Kiyomizu-dera - Pure beauty imbued with distinctive marks of the ancient capital - Waku Waku

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Kiyomizu-dera - Pure beauty imbued with distinctive marks of the ancient capital

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Kiyomizu-dera - Pure beauty imbued with distinctive marks of the ancient capital

Following amazing Kinkaku-ji, my Kyoto visit is now moved to Kinkaku-ji temple. We cannot miss this UNESCO world cultural heritage in Kyoto!

Hương Giang

Hương Giang

Published on 26 May, 12:00

Midway up Mount Otawa in the eastern part of Kyoto is a temple over 1000 years old called Kiyomizu-dera. After a prolonged time, overcoming many destructive events and fires, the original architecture of the temple is no longer there. It has been remodeled based on the remaining structure.

Transportation: From Kinkakuji Golden Temple, we took bus number 101 and 202 to Kiyomizu-dera.

There are many affordable kimono rental shops here, so we stopped by to rent clothes for some photoshoots later. The clothes cost us 3900 yen, and the hairdo cost 450 yen. If you are willing to take pictures and check in the shop on Instagram, you will get another 1000 yen off. There are many choices for visitors to come here, so check out the shops if you have some spare time.

Gracefully in Kimonos
Gracefully in Kimonos

We then followed a small path leading to the top of the slope. On the side of the road, there were so many shops selling traditional products such as dolls, kimonos, wooden clogs, paper fans, masks, etc.

The fun, bustling atmosphere was like a small town. We found various souvenirs here, including shops selling cakes, ice cream, and traditional snacks for tourists.

Shop that sells manga, mochi and lucky wind chimes
Shop that sells manga, mochi and lucky wind chimes
There's even a store that sells paper fans
There's even a store that sells paper fans
Bags with funny designs
Bags with funny designs
Japanese specialty matcha cakes
Japanese specialty matcha cakes

Niomon main gate is made of lacquer, commonly known as red gate
Niomon main gate is made of lacquer, commonly known as red gate

We went through the main gate of Niomon to enter the temple grounds. From here, we could observe most parts of the temple, including the structure of the three-story tower and such inside the area.

Kiyomizu attracted me with its outstanding beauty and magnificence. Almost all the wooden columns and walls are painted red. The details are made very meticulously and thoroughly taken care of, from the lanterns hanging along the way to the temple, the stone statues, the steps, and the architecture of each structure within its main temple.

The unique architecture of the three-story tower is the highlight of the temple
The unique architecture of the three-story tower is the highlight of the temple

The site inside Kiyomizu-dera·
The site inside Kiyomizu-dera·

A lot of tourists come here to visit the temple
A lot of tourists come here to visit the temple
The temple grounds are vast. I suddenly thought that there wouldn’t be many people who visited the temple in the past like these days. It must have been a tranquil place, located on high altitude with a spacious area - an ideal place for the monks to escape mundane places, wholeheartedly turn to Buddhism.

Perhaps what attracts many visitors here is the extraordinary scenery when looking down from above. The best viewing spot is the Kiyomizu arena. Maple trees and cherry blossoms surround the temple. Therefore, in spring, when cherry blossoms are blooming, the scenery is poetic and romantic. In autumn, red leaves will cover the space, creating a gorgeous natural scene.

Kiyomizu-dera in cherry blossom season
Kiyomizu-dera in cherry blossom season

Summer in Kiyomizu-dera
Summer in Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera - season of red leaves
Kiyomizu-dera - season of red leaves

We visited different shrines and temples. But the place that attracted young people the most is the Jinshu shrine, worshiping the god of love. We draw divination sticks, bought love charms, and even had a stone for luck.

If you draw lucky divination, rest assured, but if you draw a bad one, tie it to the fixed wooden bars where the unlucky divinations stay. I was lucky enough to get a good blessing, it feels fascinating, and I would love to have the opportunity to come here more often because I always believe in small lucky things like this.

The crowd praying for love
The crowd praying for love

Following the paved path to descend, we came across Otowataki. This is where the waterfall that originates from Mount Otowayama flows down non-stop.

Legend has it that the saints used to practice at the foot of these three waterfalls. Three sacred waterfalls symbolize "longevity", "love" and "academic succession".

People can choose to drink water from one of these three waterfalls. But if someone drinks more than enough, it will be seen as greedy. I was lucky enough to get a love card at the Jinshu shrine, so I drank a sip of water symbolizing "academic succession" and did not forget to sincerely pray to the scholar Gyoei who is worshiped in the back.

This is Otowataki from the three sacred waterfalls
This is Otowataki from the three sacred waterfalls

On the way back to the main gate of Niomon, we took a slow walk to enjoy the natural beauty of this place. The charming landscapes, the scene where the fairies live on a mountain with trees, flowers, a lake, and the carp swimming that I only often see in the movies are all here.

Not sure if I had missed anything there, but I know there are many surprises and exciting things that I wouldn’t be able to discover in Japan fully.

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Hương Giang

Hương Giang

Hi guys, my name is Huong Giang. I love travelling and Japan is the place that I can do what I desire to do. I hope my experiences will inspire you and it would be glad if we can share our things in common <3

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