One of the many temples Ried and I visited while in Kyoto was Kiyomizu-dera. A quick search online shows a temple with a large wooden balcony overlooking Kyoto. When I saw this, I knew I had to check it out!
Exploring the Higashiyama District surrounding Kiyomizu-dera was a great way to spend a few hours. This area is filled with fun shops and lots of people dressed in traditional kimonos. It’s a great place to people watch and shop for souvenirs. This is where Ried tried his first sakura flavored ice cream (and fell in love with it).
The architecture of Kiyomizu-dera is stunning. It’s a beautiful temple to walk through and you are rewarded with gorgeous views of Kyoto and the Koyasu Pagoda.
Kiyomizu-dera is BUSY! There were a ton of people everywhere and many waiting in line to take part in the various rituals throughout the temple. In the main hall are two stones located in front of Jishu shrine that are 18 meters apart. If you can walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed it is said you will have good luck in love. We saw plenty of people giving it a try and having a good laugh trying to make their way between the stones.
If you like a large, busy temple, check out Kiyomizu-dera! You’ll see lots of people dressed in traditional Japanese kimono and enjoy some great views. But if you prefer a quieter atmosphere and a slower pace, I recommend checking out some of the other temples in Kyoto (such as the Ginkaku-ji temple).