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5 Facts You Might Not Know About Kiyomizu Temple In Kyoto

Satomi
Updated Jun 13, 2016

Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizu-dera) is one of the most popular spots to visit in Kyoto, Japan. Even though it is famous, don’t let that be your only reason for visiting! From an amazing architectural feat to the meaning behind its name, there are some interesting facts and useful travel tips about this Kyoto based temple that you should know! Read on to learn more about Kiyomizu Temple to enhance your visit!

1. Kiyomizu Temple opens its door at 6am while everyone else is sleeping

Morning kiyomizudera 1
Source: Tabiness

In general, the opening hours of temples and shrines in Kyoto start from 9am, but Kiyomizu Temple opens its gate to visitors at 6am in the morning! Visiting the temple at dawn has its perks, as there are no traffic jams at this hour and the popular Kiyomizu is free from the usual tourist crowds. Enjoy a moment of quiet bliss and tranquility as you walk around the temple grounds. The earliest bus service from JR Kyoto Station bus terminal is usually from 5:33am, thus, even if you are not staying within walking distance, there is a way to get to Kiyomizu Temple!

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Kiyomizu Temple and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Kiyomizu Temple

2. Not a single nail was used for the construction of the verandah at the Main Hall!

The highlight of Kiyomizu Temple is the 13-meter-high (42.6-foot-high) verandah at the main hall. It composed of 139 trees and not a single nail was used to fix this iconic platform where hordes of visitors linger for a customary photo stop. The verandah was built using the method called ‘hell frame’. Although this verandah was built almost 400 years ago and no metal nails were used in its construction, it is still standing sturdy and in a good shape!

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Kiyomizu Temple and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Kiyomizu Temple

3. Blessed water from Otowa Waterfall to improve three aspects of life

Source: Tabiness

The name of Kiyomizu-dera (its literal meaning is Pure Water Temple) originates from Otowa Waterfall, which you can see under the main verandah. There are three streams of water and it is believed that the blessed water can improve aspects of academic, relationships, and enhance longevity. The locals would visit to draw the water too, as this pure water is perfect for making coffee and tea.

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Kiyomizu Temple and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Kiyomizu Temple

4. All the sloped streets to Kiyomizu Temple are full of interesting shops and restaurants

Source: Tabiness

There is a total of 5 slopes leading towards Kiyomizu Temple. Along all of these streets are numerous shops and cafes, which you will enjoy strolling around. It is, therefore, not so much of a challenge to climb up to Kiyomizu Temple! You can relax and take it easy! It is no wonder that Kiyomizu Temple is a popular destination; it is not only the site itself, but also the neighborhood that makes the area appealing.

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Kiyomizu Temple and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Kiyomizu Temple

5. Look out for the blue light that shines towards Heaven!

Source: Tabiness

One is considered to be very lucky if you can visit Kyoto during one of its best seasons - at the time when the area is full of cherry blossoms during spring or red leaves during autumn. At this time, the night sky will be lit in a spectacular manner. Usually, the light-up event is from the end of March to early April (spring) and from mid-November to early December (autumn / winter) every year. Enjoy the very best views at these times! The blue beam can be seen in the easterly direction from Kyoto’s downtown area. Coming from Kiyomizu Temple, it shines in a direction (supposedly) towards Heaven, in the west! Do keep a lookout for it! You may find the schedule for the light-up events here.

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Kiyomizu Temple and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Kiyomizu Temple

Are you ready to visit Kiyomizu Temple?

These five interesting facts about Kiyomizu Temple may have inspired you to visit soon … and with good reason! Arrange your trip and explore! You will likely find even more fascinating facts during your trip, and we’d love for you to share them with us!

This article was originally published on Jun 07, 2016

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