【Kiyomizu Temple】A Jewel of Kyoto's Heritage


  • Opening Hours / Busy Hours : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM / Busiest on weekends and holidays, particularly around 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
  • Entry Fee : 400 JPY for adults, 200 JPY for children.
  • Address : 294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan.
  • Access from Kyoto Station:
    • By Train : Take the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station, then transfer to the Keihan Main Line for Kiyomizu-Gojo Station. Approximately 25 minutes.
    • By Bus : Direct buses (100, 206, or 207) to Kiyomizu Temple take about 15 minutes.

Introduction: Eternal Splendor of Kiyomizu Temple

Nestled in the heart of Kyoto's lush mountainsides, Kiyomizu Temple stands as a testament to the enduring beauty and spirituality of Japan. This historic temple, part of the ancient city's cultural heritage, offers visitors a glimpse into the timeless traditions of Japanese Buddhism. Renowned for its wooden stage that juts out from the main hall, providing breathtaking views over Kyoto, Kiyomizu Temple is a symbol of peace and resilience. Beyond its architectural marvels, the temple is a sanctuary of serenity, inviting all who seek a moment of reflection amidst the bustling city life. Discover the charm of Kiyomizu Temple, where every visit is a journey through the heart of Japanese culture.

History of Kiyomizu Temple

Foundation and Faith: The Origins of Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple's story begins in the late 8th century when it was established by the Hosso sect of Buddhism. It was constructed without the use of nails, a testament to traditional Japanese craftsmanship and architectural ingenuity. The temple's name, meaning "pure water," derives from the Otowa Waterfall running beneath its main hall, believed to have healing properties.

Era of Enlightenment: Expansion and Cultural Significance

Through centuries, Kiyomizu Temple has witnessed and contributed to the cultural and spiritual evolution of Kyoto. It expanded in the Edo period, becoming a symbol of hope and renewal for many. Its role in Japanese history is profound, intertwining with the lives of samurais, poets, and common folk alike.


The expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is a Japanese idiom equivalent to the English "to take the plunge," reflecting the temple's influence on Japanese language and culture.

Preservation and Recognition: Kiyomizu Temple Today

In modern times, Kiyomizu Temple has undergone several restorations to preserve its structure and beauty. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands as a beacon of cultural preservation, attracting millions of visitors who seek to experience its timeless allure.

Picture Outlook

"Spring Blossom Spectacle"

In spring, Kiyomizu Temple is enveloped in a blanket of cherry blossoms, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of pink hues. The blossoms frame the temple's ancient structures, offering a perfect harmony of nature and architecture that captivates every visitor's heart.

"Summer's Verdant Embrace"

Summer brings a lush greenery to the temple grounds, with the sun casting a warm, golden light over the wooden structures. The vibrant foliage and clear, blue skies create a serene atmosphere, making it a tranquil escape from the city's heat.

"Autumn's Fiery Canvas"

Autumn transforms Kiyomizu Temple into a fiery canvas of red, orange, and yellow leaves. The vivid colors against the temple's wooden backdrop and the crisp autumn air provide a breathtaking visual feast, embodying the essence of fall in Kyoto.

"Winter's Serene Solitude"

Winter covers Kiyomizu Temple in a silent blanket of snow, offering a peaceful solitude rarely found in other seasons. The snow-dusted roofs and frozen trees paint a serene landscape, reflecting the quiet beauty of Japanese winters.


  • Food : Try the yudofu (boiled tofu) or matcha sweets in the nearby tea houses, offering a taste of Kyoto's culinary tradition.
  • Experience : Participate in a Zazen meditation session for a spiritual recharge, available at some sub-temples within the complex.
  • Photo Spot : The iconic Kiyomizu Stage offers a stunning panorama of Kyoto, especially during cherry blossom season or autumn, making it an unforgettable snapshot of your visit.

Kiyomizu-yaki Pottery: An Artistic Legacy

The connection between Kiyomizu Temple and traditional Japanese crafts is deep-rooted, especially with Kiyomizu-yaki pottery. Originating from the same area, this craft mirrors the temple's dedication to preserving cultural heritage, as artisans continue to produce beautiful ceramics that reflect the natural beauty and spiritual essence of Kiyomizu.

Kiyomizu-yaki, a celebrated form of Kyoto ceramics, boasts a history as rich and varied as the temple itself. Known for its intricate designs and vibrant colors, Kiyomizu-yaki pieces are often inspired by the natural scenery and cultural motifs of Kyoto. Each piece, from tea bowls to decorative vases, tells a story of tradition and craftsmanship, making Kiyomizu-yaki a cherished symbol of Japanese artistry.

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