Beginning of main content
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Kiyomizu Temple

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Nestled in the Otowa Mountain, to the east of central Kyōto, the Buddhist temple of Kiyomizu is one of the city’s most popular attractions, drawing millions of visitors a year. The current temple buildings date from the 15th to 17th centuries, but there has been a temple here since 778.

Enter through the red and gold Deva gate, and head up a steep incline to the temple. There are two approaches you can take, each lined with stalls selling snacks, local pottery work, incense and souvenirs. The Main Hall is the prominent feature of the temple, and houses an image of the goddess of mercy, Kannon Bodhisattva.

Pilgrims have visited the temple for hundreds of years. To accommodate the pilgrims, a veranda was built on the Main Hall during the Edo period (1603-1868). Huge poles support the cedar slabs that make up the veranda. From here you have a view out to the city and over the hundreds of cherry trees planted in the temple gardens.

You can also visit Otowa-no-taki waterfall and sip the water, which is said to have special properties, giving the drinker longevity, wisdom and good health. The romantic minded can venture to the Jishu shrine, where it is said that if you walk from one rock with your eyes closed and find your way to the second, you’ll find true love. The temple grounds also feature a three-tiered pagoda and 1,000 stone Buddha statues. During autumn the gardens are lit up so that you can enjoy the fiery colours of the maples in the garden.

The temple is open daily and there is a fee to enter the complex. Take public transportation or a cab as there is no car parking on site. Buses depart from Kyōto Station, the city’s main transportation hub. It’s best to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds.


Guide to Exploring around Kiyomizu Temple


Lodging Near Kiyomizu Temple

See all 3,089 properties near Kiyomizu Temple
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Kawaramachi are also within 2 mi ...

    RIHGA Royal Hotel KyotoAU$137

    Park Hyatt Kyoto

    Park Hyatt Kyoto

    360 Kodaiji Masuyacho, Higashiyama, Kyoto
      4.5 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hokanji Temple and Kodaiji Temple. Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner are also within 15 ...

      Park Hyatt KyotoAU$1,475

      Hyatt Regency Kyoto

      Hyatt Regency Kyoto

        4.5 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is steps away from Kyoto National Museum and Sanjusangendo Temple. Kyoto Tower and Kiyomizu Temple are also within ...

        Hyatt Regency KyotoAU$426

        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

        THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji Tominokoji

          3.5 out of 5.0
           
           
          5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

          Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi and Pontocho. Kyoto MINAMIZA Theatre and Shijo Omiya are also ...

          THE GENERAL KYOTO Takatsuji TominokojiAU$94

          Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

          Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGallery

          84 OHASHICHO, Kyoto
            4.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nishiki Market and Chion-in Temple. Heian Shrine and Kyoto Imperial Palace are also within ...

            Kyoto Yura Hotel - MGalleryAU$215

            The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

            The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

              3.5 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in Higashiyama, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kiyomizu Temple, Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner. Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are also within ...

              The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto KiyomizuAU$869

              APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT

              APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT

                3.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in Gion, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gion Corner, Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine. Sanjusangendo Temple and Kyoto Tower are also within 2 mi ...

                APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENTAU$67

                Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

                Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

                  5.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in Higashiyama, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sanjusangendo Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Gion Corner. Kyoto Tower and Heian Shrine are also ...

                  Four Seasons Hotel KyotoAU$1,332

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
                  ^Eligibility requirements and conditions apply.