Day 3: Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Day 3: Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kyōto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Pure water temple


By Adam May 10, 2014

Kiyomizu-dera Temple 清水寺 is another ancient temple and UNESCO world heritage site on the east side of Kyoto. It’s name translates to “Pure Water Temple”, which people line up to drink. Founded in 778, this temple sits high on the mountainside with a great view of the city. The tall main structure of the Buddhist temple was constructed using no nails.

We were there about a week before the cherry blossoms bloomed, but that didn’t stop the view from being amazing. The trail up to the template was littered with stores selling trinkets, food and souvenirs, but we did manage to spot a shop selling nothing but Ghibli merchandise which we somehow left with money leftover.

Kyomizudera temple

A look at the main temple.

Look from the top

Store view from the top.

Marilyn entrance

Marilyn by the entrance to the shrine.

Blossom at the temple entrance

A blooming plum blossom greets visitors.


A beautiful pagoda.

Ghibli store

A look at the Ghibli store.


Stores on the route up.

Laputa robot head

A robot soldier planter from Laputa.

Marilyn at the top

Marilyn with a view of the temple.


Adam with a view of the temple.

Winding path

Winding path down the mountain.


Stones along the side of the path.

Temple view

Hundreds of feet up, the temple looks like it sits on the trees.


People of all ages cleanse themselves before entering the temple.

Cream puff

A sakura filled cream puff.


Stopping for tea on the way down.

Sweetpotato tempura

Sweet potato and pumpkin tempura.

After exploring the temple grounds we followed the crowds downhill through the touristy shopping district. We found an entire shop selling Ghibli merch and splurged on a few trinkets. And of course we picked up any tasty food we could find – starting with a cherry blossom cream puff and a sweet potato tempura.

We continued heading west and explored the Gion district next, famous for it’s geisha’s and history.

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