Kiyomizu-dera (Kiyomizu meaning pure water) is a Buddhist temple located in Eastern Kyoto. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the most visited attractions in Kyoto, not least because of the stunning view the temple offers from its main veranda.
We were really lucky that our place of lodging (Santiago Guesthouse) is a stone’s throw away from the temple, ( here’s the instagram taken from the building’s rooftop ) so we made plans for a very early visit to escape the maddening crowds.
(above) Takeshi & Kojima pay respect to the powers that be – more an acknowledgment of the great historic & spirituality of the place rather than something strictly religious. The ginormous gong in front of Kojima reverberates a sonorous chime when struck and has a strangely soothing effect.
(above) The main corridor beside the veranda. During midday it’s packed to the brim with visitors and seeing it empty of human traffic was quite unreal. (below) Note reads “Please refrain from tying Omikuji ( fortune strips ) on these branches.”
(above) The temple’s most famous view. I was actually here a good many years ago during summer and the vegetation was lush and green. Now I’m just 2 more trips short to see the Autumn and Winter landscape.
(below) The temple in illumination during my night visit a few days later. I have no idea why they have a Batman beacon within the premises – Kojima & Takeshi says the temple is too “Pop”.
(above) A breathtaking view of Kyoto city from the main veranda, with Kyoto Tower dominating the skyline.
Now this was pretty magical – Near the foot of the temple on the way out are a couple of ponds; In the day they appear pretty normal but at night the perfectly still surface of the water acts like a mirror, reflecting the illuminated Sakura in a mesmerizing light. A nice highlight to end the night’s viewing.