Kiyomizu Temple

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Why the
Kiyomizu Temple
is special

This Kyoto wonder is one of the world's most celebrated Buddhist sites.

Top 3
Kiyomizu Temple

There are over a dozen interesting ones. These are the three leading must-sees:

Main Hall (see photo)

This hillside building has a famous 400-year-old veranda offering a fine view of Kyoto and forested hills. It juts over a cliff and is supported by 139 wood pillars of up to 15 meters (49 feet) in length.

Otawa Falls

It's really three short streamlets. Tradition says each has a special power to give you a benefit (health, longevity, wisdom) if you sip the water. You can drink two but it's bad luck to imbibe all three because that's considered greed. Bad luck follows.

Jishu Shrine

It's dedicated to the Buddhist god of love and matchmaking. Tradition tells us if you can walk the distance between the site's two large stones with your eyes closed, you will find your true love soon.

Kiyomizu Temple
tips and insights


The original temple complex dates from 798 and the current version was launched in 1633.


Kiyomizu means "pure water" in Japanese, a reference to the water of Otawa Falls.

Prettiest times to come

The scene is superbly photogenic during the spring cherry-blossom and fall foliage periods. Though crowds are thick.

Location in Japan

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