If asked which city in Japan is best to visit, I would definitely say Kyoto. Kyoto is full of traditional culture and history, and Kiyomizu-dera temple is one of its oldest buildings. The main hall is built into a steep hillside. Its large wooden veranda was constructed without using nails over a century ago and offers a fine view over Kyoto. The veranda is a good place for viewing cherry blossoms in spring and red leaves in autumn.
The approach to the temple is along a street lined with traditional buildings. Some stores there rent out kimonos, allowing you to wear the garments and experience traditional Japan. That street also has many souvenir stores, where you can sample confections and search for beautiful small items.
When you descend from Kiyomizu-dera’s main hall, you pass a waterfall—Otowa no Taki—whose water is said to promote long life, health and wisdom. You can cleanse body and mind while praying before the waterfall. The name “Kiyomizu” means “pure water” and derives from that waterfall. Kiyomizu-dera is a great spot for both relaxing and enjoying Japanese culture.
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