I went to Kiyomizuedera in mid-March, which isn’t the best time, because the trees are naked and cherry blossoms are not in season. However, the temple itself is beautiful, and there is a very robust shopping and eating district built below it.
Couples in traditional wear enjoying the temple early in the morning
A very popular tourist spot. Busy at all hours of the day.
It’s 400 yen for the entrance ticket
The ticket basically allows you to be on the other side of this photo. You can have a view of Kyoto from the mountain side.
Mountain-side view. It was foggy, and most of the trees were naked, so it was disappointing. But what can you do.
Aside from getting this view from the mountain, the entrance ticket doesn’t get you anything else. You can walk around all the other areas of the temple without a ticket. I did see some blog posts beforehand mentioning that the ticket is a waste of money, but I mean, it’s 400 yen, so might as well buy it and see the view for yourself.
Cemetery…did not walk inside.
You can walk around these areas without a ticket
The pagoda as seen from the shopping area
From an adorable shrine that all the girls were gushing over
Got to witness some ritual(?) action
The ritual also continued on in the shopping streets. The women in masks would use the long sticks to flick drops of water.
The people maneuvering the dragon would turn the dragon’s head into a shop’s entrance. Then, around 4 men would give out a roar as they lunged the dragon head forward inside the shop, and then continue on their way back to the temple. I am assuming that this is to drive out any bad energy that there might be?
A lot of charms are sold at the temple. There’s a charm for good health, for good driving safety, for passing exams, for romantic fortune, etc. I bought a general good luck fortune charm.
This good luck charm has a bell inside so it makes a noise every time I walk. I love the sound it makes, but I’m also self-conscious that it annoys other people…So I just keep it in my room 😦
Below the temple is where all the consumer action is. Lots of eateries and shopping
Picked side dish shops
Souvenir dessert shops. There were two shops that provided free samples of everything they were selling, and also giving out cups of hot green tea to go with them. You’ll never find this kind of generous sampling opportunity anywhere else, so try it when you are here.
My lunch. Spicy ginger fried chicken stick. 500 yen. So filling. I thought it was going to be a snack, but I didn’t have stomach space for anything else after this… 😦
Gonjac soap!! You can try out all the different kinds at these golden sinks. They’re like washing your hands with a gummy ball. They were about $10 USD each, and made with all natural ingredients and coloring.
Kiyomizu dera itself is a very beautiful temple and there are a few shrines and a decent walking area. Then, if you’re done with your soulful time, you can head on down to the shopping district to spend all your money to buy all the souvenirs and food to your heart’s content. I had a very memorable time here.