Kiyomizu-dera is a independent Buddhist temple that was founded in 778. We went as early as we could manage on a Saturday morning. We wandered around up the hill looking at shops and sampling Yatsuhashi 八つ橋, along the way, deciding to do souvenir shopping on the way down.
Most of the buildings of Kiyomizu-dera were built in 1633 and amongst the entirety of it not a single nail was included.As we were visiting some of the buildings were under construction, but we were still able to wander around and enjoy our time. We looked at luck charms and meandered through the grounds but didn’t go up to the Jishu shrine which is dedicated to matchmaking. Though part of this was due to it being crowded and the other half might have been because I was wandering around with a happy couple. The name Kiyomizu-dera means “pure water temple” and after making our way through the nicely shaded paths we found ourselves at the Otowa waterfall and waited in line. The waterfall breaks off into three streams for users to cleanse their hands and to drink from. Each stream has a different meaning which we were not aware of, longevity, success in school and a fortunate love life. It can get difficult to maneuver due to the long poles and people around. The cups are placed under UV between uses.
The temple is open from 6am until 6pm and costs 400 yen to visit.
On our way down I did some souvenir shopping. Thanks to omiyage, or the tradition of giving gifts or souvenirs when you go on trips that so expected and prevalent in Japan buying souvenirs for my coworkers was easy. I decided on the Yatsuhashi 八つ橋 that I had sampled on my way up. There were two shops of the same brand and company and I picked the one further down due to it’s easier layout for foreigners and the fact that there was more English. I ended up getting a nicely wrapped box of matcha and cinnamon flavored Yatsuhashi 八つ橋 which once I gave it to my coworkers was promptly devoured with lots of 맛있어요! (delicious) Which I was pretty happy with since some of my coworkers don’t like sweets. Yatsuhashi is a type of mochi, only flat and in the shape of a triangle. I ended up buying some for myself as well. Cinnamon and chocolate banana. There were a ton of other flavors also available like sesame, peach, strawberry, and ramune. A note when buying Yatsuhashi as a souvenir. It has an expiration date that isn’t to far in the future, so leave buying it towards the end of your trip.
On the way out of the shop I ended up also buying soft serve matcha vanilla swirl ice cream that came with a cinnamon cookie stick.
I also bought postcards, a mother’s day gift for my mom that hopefully gets there even though it’s late, and we found another Ghibli store with some items the other one didn’t have.