Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu–dera: The Magic of the Two Most Famous Temples in Kyoto

  • SPOT
  • If we were to recommend our favourite must-see temples in Kyoto, they would definitely be following ones :

    1. Kinkakuji, also called Golden Pavillon

    Being the most popular place in Japan, Kinkakuji temple is one of the must see attractions if you are visiting the city.

    It is actually a UNESCO world heritage site, built in 1393, burned down several times, and reconstructed almost true to the original by 1955.

    When seeing the temple, your first impression will most likely be: “This is really GOLDEN!” Actually, the pavillon surface is covered with gold leaves and this is perhaps the most impressive and charming part.

    The whole place’s magnificence is really hard to describe with words, but the feeling is truly magical.

    If you have the chance to be there on shiny days, the reflection of the pavillion on the surface of the lake will amaze you even more.


    2. Kiyomizu-Dera, also called Pure Water temple

    This is one of the most famous temples in Japan and also one of the oldest, as it was built in 778, has been burnt down and was rebuilt many times. It is also classified as UNESCO world heritage site.

    When discovering the different halls of the temple, you will be able to enjoy some spectacular views of the city, as Kiyomizu-dera is built on top of a cliff.

    You will also see many visitors and locals, dressed up in the traditional kimono and having professional photo-shoots inside some halls of the temple.

    When being there, you can also enjoy walking across the crowded streets of Higashiyama district, and discovering amazing traditional shops selling local crafts and souvenirs, as well as restaurants offering authentic taste of food and sweets.

    The beauty of Kiyomizu-dera is enhanced by the cherry blossoms and fresh verdure in spring and colored leaves in autumn.


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    Enchanted Kyoto! A Short list of 4 Beautiful Places to Visit