• Menu

Explore Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto: How to get there, hours, and entrance fee? (2024)

Exploring Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto. We’ll tell you how to get there, opening hours, the entrance fee, and things you can see during your visit.

If there’s one place you can’t miss in Kyoto, Japan, it’s undoubtedly the majestic Kiyomizu-dera Temple. During our first trip to this fascinating city, we had the opportunity to marvel at the impressive wooden structure that characterizes it. And if you’re planning to visit too, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll give you all the details you need to organize your visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. From the opening hours to how to get there, including the entrance fee, we’ll cover everything so you don’t miss a single detail of this architectural gem.

Vicente at Kiyomizudera

Brief presentation of Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera Temple (清水寺, literally “Pure Water Temple”) is one of the most acclaimed temples in Japan. This cultural treasure was founded in 780 at the site where the Otowa Waterfall falls, in the wooded hills east of Kyoto city, and takes its name from the pure waters of this fall.

Initially, this Buddhist temple was affiliated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism. However, in 1965, it decided to follow its path and formed the Kita Hosso sect.

The magic of Kiyomizu-dera did not go unnoticed, and in 1994, it was deservedly added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Are you traveling to Japan?
Don't forget to get your Japan Rail Pass!

Kiyomizudera entrance

Entrance fee

Admission fee is: 400 yen (updated 2024)

Kiyomizu-dera temple opening hours

Kiyomizu-dera temple is open daily, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (until 6:30 PM in July and August)

It’s preferable to visit either very early or very late to avoid the crowds… something we didn’t do 🙁

Bell Kiyomizudera

How to get to Kiyomizu-dera?

If you’re coming from Kōdai Ji Temple, simply go left, and you’ll start seeing shops and plenty of people; you’re on the right track.

In case you’re exclusively coming to Kiyomizu-dera, you can take bus 100 or 206 from JR Kyoto Station, getting off at Kiyomizu-michi or Gojo-zaka bus stop. From there is a ten minute walk.

Another option is to take about a 20 minute walk to Kiyomizu-dera, from Kiyomizu-Gojo station, using the Keihan Railway Line.

Dragon Kiyomizudera

What’s a lisit to Kiyomizu-dera temple like?

Nio-mon Gate

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by an imposing red gate, and we weren’t alone; many visitors wore kimonos, just like us.

This is the main entrance to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Surprisingly, it was reduced to ashes during a civil war in 1469, but it was rebuilt around the year 1500. In 2003, the gate was dismantled and renovated. This magnificent two-story gate is approximately 10 meters wide, 5 meters long, and 14 meters high, displaying unique features from the time it was reconstructed.

🤩 Hire a guided tour for Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Fushimi Inari Shrine

Nio-mon gate

Sai-mon Gate

The current construction was rebuilt in 1633. With breathtaking views of the sunset from Sai-mon, it has been traditionally regarded as a gateway to Paradise and holds significance as a sacred site for Nissokan, a meditation practice aimed at envisioning the Pure Land.

Sai-mon gate

Don’t throw away the ticket; it’s a work of art

Vincent went to buy the tickets, so he would have the opportunity to practice some Japanese he had learned at university, and he came back with tickets so beautiful that they made you want to frame them.

Kiyomizu-dera tickets

Main Hall

At the Main Hall of the Kiyomizu-dera excitement took hold of us, but of course, among the crowd of tourists and school groups, it wasn’t easy to make our way! And what about the famous wooden stage of this temple? A marvel! It projects 13 meters over the slope, offering stunning views of cherry blossoms and maples bursting into colors during spring and autumn.

The city of Kyoto unfolds before our eyes, like a visual gift that makes facing the crowd worthwhile.

The main structure, built without the use of nails, houses the main object of worship of the temple: a small eleven-faced, thousand-armed Kannon statue.

🤩 Hire a guided tour for Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Fushimi Inari Shrine

Kiyomizu-dera mail hall

Jizo statues

We followed the tour of the place and reached quieter spots, green paths where there were statues with red bibs. These are Jizo statues, which are decorated with these bibs to pray for babies or children who died at a very young age.

It is said that Jizo-sama saves the souls of these children, preventing them from having to accumulate stones on the riverbanks for all eternity (the spirits of the infants stack them to request the Buddha’s compassion). To achieve this, he hides them from demons under his robes and recites various mantras to them. That’s why many statues of this Buddha are accompanied by mounds of stones, deposited by devotees to shorten the time that deceased infants must suffer in the underworld. Also, near cemeteries, you can see his statues, usually with intense red hats and bibs, as an offering of gratitude for the healing of a child with a specific ailment. The two most popular forms of Jizo associated with children are Mizuko Jizo, the protector of aborted fetuses, and Koyasu Jizo, the giver of life to infants.

Jizo statues

Jishu Shrine

Just behind the main building of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to the deity of love and matchmaking. In front of the shrine, there are two stones placed at a distance of 18 meters. It is said that if you manage to find the path from one to the other with your eyes closed, you will be lucky in love. Is it true?

If you’re afraid to walk blindly, you can let someone guide you from one stone to the other, but that would mean you need an intermediary in your love life.

Otowa waterfall

At the base of the main building of Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the Otowa Waterfall. Its waters split into three different streams, and visitors use cups attached to long poles to drink from them. It is said that each stream offers unique benefits, such as longevity, success in studies, and a fortunate love life. Hard to choose!

However, drinking from all three streams is considered greedy, now you know.

Otowa waterfall

Okunoin Hall

On the extensive grounds of the temple, you’ll find other fascinating structures, such as the Okunoin Hall, which resembles the main building but on a smaller scale. Close to the Okunoin Hall, you’ll find dedicated halls for Buddha Shaka (the historical Buddha) and Buddha Amida, along with a small pavilion featuring nearly 200 stone statues of Jizo, the guardian of children and travelers.

Venturing into the southern end of the temple grounds, the three-story Koyasu Pagoda rises among the trees, and it is said that visiting it ensures an easy and safe childbirth.

Pagoda Koyasu

What to see around Kiyomizu-dera temple?

One of the most fun experiences when visiting Kiyomizu-dera is exploring the steep and busy streets of the charming Higashiyama District to reach the temple.

The countless shops and eateries in the vicinity have catered to tourists and pilgrims for generations, presenting a range of offerings, including local delights like ceramics, sweets, and pickles, along with the customary array of souvenirs.


When is Kiyomizu-dera illuminated?

Kiyomizu-dera gives us magical experiences with special illuminations. During the cherry blossom season at the end of March and early April, as well as in the second half of November during autumn, the temple is illuminated in a special way.

Also, in mid-August, during the Obon festival, we can also enjoy this wonderful experience.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kiyomizu-dera Temple

What are the visiting hours at Kiyomizu-dera?

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is open every day of the week. Visiting hours are from 6 am to 6 pm.

What is the entrance fee for Kiyomizu-dera Temple?

The entrance fee for Kiyomizu-dera Temple is 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children.

How long does it take to get to Kiyomizu-dera Temple from Kyoto Station?

The journey from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizu-dera Temple takes approximately 29 minutes by bus.

What can be seen inside Kiyomizu-dera Temple?

Inside Kiyomizu-dera Temple, you can visit the main wooden hall, the three-story pagoda, and the Otowa Waterfall.

Why is Kiyomizu dera Temple visited?

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is primarily known for its wooden stage projecting from its main building, 13 meters high.


A must-visit site in Kyoto

In conclusion, Kiyomizu-dera Temple is an essential part of any visit to Kyoto, especially if it’s your first time in the city.

No matter if you take advantage of the visit during the day or night, you will always find something special to see at the temple. From the impressive wooden terrace to the panoramic views of the city, Kiyomizu-dera Temple opens its doors for visitors to enjoy its charms. Plus, you can drink from the Otowa Waterfall for health, success in studies, or love.

So if you’re looking to find love, this is the perfect place to do it! In summary, there’s so much to do in Kyoto, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple is definitely a must-visit.

Us at Kiyomizudera

Some of the links in this article include affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product listed here by following these links, we'll receive a commission. The use of this link does not increase the final price for you and thus helps us to keep our blog alive.

Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.