Kiyomizu-dera

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Kiyomizu-dera: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

1. Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

Discover the highlights of Kyoto with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the convenient hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Admire the panoramic views from on board the open-top double decker bus, and hop on or off at any of the stops along the route. Enjoy informative audio commentary on board the bus, available in 7 languages. Choose this efficient way of exploring the must-see places and attractions in Kyoto. The bus takes you past many of the city's top attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Buses run every 30 minutes, and you can enjoy unlimited rides for the duration of your ticket's validity.  Bus stops along the route:  • Kyoto Station • Karasuma Gojo • Shijo Karasuma / Nishiki-ichiba Market • Nijo-jo Castle • Nijo Station • Kitano-tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) • Daitokuji Temple • Kyoto Imperial Palace (Doshisha University) • Heian-jingu Shrine / Okazaki Park • Gion (Kotowa-Kyoto Yasaka) • Gojozaka (Kiyomizu-dera Temple / Gion) • Sanjusangendo / Kyoto National Museum (Hyatt Regency Kyoto)

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Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

2. Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

Get to know your local host who can give you advice and recommendations for things to see and do with your family. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. They will also suggest family-friendly restaurants where the locals eat that serve the kind of food you all like. Explore the temples, gardens, and places in Kyoto that make the perfect backdrop for your family day out. Visit world famous attractions where your kids can learn and explore, parks to run off any extra energy, and interactive exhibits at the Railway Museum to get hands-on. Explore the unique and exciting aspects of Kyoto’s magical culture. Explore the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is a great temple for children and adults. You can also visit Tainai-Meguri if none of your party are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. Jishu-jinja and Otowa-no-taki Spring are other temples you can explore. The Sannen-Zaka and Ninen-Zaka preserved neighborhoods are beautiful lanes lined with restaurants, teahouses, and souvenir stores which the kids will also enjoy. At Maruyama-koen Park you can see some of the famous Kyoto rickshaw pullers and the carp and turtles in the pond. Shoren-in Temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto and has a beautiful garden that the kids can explore with a bamboo forest.  Head to downtown Kyoto for lunch where you will be surrounded by restaurants. Your host will recommend a place that is to your taste. Kyoto Railway Museum is a great museum for the kids to explore. Nishiki Market is Kyoto’s best food market and it is fun to check out all the mysterious items on offer.

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Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

3. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

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From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

4. From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous cultural sites on this day-long bus tour from Osaka. Hop aboard a comfortable coach and drive to Japan's ancient capital to see the brilliant torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu-dera temple, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto is filled with ancient historic sites dating back to the 6th century. Get dropped off first at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Spend time wandering the brilliant paths before heading to your next destination. Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Take ample time to wander through the temple. Walk across the impressive wooden stage, which juts out from the hillside and was constructed without the use of a single nail. Next, stop at Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to the fact that it's covered in gold leaf. Wander through the immaculate gardens surrounding the temple, admiring the original Japanese designs that have been preserved since Ashikaga's time. Finish the day in Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. In the late afternoon, hop on the bus back to Osaka.

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Kyoto: Kiyomizu Temple, Imperial Palace & Arashiyama Forest

5. Kyoto: Kiyomizu Temple, Imperial Palace & Arashiyama Forest

First stop will be the Kiyomizu Temple. Early in the morning before the crowds arrive, explore the temple's impressive architecture and take photos from Kyoto's most famous viewpoint  called 'the stage of Kiyomizu'. Next, walk down to the Otowa Waterfall and pray for your fortune. Your driver-guide will tell you about its history and the proper manner to drink the water. Then make a quick photo stop at the massive torii gate of the Heian Shrine.  Next stop is the massive Kyoto Imperial Palace, located in central Kyoto. Inside the palace, hear about the many different buildings and what role each one played. Explore the beautiful and tranquil Japanese garden.  You can then make a quick lunch stop at a local shopping mall, where you can choose from a variety of options. Experiencing real local life in this shopping mall, where there are few tourists. After lunch, visit Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion, one of the most famous temples in Japan. Your driver-guide will take photos of you with the Golden Pavilion behind you, and explain about the different customs of the temple.  Finally head to Arashiyama in the western area of Kyoto city. This area is famous for its beautiful bamboo forest. Walk through the forest slowly to fully enjoy the serene atmosphere it has to offer. Walk past the Imamiya shrine and back up to Okochi Sanso.  After enjoying the time in the bamboo forest, walk back to the bus to head back to central Kyoto. If you wish to stay longer in the Arashiyama area to visit other places such as Monkey Park, the Tenryuji Temple or the Okochi Sanso garden, you can say goodbye to your group here. Your driver-guide will tell you how to get back to central Kyoto.

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Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

6. Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

Explore the traditional neighborhood of Higashiyama from the comfort of a rickshaw with a knowledgeable guide. Admire the well-preserved wooden townhouses, see some of Kyoto's most famous temples, and pass through the vibrant geisha district in the Gion area. Learn about Japanese culture, heritage, and customs on this private customizable tour. Meet your guide on the cobbled streets by the Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama, a nationally designated historic area. Travel back in time as your guide pulls you through the historic neighborhood, filled with traditional buildings and shops. Stop to take photos at the most scenic spots in each location. Choose from 4 different tour durations to suit your schedule, from the introductory 45-minute tour, to the comprehensive tour of 3 hours and 10 minutes. With the longer tours, you’ll continue through the wealth of sights in Higashiyama and the northern part of Gion. Pass weeping willows that line a picturesque river, explore ancient temples, and travel through the streets of this amazing neighborhood.

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Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

7. Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

Meet up in the west gate (red gate) of Yasaka Shrine. At first, the guide will tell you about the history of Kyoto with a map of Kyoto. Start the tour with the explanation about Yasaka shrine. In Yasaka shrine, the guide will explain how to worship at a shrine.  Next, going through Maruyama Park, located next to Yasaka Shrine, you will find a busy street whose name is Nene-no-michi. Nene is the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a political leader in Japan in the late 16th century. Entokuin is a temple associated with Nene. Entokuin is a Zen temple, with beautiful dry landscape gardens, famous pictures depicted on sliding doors of the rooms in the temple. You can see  traditional Japanese rooms. You can enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple. After going out of the temple, you will find a narrow street called Ishibe-koji. Walking further, you will find red ornaments hung from the eaves of the  entrance of shops and restaurants. The ornaments are the dolls of monkey, a divine messenger of Koshindo. Koshindo is a place of folk religion, which originated in  Asian countries.   A five-storied pagoda, commonly called Yasaka-no-to(pagoda), is located close to Koshindo. You will see the pagoda from outside. Zuigudo is a sub-temple of Kiyomizu Temple. You will get into the basement floor of the temple which symbolizes the womb of Bodhisattva. Wooden balls symbolizing a rosary will lead you to the bottom of the temple. When you get out, you will feel as if you were reborn. The final destination, Kiyomizu temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. It was originally built in the 8th century. The temple has five million visitors a year from all over the world. The main object of worship is Kannon Bodhisattva. You can see Buddhist statues, including Kannon Bodhisattva. There is a wooden stage attached to the main hall. The stage is a wooden structure without the use of nails. The scenery from the stage is magnificent. From the stage you can see a three storied pagoda. It is called Koyasu Pagoda, or lliterally  pagoda for easy birth.  Women visit the pagoda praying for easy birth. Kiyomiozu literally means "pure water". The stream of water, running down from the mountain behind the temple, has never been dried up.  A lot of visitors stand in line to drink the water. There are an iron stick and iron clogs in the precinct.. They are donated items to the temple. The iron stick is very heavy. Why don't you try to lift it up?  After getting out of the main hall, the tour ends. Before ending the tour, the guide will explain something about Jishu Shrine, a shrine for match making.

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Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera Temple Guided Walking Tour

8. Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera Temple Guided Walking Tour

Discover one of Kyoto’s most popular sites, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, on a comprehensive guided tour. Learn about Japan’s history and culture as you explore the temple grounds with an experienced local guide. Kiyomizudera is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. It is best known for its wooden balcony that juts out from the main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. Admire the scenic views of Kyoto in the distance, and numerous cherry and maple trees that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall.

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Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

9. Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

The district of Higashiyama is full of Kyoto must-see locations. Higashiyama means East Mountain, and this tour takes place at the foothills of the mountain range that forms the Eastern border of central Kyoto.  Start off your tour at the Fushimi Inari Taisha, a Shinto shrine located in the Southern part of the Higashiyama mountain range. Pass through the mystical vermilion torii gates that snake up the mountainside. Beyond the gates, you find the Fushimi Inari Taisha which is about Shinto history and culture.  Take a short train ride from Fushimi Inari to Gion and listen to the stories your guide has to share about this colorful, much-storied playground of the geisha and beyond. Gion is a special place as it continues to be an active part of modern-day culture. This district is also known for its evening entertainment.  Stroll through the streets of Higashiyama and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Visit the Kodaiji temple and immerse yourself in the serenity of its gardens and bamboo grove. The temple complex dates back to the early 17th-century.  Take some snacks or souvenirs in the streets along Sannenzaka and walk you way up to Kiyomizu Temple. Once arrived you can enjoy a spectacular view of Kyoto. The temple is famous for its clear, pure water flowing from the mountains into the Otowa Waterfall. Take the opportunity to sample some of the pure water yourself. It is said that the 3 divided streams bring health, wealth, or happiness. Choose wisely as for greedy people none of the wishes will come true.  The tour ends at Kiyomizudera, where you are free to spend more time and discover the area at your own pace.

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Kyoto: Private Photoshoot with a Professional Photographer

10. Kyoto: Private Photoshoot with a Professional Photographer

Capture your time in Kyoto with a photoshoot in one of the city's most popular attractions. Get your photo taken and learn about local monuments on this private experience. After your photo session, you'll receive professional-quality images to cherish. Select one out of four locations to have your professional photo session. Have your photoshoot amongst gardens and mountains views at Arashiyama Kimono Forest. Experience tradition and charm at Kiyomizu-dera Temple. See the famous red gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. Explore the grounds of Yasaka Shrine and see the famous geisha district of Gion.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kiyomizu-dera

Want to discover all there is to do in Kiyomizu-dera? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kiyomizu-dera

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 277 reviews

There is no way you can see everything in one day if that's what you're thinking! Plan ahead what you want to see so you're not disappointed. Also dress appropriately as only open seats are available.

We had an absolutely wonderful experience! Our guide, Yuka, was incredibly knowledgeable, flexible to our interests, and a great photographer. would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Kyoto.

Hisako has been a great guide, very close and with many stories to tell. He has also given me many suggestions to visit after the tour. I have been delighted!

Very convenient to book and the tour made it easy to go to Kyoto tourist spots. Highly recommended specially for first time travellers to Kyoto

Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.