Sorry I’m not at all sorry for taking the usual Kyoto tourist route – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera on the same day. This is my third time to take the exact same schedule (only alone this time), and as expected, it’s still the best way to start off a trip to Kyoto. Grouping the best of Kyoto in a day may seem like a visual overload at first, but the non-temple things you can do/see around Kiyomizu-dera make for a relaxed afternoon-late afternoon stroll. You’ll find out why in this post!
What did I do in this life to deserve all these lucky sightings? As soon as I got to the area leading up to Kiyomizu-dera, I saw these girls wearing the cutest yukata! I particularly love the teal-red one in the middle. Classy!
Once you reach the bus stop, get ready to brave the crazy Kiyomizu-dera crowd.
The sloping street leading up to Kiyomizu-dera is called Kiyomizu-zaka. And no, this is not the most accurate photo depicting the number of people passing through this area.
At the end of the street is Nio-mon gate which houses two Nio guardians. Nio-zo, or wooden statues of the temple guardians, are enshrined at each side of the gate. They say these Nio-zos are the largest in Kyoto!
Oh, there we go. This is the view of Kiyomizu-zaka from the gate. It got so crowded, and I could only take proper pictures after passing through!
Favorite photo from this set. I guess my luck and fortune greatly increased from my earlier visits to Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji, lol.
Or so I thought. Apparently, a lot of the structures in Kiyomizu-dera are currently under restoration (thus the scaffolding). Too bad I can’t share a proper photo of the 3-story pagoda.
I heard the main hall/temple will also undergo restoration before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Let’s just pray that all these renovation won’t take too long, because I can’t imagine going to this place and not being able to see the wooden stage at all!
This juxtaposition <3 The stickers remind me so much of my Tokyo travel diaries.
Can you blame them? I can’t think of any other place that is as Instagram-worthy in autumn as Kyoto.
Once I reached the wooden stage, I immediately saw the Koyasu Pagoda on the opposite mountain! Random trivia: They say that a visit to could to this pagoda can automatically bring ease to any woman’s childbirth.
More pretty yukata~ I’d love to be able to dress up like this one day! BRB, dragging Crissey’s butt with me next time!
When you see incense burning at a Buddhist temple, run towards it and waft the smoke over your body, lol. They say the smoke has healing properties!
I don’t know how it was even possible for me to take this photo at the most perfect time. The guy was like, “Be careful not to trip on the steps!”, and it was all over in literally 2 seconds.
Thank you to the temple gods for my temporary heightened photography skills, lol
The couple was on their way to Jishu-jinja, a shrine dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking.
Since my 4th anniversary with my boyfriend has already passed, I can reveal that I bought us a couple omamori as an anniversary gift! Omamori are like little good luck charms. I bought an enmusubi (or romance) omamori so we can further deepen our relationship and stay together forever, haha /cheesy
This was a subtle invitation to go to Kyoto with me next time! Omamori have a limited lifespan, and their power are usually only good for a year. So we have to go to Kyoto together some time in the future so we can properly dispose them and buy new ones! Although some of my Japanese friends tell me they still keep all their old omamori with them for sentimental reasons. But let’s just keep that a secret from my boyfriend, trololol
There are other kinds of omamori too, like for good health, prosperity, happiness, education, etc., if you’re interested!
Once you enter Jishu-jinja, you’ll be greeted by the Shinto deity Okuninushi no Mikoto, and his messenger rabbit!
This place is packed with girls since it’s all about love, relationships, and matchmaking.
The love stones are the most popular attraction in Jishu-jinja. If you can go from one stone to another with your eyes shut, you will be lucky in love. Oh, the stones are only just about 6 meters apart!
If you are unable to do it, they say it will take long for your love to be realized, lol better not do it then lol
If you have a problem, write it on a hitogata paper figure, and place it in the water located at the side of the shrine. Your problem will be (literally and figuratively) washed away!
A difference in perspective.
The view from the entrance of Jishu-jinja. Sadly, Kiyomizu’s secondary balcony (called Okunoin Hall) was also under renovation when I visited, huhu.
Didn’t stop me from taking photos of Kiyomizu-dera’s wooden stage though! From this angle, you can see Kyoto Tower from afar.
The view that makes every tourist fall in love with Kyoto.
Kiyomizu-dera’s wooden stage and main hall were built without the use of nails… and they’re still perfectly standing until now, after 600+ years.
Is my hair okay~
Under the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, which is said to have water with wish-granting powers. This waterfall is the very reason for Kiyomizu-dera’s name – “Pure Water Temple”.
Real flowers so beautiful, they look fake!
On my way out of Kiyomizu-dera and Kiyomizu-zaka, I found these adorable Kyoto x Kuroko no Basuke merchandise in one of the stores. And then I remembered Akashi! Rakuzan (his school) is in Kyoto!
Midorima and his okonomiyaki <3
Another reason why Kiyomizu-zaka is always crowded – SOUVENIRS! Or omiyage, as they call them. You can buy all sorts of Kyoto-themed stuff here, even Hello Kitty dressed in traditional Japanese clothing!
And Hello Kitty keychains!
And these adorable toys that don’t really have any use but are just too adorable to resist!
Another reason to love Japan.
There are also a ton of omiyage stores selling Kyoto specialties! Like this super famous Matcha Baumkuchen.
And kinako or soy bean powder ice cream! NOM.
After Kiyomizu-dera, I just walked around aimlessly in the area for about an hour, until I reached the next train station (Kiyomizu-gojo).
Spotted 7-11 endorsers Rei and Asuka. ONLY IN JAPAN.
Just an interesting mix of people.
My last photo before I went back to my hotel to rest my tired feet, and call it a night. Will start my Arashiyama posts soon! I’m so excited!
Save the date! February 7, 2015 at R Space Events Venue, Nicanor Garcia Bel-Air, Makati City. Come and see the “Ryuukou Look-Book Fashion Show”, and get updates on the latest Japanese fashion trends. EnjoyJapanPH will soon be giving away early bird tickets for free – just follow their Facebook for updates!
One of the reasons why you should go – your mere attendance qualifies you for their amazing TRIP TO JAPAN raffle, which is different from their ongoing online contest. I’m hoping and praying that one of my blog readers can experience the same magic that I have experienced in Japan. See you all on February 7th!