Located in Kyoto, the Kiyomizudera Temple is one of the most historic and highly regarded temples in all of Japan. A part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site, Kiyomizudera Temple means “Pure Water Temple” and is an independent Buddhist temple.
History of Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Dating back to 780, the temple originated along the Otowa Waterfall situated in the eastern hills of Kyoto during the Heian period. Its name, “Pure Water Temple” comes from the falls and the water that flows in such close proximity. The current structure was built in 1633 at the order of Tokugawa Lemitsu. Once connected to one of the oldest traditional schools of Japanese Buddhism, Hosso, the temple formed its own sect known as Kita Hosso in 1965. As of 1994, Kiyomizu-dera Temple has been protected as a World Heritage Site and continues to attract both locals and visitors.
What to do at the Kiyomizu-dera Temple
One of the most famous and notable attributes of the temple is the wooden stage, or balcony, that extends from the main building of the temple, overlooking the hills. Providing one of the most unique and breathtaking views in Kyoto, the deck provides a scenic overview of the cherry blossoms and greenery.
The temple consists of the Main Halls, the overlooking deck and the Jishu Shrine which stands for the deity of love and matchmaking and is situated just behind the main hall. For those looking to find love, a visit to the Jishu Shrine combined with two large stones is set to align luck and love for those who can successfully pass from one stone to the other with eyes closed. One of the other main attractions for visitors is, of course, the Otowa Waterfall flowing with pure water. The water is believed to carry several properties for healing, health and also love.
How to visit Kiyomizu-dera Temple
To access Kiyomizu-dera Temple from Kyoto, the bus via Kyoto Station will go directly to the temple. Either the 100 bus or 206 bus will stop at either Kiyomizu-michi bus stop where there is about a 10-minute walk to the Buddhist Temple.
1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Higashiyama, Kyoto 605-0862, Kyoto Prefecture
Open 7 days a week
6:00 am – 6:00 pm (on holidays and weekends open until 6:30 pm)
Part of the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera temple is under construction undergoing renovations. While visitors can still enter, there may be some limitations. Renovations will take place until March 2020.