprawling complex with beautiful architecture, sacred shrines, and stunning vistas. After the jaw-dropping gate, pagoda, and main temple (some of which is under constructing scaffolding), th...  more »
  • Unfortunately in late May of 2017, the temple was under repairs and it was impossible to truly appreciate the architecture and wooden contraction. However, the interior of the temple was still quite w...  more »
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  • There is an entrance fee of 400yen per adult person (discount coupons are not accepted here), and this will cover all the permitted accessible grounds you are allowed to visit. There is plenty of ground to cover as part of this temple, and I do not doubt that when spring is in full swing the grounds will be absolutely stunning in shades of pink and white. As this temple is incredibly old, there is substantial maintenance work happening on the main structure of the temple but this work is only on the exterior. If you are able to, try not to visit this temple on the weekend or on special religious ceremonial days unless you want to be squashed like a sardine amongst thousands of others, trying to trek up the hill that leads to the temple. It is quite a trek up a slop to get to the temple, but the walk up is lined with lots of souvenir shops and small eateries that you can stop by to take a break.
  • One of the must-go places in Kyoto. Beautiful temple but part of it is being renovated. Hope it finish earlier and you guys can fully enjoy the beauty of it. Please visit this if you come to Kyoto.
  • Gotta love this UNESCO World Heritage site. It is very picturesque especially during autumn. Oh and did you know that this temple was built without using a single nail.
  • Kiyomizu Buddhist Temple is situated on a hill. To gain access, you have to walk up past many tourist targeted souvenir and F&B small shops. We visited the place on a rainy spring evening. Walking up we had to dodge umbrellas carried too low! The temple building itself is very old. You can the age. Some restoration is in progress. There is a favorite story told by tourist guides about many devotees jumped off the temple platform to see whether their wishes will be fulfilled..
  • This place was absolutely beautiful. We had the chance to visit it in the evening and it was an unique experience. Even surrounded by the modern city, we can still have this mystical feeling. The architecture is really interesting not just traditional.