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Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0862

The Basics

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera Temple should not be missed when visiting Kyoto. Although originally built in 798, most of the current buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries because of repeated fires throughout the years. Lovely gardens and shrines surround Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and the stage just off the Main Hall is famous for its city views.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a must-see attraction in Kyoto, so most organized tours include it on their itineraries. It’s also easily accessed via public transport. The complex offers tours of the temple and grounds conducted by a Buddhist priest.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Kyoto

star-4
Lots to see in an Afternoon!
Patrick_O, Feb 2020
Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto
This is a nice tour especially if you only have an afternoon. Be sure to be on time as we were late as we got lost a little bit. Hakata station is large and our cab driver dropped us on the wrong side. Give yourself enough time to find the Sunrise office. The three stops were very interesting. Kyoto has a lot to see so maybe a full day tour would be better. Our tour guide was good. Worthwhile tour.
star-4
Crowded but unforgettable!
Andree_L, Jun 2019
Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto
The guide was friendly, informative, funny, and explained a lot about Japanese history and customs which I had not read of heard before. Nothing could be done about the crowds at the sites and in the lovely small streets of Kyoto, but everything that could be controlled and organized was very well done. Sanjunsangendo was one of the most intense experiences of my life!
star-4
Great afternoon out in Kyoto
Kathy_K, Apr 2019
Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto
Knowledge guide, very inclusive to everyone on the tour. Efficient visits to three sites but plenty of time to see everything. Enjoyed this tour very much
star-5
Not to miss
LEILA10, Sep 2018
Kyoto Afternoon Tour - Fushimiinari Shrine & Kiyomizu Temple from Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple is a sight not to miss. Tour was flexible enough to accommodate our request to stay behind.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Although the temple is part way up Mount Otowa, it is fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step paths and special vehicle access via the emergency road entrance to save climbing the steps.

  • The temple grounds are large, with 30 buildings and gardens to stroll through. While it’s possible to visit quickly, if you’re trying to see many highlights of Kyoto in a short time, it’s also worth spending a couple of hours here.

  • There is a small admission charge.

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How to Get There

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is best reached by bus. From Kyoto Station, catch City Bus no. 206 or 100 (on Saturdays and holidays, take the Kyoto Bus no. 18) and get off at Gojozaka and walk east. Buses are also available from Hankyu Kawaramachi, Keihan Gion-Shijo, and Keihan Shichijo stations. There are no parking lots at the temple, and nearby lots tend to get crowded quickly due to the temple’s popularity.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The temple is open every day from 6am until 6pm or 6:30pm, depending on the season. Special night-viewing sessions are also organized in each season, when the temple remains open until 9pm. Every season at Kiyomizu Temple offers a different experience: the temple is surrounded by snow in winter, blossoms in spring, greenery in summer, and fiery leaves in fall.

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Stage on a Cliff

The Main Hall of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is built upon a steep cliff, and the stage that hangs out in front offers amazing views of Kyoto. While this may seem like a precarious perch, especially in an earthquake-prone country, the platform has survived since 1633. The traditional construction method consists of 18 wooden pillars and uses no nails.

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