Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksReligious Sites
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
This most-visited temple in Kyoto was built to honor Kannon, the goddess of mercy. It's beautiful hillside location offers spectacular views of the city and valley below.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
Top ways to experience Kiyomizu-dera Temple
See what travelers are saying
  • daft punk
    157 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    No way to avoid the crowds
    We thought that coming here early on a weekday, in November, would be less crowded... but NOPE. Super crowded. I guess you gotta come here before sunrise, but I bet even then it'd be full of photographers. It's quite a dilemma because by going we're also contributing to the crowds! I'm gonna skip this entirely next time.
    Visited November 2022
    Written March 19, 2023
  • lum W
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    It is necessary to read the guide and explanation pamphlet.
    It was difficult for us to understand what this place was supposed to do. It is a historical place famous for the altar of "Buddha", which is different from God, and the stage for dancing in a very high place. You can also enjoy the many Japanese shops lined up on both sides of the slope.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 26, 2023
  • Philippe B
    Hilo, Hawaii43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A justifiable icon
    One of the most famous temples in Kyoto. It's a large complex, and looks particularly handsome during cherry blossom (when I visited), and I understand that is also the case with fall colors. Expect crowds - many are Japanese on a combined, joyful pilgrimage and sightseeing visit.
    Visited March 2023
    Written April 4, 2023
  • Sivan M
    Dallas, Texas487 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Main Temple to Visit in Kyoto
    There’s a long walk up a hill alongside plenty of shops you can stop by. The temple closes right before sunset so make sure to stop by early. With the amount of things to do, I recommend spending half a day here. There are plenty of spots for photos when climbing up to the temple so I recommend good walking shoes. This is also a wonderful place to get Kimonos (especially as couples) to take photos here.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 18, 2023
  • Tom H
    Santa Cruz, California383 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Massive and Beautiful Structure
    This is my favorite temple in Kyoto. The location is walkable from anywhere in Eastern Kjoto and a pleasant walk through Mariyuma Park afterwards is a bonus. The approach to the temple from the East is atmospheric with pedestrian walkways and interesting shops and restaurants. Walking up the temple steps itself is a treat as the buildings are large and well decorated. There are three features you don’t want to miss. As you approach the main temple with the deck on the right, veer to the left and find the line for the “womb” room. A friendly volunteer will ask you to remove your shoes, pay a small fee, and instruct you to descend down a ramp into total darkness while holding a rope attached to the left side of the ramp. You then wander around in the dark, holding the rope, until a round rotating rock appears in the gloom which you rub and make the one wish you are allowed! You emerge from the dark reborn! Then spend some time on the massive deck of the temple enjoying the view of the hillside before following the crowd down to a small pavilion built into the rocks with a stream passing overhead where you select a cup attached to a long metal poll. Use the device to capture a cup of water and drink it to ensure a long and healthy life. The cups are cleaned after each use by a boxy contraption that sanitizes them in ultra violet light.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 9, 2023
  • BLT1991
    Toano, Virginia791 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Our Kyoto Favorite
    This temple seemed to have it all. Grand structures, impressive statues, sweeping views, and accessible trails. Consequently, it was our favorite in Kyoto. The stroll up “Teapot Alley” to get to the temple was one of our favorites…the shops are bursting with ceramics. We spent a good half a day here between the temple and teapot alley. We went back in the evening to see it under lights, but found that the shops pretty much all close around 7 pm and the temple had closed at 6 pm (that might have been due to a holiday), but check before you launch for an evening visit.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 16, 2023
  • BestRegards FromFar
    Cape Town Central, South Africa426 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go early to beat the crowds
    The wooden veranda that was built without a single nail and the views it has is simply amazing. It’s just a lovely temple to walk up to and to explore but you need to be ready to share it with a whole lot of other people. It gets so busy here that an early wake-up to beat the crowds (the temple opens at 6am), is really worth it!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 25, 2023
  • Angelica D.
    Fredericton, Canada22 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy walk, small reward
    The experience is fine. It's a slightly uphill road walk then some stairs. There are a multitude of temples that can be visited for free. As well there is a beautiful view point without paying entrance fees. The entrance fee is 400¥ and it is cash only. The nearest ATM is back at the bottom of the hill.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Akshay Sharma
    New Delhi, India10,611 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must visit shrine in Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera Temple
    This temple is a world heritage site in Kyoto. There is an entry ticket for the same. Once inside one can walk through to other mountain on a trail. The shrine provides a good view of the city. Along the road to the shrine there are multiple shops selling artefacts. The shrine closes at 6pm.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 11, 2023
  • Sa
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Look what a wonderful Japanese history!
    I used to visit Kiyomizu Temple when I was in college. This is one of my favorite place in Kyoto. Not only enjoy visiting the temple, just enjoy hang out with my friends , had looked some stores along the way. This time, I took tour for my international friends and they were very happy with all, so I would recommend it to everyone!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 22, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles11,661 reviews
Excellent
6,382
Very good
3,931
Average
1,141
Poor
163
Terrible
44

Patrick O
Mount Holly, NC1,153 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We went here late in the afternoon as part of a tour with Sunrise Travel. It was between Christmas and New Year's so it was busy. This is really a beautiful place to see with great views of Kyoto as well. There are a number of steps to walk up to get to the colrful pagoda shaped temples but unless you are in really poor phyisical shape, it should be no problem.You will be rewarded with great views of the city and even though it was starting to get dark by the time we had finished exploring, the pagoda's lit up make for a beautiful sight as well. There are shrines and temples throughout and you can walk down into wonderful gardens Be sure to go all the way up to see everything as there is a lot to see. It was crowded but not to the point of not enjoyable. There is a lively shopping area down below that is worth checking out. Aloow lots of time and enjoy!
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jacqui F
London, UK280 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
This enchanting temple, perched atop steep and narrow streets, is a treat to encounter at the golden hour of sunset. With Mount Otawa above, and Kyoto at its feet, the view is incredible. Built in the 17th Century, the stage in front of the main hall is an incredible feat of engineering. When you are on the stage itself, enjoying the view and being serenaded by prayer bells, you feel as if the stage is floating. It’s only when you walk down through the complex that you truly appreciate the structure. It sits on a vast scaffold of wood, constructed without the use of nails. The name Kiyomizu literally means Pure Water, and the temple is named for the waterfall it was built beside. The waterfall has been canalised into streams of water that can be used for washing hands and mouth for purification. It’s a magical place to visit, and at a very reasonable cost of 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children up to high school age, you’ll want to make a donation of some kind within the complex to help with the upkeep.
Written August 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Padraig M
Kawasaki, Japan97 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Kyomizu-dera is one of my favourite places in Kyoto and we have gone there every time we have visited. I love the trees and how the temple is situated on the side of the mountain. Normally it is packed, but when we visited in August 2020, it was completely empty and very special experience. I recommend people in Japan to go before it gets crowded again next year.
Written August 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom H
Santa Cruz, CA383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
This is my favorite temple in Kyoto. The location is walkable from anywhere in Eastern Kjoto and a pleasant walk through Mariyuma Park afterwards is a bonus. The approach to the temple from the East is atmospheric with pedestrian walkways and interesting shops and restaurants. Walking up the temple steps itself is a treat as the buildings are large and well decorated. There are three features you don’t want to miss. As you approach the main temple with the deck on the right, veer to the left and find the line for the “womb” room. A friendly volunteer will ask you to remove your shoes, pay a small fee, and instruct you to descend down a ramp into total darkness while holding a rope attached to the left side of the ramp. You then wander around in the dark, holding the rope, until a round rotating rock appears in the gloom which you rub and make the one wish you are allowed! You emerge from the dark reborn! Then spend some time on the massive deck of the temple enjoying the view of the hillside before following the crowd down to a small pavilion built into the rocks with a stream passing overhead where you select a cup attached to a long metal poll. Use the device to capture a cup of water and drink it to ensure a long and healthy life. The cups are cleaned after each use by a boxy contraption that sanitizes them in ultra violet light.
Written May 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel Setiawan
South Tangerang, Indonesia170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Before you see the temple, you will walk into historic road full of shops and it is very crowded. The temple it self is under renovation but you can still enter the temple. There is otowa waterfall inside with 3 streams, you should choose one of the stream for your wishes.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

izyphotos
Mascot, Australia711 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
The hugely popular Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizu-dera) is a must for most visitors to Kyoto. It is a massive temple complex. Cherry blossoms were beginning to bloom which was beautiful. There are also great views of Kyoto city.

The main hall of Kiyomizu is built out on a veranda onto pillars, a structure constructed without nails. The effect is that of a deck reaching out from the foot of the mountain. Unfortunately, much of this was under renovation when we visited.

Due to Covid, there were less crowds. Take Bus 100 to Kiyomizu Ichi stop and walk about 10 mins uphill. You can walk back via Sannen Zaka and Ninen Zaka Streets.
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GoGo2SlowGo
Denton, TX1,537 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
Kiyomizudera also known as the "Pure Water Temple") is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in wooded hills east of Kyoto and derived its name from the fall's pure waters. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. The main hall of Kiyomizudera is built out on a veranda onto pillars. It was completely constructed without nails.
We wanted to visit Kiyomizu-dera because we tried to see as many UNESCO sites as we could.
There are 17 World Heritage sites in Kyoto alone!
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kai C
Half Moon Bay, CA1,268 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This temple is popular for a reason. Nestled against the verdant hill slope it exudes timelessness and spirit. The Covid era is a good time to visit and avoid visitor masses, while taking the time for a lunch in one of the myriad small restaurants on the little roads leading to temple entrance. When I visited there was no access to any of the inner sanctums but even taking the proscribed path was sufficient to impress. You can take the path to the Seikanji temple, and be mindful of the monkeys.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Piotr S
Krakow, Poland243 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Easily accessible by local bus. Good to see after visiting Kinkakuji, due to convenient bus connection. One of the biggest temples in Kyoto, build on the slope of one of the hills surrounding this city. After about 10 minutes of walk from the closest bus stop You can admire one of the best Kyoto panorama from the temple terrace. Temple buildings themselves are built and decorated in beautiful, typical Kyoto style, where extensive sculpturing and orange/red color dominates. There is a short path coming down from the temple buildings, finishing with a small spring. Definitely worth to see.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hsin-Yi W
Forest Hills, NY967 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Family
Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺), is a Buddhist temple and also a signature landmark in Kyoto.

The temple is classic and magnificent located on the hills. It might be difficult for elders to enjoy the entire tour. There are also lots of rules entering the temple. Tourists need to follow the planned routes without shoes.

The temple is currently under construction and covered entirely by semi-transparent scaffolding for 2020 Olympics which is postponed to 2021 now.
Written March 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 5,103
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Kiyomizu-dera Temple - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kiyomizu-dera Temple

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience Kiyomizu-dera Temple:


Restaurants near Kiyomizu-dera Temple: View all restaurants near Kiyomizu-dera Temple on Tripadvisor


Kiyomizu-dera Temple Information

Excellent Reviews

6,381

Very Good Reviews

3,931

Kiyomizu-dera Temple Photos

15,257