Kiyomizudera Temple – Kyoto | Travel Information

Kiyomizudera was founded in the late 8th century near to Otowa Waterfall, which is fed from a spring on the hill Kiyomizudera temple was built upon.  It’s a popular sightseeing spot in Japan, attracting millions to the temple grounds yearly as the temple offers unforgettable views and cultural experiences. 

Autumn is the peak season for tourism to Kiyomizudera because the temple is elevated on a hill, making it a perfect vantage point of the view the fall foliage as the trees change to yellow and red.

The main hall is definitely the main attraction of the Kiyomizudera Temple, which stands on wooden pedestals which jettison the temple 13m above the floor of the hillside, and is the preferred sightseeing spot during the spring and winter as it provides excellent views of the forest colours. 

Due to the location of the temple near the spring of Odowa Falls, the temple was given the name of ‘Kiyomizudera’, which when translated into English means Pure Water Temple, seeing as the water for Odowa Falls is pure spring water. Odowa Falls is located near the base of Kiyomizudera’s main hall, and guests to the temple will drink the pure water in order to receive a blessing of good luck. You are supposed to drink from only one of the 3 streams which flow down from the falls, drinking from all 3 to attempt to gain the most luck is considered selfish and highly looked down upon.

The road leading up to Kiyomizudera Temple is lined with souvenir shops and various snack food stores – most notably Ice Cream Stores (some of which even have gold-foil soft serve if you can justify spending 800-1000JPY on a single ice cream cone). You could certainly spend several hours looking through all the shops along the way to Kiyomizudera, but due to the crowd, we suggest that you look at all the shops on the left side as you go walk up the road to the temple, and the ones on your left as you leave the temple to help with traffic flow.

Hours and Admission


Kiyomizudera Temple is located a bit of a walk from the nearest train station, with the nearest station being Kizomizu-Gojo, which is about a 20-30 minute walk (not including shopping stops). The road to the Kiyomizudera temple is crowded with a few small stair cases that dot the pathway to the main temple.

Where To Stay

GuestHouse Oumi

For a guesthouse, this hotel is quite unique. It’s relatively cheap to stay in, and provides a range of rooms to suit you needs, from Traditional Japanese style, to more western style rooms.  You are treated more than well here.

Nagi Kyoto Sanjo

Nagi Kyoto Sanjo is a hotel that’s perfect for a pair of travellers out seeking the historic side of Kyoto, as it’s located only a short walking distance from some of the cities most historically significant places.

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Luxury. The best word that describes the Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto. Feel like royalty with world-class service provided on location, you may never want to leave the elegant rooms that are the pride of Kyoto.

Nearby Attractions

Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine is a shrine located to the northeast of Kyoto city’s centre. It was built in 1895 to commemorate 1100 since the founding of Heian, meaning that it’s one of the newest shrines in the ancient city of Kyoto, yet it’s still among the more popular shrines in the city, given the beautiful architecture and serene gardens which are attached to the shrine grounds.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha, better known as Fushimi Inari Shrine, is one of Kyoto’s most popular destinations – if not the most popular. It gained fame by have literally thousands of bright orange torii gates which line the pathways that scale the mountain sid.

Are you planning a trip to Japan soon? Then you really should consider purchasing a JR Rail Pass, especially if you are planning on hitting all the major tourist cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Sapporo. 

The JR Rail Pass makes getting around the country easy, and can save you several hundreds in travel expenses. All you need to do is just show your pass at the ticket gate, and you have access to any and all JR rail lines across the country, and not just the standard commuter trains, but luxury trains, and even the world famous Shikansen (Bullet Train). A JR Rail Pass is an essential item for any visitor to Japan. Buy your pass today by clicking here now!