The picture of Kiyomizudera
The waterfall shrine
Kiyomizudera is a temple in eastern Kyoto famous for its veranda and magnificant overlook of the city of Kyoto. The temple was founded in 798, but the current buildings date from 1633. The temple grounds are relaxing, the verandas have a very pleasant old wood feel to them, and the overlook is gorgeous. One can spend an hour lookig out over the veranda (as I did on my second visit waiting for the sun to fall behind the main building). This is definitely a must-visit, and worth a second visit. It also has the advantages of being open later than all the other temples and being cheaper than all the others. (It also opens early, at 6 am, if you can wake up soon enough.)

The waterfall shrine at the base of the veranda has three trickles of water, said to give wisdom, health, and longevity, although drinking from all three is sometimes considered to invite bad luck.

The veranda faces west, so the best pictures will be in the morning. However, evenings after about 5 or 5:30 are manageable, and have the advantage that there will be about a minute during the half-hour from 5:30 - 6 pm where there are no visitors on the veranda.

Kiyomizudera is one of the few places to translate itself correctly. Ryouanji, for example calls itself Ryouanji Temple, but since ji means “temple,” it is more correctly called Ryouan Temple (or just Ryouanji). When Kiyomizudera closes the loudspeakers thank you for coming to “Kiyomizu temple”, which is correct, since dera means “Buddhist temple”.

Most pictures are taken of this structure, from the building in the background
The entrance

The fountain for ritual cleansing
The actual temple