Kiyomizudera  (清水寺, “Pure Water Temple”), is probably the most famous temple in Japan. The temple was built on top of a waterfall. The water of the waterfall is clear (hence the name pure water), and is said to have magical powers if you drink it. The temple is best known for its wooden stage, 13 meters above a steep cliff. The stage is supported by 18 pillars made from 400-odd-year-old zelkova trees. There is a popular Japanese proverb, “to jump off the stage of Kiyomizu.” It means to make a bold decision and “take a plunge”.

The main temple hall and the wooden stage were build without any nails. The stage provides a stunning view of Kyoto.

Walking along the streets leading to and leaving Kiyomizudera throws you back a few hundred years to ancient Japan. Traditional style Japanese houses are lining the street with traditional decorations and signs. Many of those houses are shops that are selling traditional Japanese snacks, foods, and souvenirs. I highly recommend you walking Sanneizaka and Nineizaka (two of above mentioned traditional-house streets).