Kiyomizu-dera

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Kiyomizu-dera: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: Private Tour with Local Licensed Guide

1. Kyoto: Private Tour with Local Licensed Guide

Discover Kyoto’s historical sites, favorite local spots, and hidden gems on a private walking tour with a nationally licensed guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour, whose itinerary can be customized to fit your interests. See both the modern and traditional sides of this dynamic and ancient city as well as some of the best sightseeing areas, restaurants, and shops. Visit places like the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for the Torii Gate Corridor. Explore the filming location for the film “Memoirs of a Geisha”, displaying a colorful crimson scenery with a mysterious atmosphere. Walk through the shrine’s corridors that were erected as a symbolic continuing gate from the current world to the world of the dead inhabited by the gods. Go to the Kinkaku-ji Temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), which was given its name from the golden color of its reliquary hall. Admire its simple yet bold structure that features beautiful mountain views in the background. Enter the ancient Kiyomizu-dera temple to get panoramic city views from its large veranda. Walk from the path from the temple to Gion, to find many Kyoto-esque shops filled with unique souvenirs. Grab a snack or enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the Gion district. Your guide will give you dining recommendations that are sure to delight your palate.

From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

2. From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous cultural sites on this day-long bus tour from Osaka. Hop aboard a comfortable coach and drive to Japan's ancient capital to see the brilliant torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu-dera temple, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto is filled with ancient historic sites dating back to the 6th century. Get dropped off first at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Spend time wandering the brilliant paths before heading to your next destination. Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Take ample time to wander through the temple. Walk across the impressive wooden stage, which juts out from the hillside and was constructed without the use of a single nail. Next, stop at Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to the fact that it's covered in gold leaf. Wander through the immaculate gardens surrounding the temple, admiring the original Japanese designs that have been preserved since Ashikaga's time. Finish the day in Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. In the late afternoon, hop on the bus back to Osaka.

Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

3. Kyoto: Family Friendly Personalized Tour

Get to know your local host who can give you advice and recommendations for things to see and do with your family. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. They will also suggest family-friendly restaurants where the locals eat that serve the kind of food you all like. Explore the temples, gardens, and places in Kyoto that make the perfect backdrop for your family day out. Visit world famous attractions where your kids can learn and explore, parks to run off any extra energy, and interactive exhibits at the Railway Museum to get hands-on. Explore the unique and exciting aspects of Kyoto’s magical culture. Explore the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is a great temple for children and adults. You can also visit Tainai-Meguri if none of your party are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. Jishu-jinja and Otowa-no-taki Spring are other temples you can explore. The Sannen-Zaka and Ninen-Zaka preserved neighborhoods are beautiful lanes lined with restaurants, teahouses, and souvenir stores which the kids will also enjoy. At Maruyama-koen Park you can see some of the famous Kyoto rickshaw pullers and the carp and turtles in the pond. Shoren-in Temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto and has a beautiful garden that the kids can explore with a bamboo forest.  Head to downtown Kyoto for lunch where you will be surrounded by restaurants. Your host will recommend a place that is to your taste. Kyoto Railway Museum is a great museum for the kids to explore. Nishiki Market is Kyoto’s best food market and it is fun to check out all the mysterious items on offer.

Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

4. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

5. From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

After pickup from one of 3 locations in Osaka, head towards Kyoto, once the former capital of Japan, on the island of Honshu. The first activity of the day is a scenic and romantic railway ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama. During the 23-minute journey, feel immersed in nature as you admire the beautiful blossom trees and breathtaking mountain views. Upon arrival at Arashiyama, enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch with soft drinks to prepare you for an afternoon of sightseeing. After lunch, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. The tour continues onto Fushimi Inari, world-famous for the thousands of Torii gates that line the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. Spend some free time exploring the mountain trails and the shrine buildings themselves, and learn about the fascinating culture of Japan. The tour ends after your visit to Fushimi Inari, and you’ll be dropped-off to your original pickup location in Osaka.

Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

6. Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

Explore the traditional neighborhood of Higashiyama from the comfort of a rickshaw with a knowledgeable guide. Admire the well-preserved wooden townhouses, see some of Kyoto's most famous temples, and pass through the vibrant geisha district in the Gion area. Learn about Japanese culture, heritage, and customs on this private customizable tour. Meet your guide on the cobbled streets by the Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama, a nationally designated historic area. Travel back in time as your guide pulls you through the historic neighborhood, filled with traditional buildings and shops. Stop to take photos at the most scenic spots in each location. Choose from 4 different tour durations to suit your schedule, from the introductory 45-minute tour, to the comprehensive tour of 3 hours and 10 minutes. With the longer tours, you’ll continue through the wealth of sights in Higashiyama and the northern part of Gion. Pass weeping willows that line a picturesque river, explore ancient temples, and travel through the streets of this amazing neighborhood.

Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

7. Kyoto: Historic Higashiyama Walking Tour

The district of Higashiyama is full of Kyoto must-see locations. Higashiyama means East Mountain, and this tour takes place at the foothills of the mountain range that forms the Eastern border of central Kyoto.  Start off your tour at the Fushimi Inari Taisha, a Shinto shrine located in the Southern part of the Higashiyama mountain range. Pass through the mystical vermilion torii gates that snake up the mountainside. Beyond the gates, you find the Fushimi Inari Taisha which is about Shinto history and culture.  Take a short train ride from Fushimi Inari to Gion and listen to the stories your guide has to share about this colorful, much-storied playground of the geisha and beyond. Gion is a special place as it continues to be an active part of modern-day culture. This district is also known for its evening entertainment.  Stroll through the streets of Higashiyama and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Visit the Kodaiji temple and immerse yourself in the serenity of its gardens and bamboo grove. The temple complex dates back to the early 17th-century.  Take some snacks or souvenirs in the streets along Sannenzaka and walk you way up to Kiyomizu Temple. Once arrived you can enjoy a spectacular view of Kyoto. The temple is famous for its clear, pure water flowing from the mountains into the Otowa Waterfall. Take the opportunity to sample some of the pure water yourself. It is said that the 3 divided streams bring health, wealth, or happiness. Choose wisely as for greedy people none of the wishes will come true.  The tour ends at Kiyomizudera, where you are free to spend more time and discover the area at your own pace.

Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

8. Kyoto: Private 2.5 Hour Historical Walking Tour

Meet up in the west gate (red gate) of Yasaka Shrine. At first, the guide will tell you about the history of Kyoto with a map of Kyoto. Start the tour with the explanation about Yasaka shrine. In Yasaka shrine, the guide will explain how to worship at a shrine.  Next, going through Maruyama Park, located next to Yasaka Shrine, you will find a busy street whose name is Nene-no-michi. Nene is the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a political leader in Japan in the late 16th century. Entokuin is a temple associated with Nene. Entokuin is a Zen temple, with beautiful dry landscape gardens, famous pictures depicted on sliding doors of the rooms in the temple. You can see  traditional Japanese rooms. You can enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple. After going out of the temple, you will find a narrow street called Ishibe-koji. Walking further, you will find red ornaments hung from the eaves of the  entrance of shops and restaurants. The ornaments are the dolls of monkey, a divine messenger of Koshindo. Koshindo is a place of folk religion, which originated in  Asian countries.   A five-storied pagoda, commonly called Yasaka-no-to(pagoda), is located close to Koshindo. You will see the pagoda from outside. Zuigudo is a sub-temple of Kiyomizu Temple. You will get into the basement floor of the temple which symbolizes the womb of Bodhisattva. Wooden balls symbolizing a rosary will lead you to the bottom of the temple. When you get out, you will feel as if you were reborn. The final destination, Kiyomizu temple is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. It was originally built in the 8th century. The temple has five million visitors a year from all over the world. The main object of worship is Kannon Bodhisattva. You can see Buddhist statues, including Kannon Bodhisattva. There is a wooden stage attached to the main hall. The stage is a wooden structure without the use of nails. The scenery from the stage is magnificent. From the stage you can see a three storied pagoda. It is called Koyasu Pagoda, or lliterally  pagoda for easy birth.  Women visit the pagoda praying for easy birth. Kiyomiozu literally means "pure water". The stream of water, running down from the mountain behind the temple, has never been dried up.  A lot of visitors stand in line to drink the water. There are an iron stick and iron clogs in the precinct.. They are donated items to the temple. The iron stick is very heavy. Why don't you try to lift it up?  After getting out of the main hall, the tour ends. Before ending the tour, the guide will explain something about Jishu Shrine, a shrine for match making.

Kyoto: Kiyomizu Dera & Gion District Photography Tour

9. Kyoto: Kiyomizu Dera & Gion District Photography Tour

Meet your photographer/guide at the Yasaka Shrine and begin the tour by exploring the Kiyomizu Dera district. Have your photo professionally taken at some of the most photogenic locations in the district. Stop by some local temples and visit a beautiful five-storied pagoda. Pose by some beautiful traditional Japanese architecture and capture the essence of medieval Japan. Next, walk through the Gion distinct known for its geishas and vibrant entertainment. Discover the many charming alleyways and lanes of this famous district. Ladies on the tour can wear a traditional kimono and pose for photos which will be a memorable memento of your visit to Kyoto.

Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

10. Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

This experience is perfect for natural early-risers, and for those who are seeking a unique experience and don't mind getting up early for it. The tour takes you to three of the most famous sites in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shirine, Kiyomizu Temple, and Arashiyama bamboo forest. Start at the world-famous Fushimi Inari Shrine before the crowds arrive. Marvel at the thousands of red gates that line the path up the hillside. This is a magical time to see the amazing temple complex and get a view of the city coming to life below you. Proceed then across town to Arashiyama, where you'll get to see the beautiful bamboo grove, which will still be relatively quiet and thus a great setting for snapping some fantastic photos. Before leaving Arashiyama, if time allows, visit one of the most beautiful zen temples in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tenryuji Temple. Explore its radiant garden to round off the four-hour experience. Along the way, pick up insights into the history of Kyoto, Buddhism, Japanese garden design, and more. Your friendly guide will also answer any other questions you may have regarding the rest of your stay in Japan.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kiyomizu-dera

Want to discover all there is to do in Kiyomizu-dera? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kiyomizu-dera

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 276 reviews

There is no way you can see everything in one day if that's what you're thinking! Plan ahead what you want to see so you're not disappointed. Also dress appropriately as only open seats are available.

Hisako has been a great guide, very close and with many stories to tell. He has also given me many suggestions to visit after the tour. I have been delighted!

Our ride was an absolute joy!!! Mitsu was charming, spoke English, took time to explain everything, made sure my dad (80 years old) was warm and safe.

Very convenient to book and the tour made it easy to go to Kyoto tourist spots. Highly recommended specially for first time travellers to Kyoto

Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.