Kyoto Love: Kiyomizu-dera & Jishu Shrine
A beautiful temple and garden overlooking the city
Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺 is a beautiful temple in Kyoto up on the hills, with a view over the city. The temple grounds are a nice place to walk around and look at the many halls, gates, and pagodas from different angles. This is a very famous place and it might get a little crowded, but it is really worth visiting.
Make sure to walk around the different buildings and go to the Jishu Shrine - this is the area dedicated to love. You can get help finding your loved one here. If you can walk with your eyes closed from the one big stone at the shrine to the other, then you will also find your partner.
Kiyomizu-dera is a good place to see any time of year. If you are in Kyoto during cherry blossom time or in the fall, you have the opportunity to see the buildings and gardens during a special light up in the evening. It is another way to experience the temple and its surroundings.
Walking up to the temple from the train station takes some time, but is a great trip in itself. There are many small cafes, restaurants, and shops selling senbei rice crackers, Kyoto-style pickled vegetables, soft ice cream, and sweets. Other shops sell cute Japanese souvenirs such as fans, cups, and teapots. Take some time to explore these streets.
There is so much to discover in Kyoto. My journey into Japanese life started with an introduction to Kyoto and Kiyomizu-dera. It was a good start and I have enjoyed every visit since. I highly recommend you explore Japan's old capital Kyoto and some of its many temples and shrines.