Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall's pure waters. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple's primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.
Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizudera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. The many shops and restaurants in the area have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries, and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs.
A stroll down the narrow road leading to and from the Kiyomizudera temple will lead to Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka. These famous streets in Kyoto, lined with old wooden houses, traditional shops and restaurants in Japanese style buildings. Aside from the telephone wires over head, this part of Kyoto is among the very few areas that present a unified wooden cityscape. The shops offer many traditional items, from incense to fans to woven goods. These two charming streets have been preserved to keep the stone walkway, and are predominantly for foot traffic.
If you go to Higashiyama area including Kiyoizudera temple, we can not recommend taking a bike because there are a lots of steep hills in the area. So most people go to there by a city bus. You are lucky. There is a bus stop bound for Kiyomizudera temple nearby. At our reception, we will show you where the bus stop is. Please don't hesitate to ask us. Kiyomizudera can be reached by bus number 206. And get off at Gojo-zaka bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple.