Traditional architecture

Otowasan Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, established around 1,200 years ago, sits halfway up Mount Otowa in the eastern part of the ancient capital Kyoto and has long attracted visitors seeking fortune, good health and romantic relationships. Over the centuries, the temple buildings were lost to fire multiple times but have always been rebuilt thanks to the efforts of generations of faithful followers.

When visiting this temple, make sure you have plenty of time, as there are over 30 structures dotted around the grounds, including the iconic three-story pagoda and a hall enshrining Shinto and Buddhist deities. The real highlight for many is the massive main hall with its symbolic “butai (stage),” a wooden overhanging platform that juts out 13 meters above the hillside. The timber supports for the building are something to marvel at. Making use of the contours of the cliff, the structure was assembled through joinery and without using a single nail. The view from the platform has been very popular since ancient times, especially when cherry blossoms are in full bloom in spring and the leaves change color in autumn.

Ichinenzaka, Ninenzaka, and Sanneizaka are gentle, hilly paths that form part of the approach to the temple and are always busy with visitors. Many people enjoy browsing the variety of establishments, such as handicraft shops, sweet shops, restaurants and teahouses.

Map of Japan. Kyoto located west of Tokyo

The main hall and its platform are supported by 168 wooden pillars.
Photo: Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Reasons to choose ANA

  • Tokyo



    • Approximately 1 hour 10 minutes