Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, is teeming with historic temples, shrines, and picturesque streets. Among its most iconic landmarks is the Kiyomizu-dera, boasting breathtaking views and rich history. But, to truly capture the spirit of the old capital, what could be better than donning a traditional kimono?
A Journey Through Kiyomizu-dera and Kyoto’s Historic Streets in Traditional Garments
For those who don’t possess their own kimono, worry not. There are numerous shops offering rental kimonos near Kiyomizu temple. These establishments allow tourists and locals alike to immerse themselves fully in the city’s traditional ambiance.
Walking through the streets of Kyoto in a kimono amplifies the city’s charm, allowing visitors to deeply resonate with its history and culture. After exploring Kiyomizu-dera’s grandeur, you can stroll in your elegant attire, effortlessly blending with the city’s nostalgic backdrop.
Moreover, the surrounding area of Kiyomizu temple is dotted with stylish cafes and traditional teahouses. Taking a break in one of these establishments, while dressed in your rental kimono, enhances the experience further, making your Kyoto adventure truly memorable.
1. Highlights of Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera is situated on the eastern hills of Kyoto and is formally known as “Otowasan Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺)”. Boasting a history of about 1,200 years, this venerable temple is also recognized as a World Heritage site. Beyond its famous main hall known as “Kiyomizu no Butai”, there are several other attractions including the Niomon gate, the three-story pagoda, and the Otowa waterfall. Visitors can appreciate the stunning gardens and sceneries that change with the seasons, and wearing a kimono can further enhance the historical ambiance. Notably, the Otowa waterfall is considered one of the power spots of Kiyomizu-dera. Located deep within the temple grounds, spring water from Mount Otowa flows down and splits into three separate streams. It’s believed that drinking from these streams can bring benefits for longevity, matchmaking, and academic success. Use a ladle to take a sip, as it’s said that your wishes may come true. However, be cautious! Drinking from all three is considered greedy and may negate the benefits!
2. Etiquette and Precautions When Visiting Temples
Temples are solemn places, and there are certain etiquettes to follow when visiting. The same goes for Kiyomizu-dera, and it’s essential to be aware of proper manners when paying a visit. For instance, it’s common to wash your hands at the purification basin and pay an admission fee when praying. Additionally, when taking photos, be mindful of other tourists and devotees and strive to quietly enjoy the temple’s ambiance. The correct way to worship at a temple is:
① Stand in front of the main gate, put your palms together and bow once, then enter without stepping on the threshold, starting with your right foot.
② At the purification basin, cleanse your hands and mouth.
③ In the main hall, bow to the Kannon deity, offer a monetary donation, and pray with your palms together.
3. Walking the Kiyomizu Stage in a Kimono
When visiting Kiyomizu-dera, wearing a kimono can greatly enhance the atmosphere, adding to the rich cultural experience. Choose a kimono with traditional patterns and colors and capture a photo that harmonizes with the view from the Kiyomizu stage. Additionally, many kimono rental shops offer seasonal patterns, allowing visitors to feel even more in tune with the season of their visit.
4. Tips for Stylish Kimono Coordination
Why not try a stylish kimono ensemble that stands out just as beautifully as the scenic backdrop of Kiyomizu-dera? For instance, by getting creative with seasonal obi belts, obi clasps, and accessories, you can achieve a look that perfectly complements the atmosphere of Kiyomizu-dera. Whether it’s the gentle spring sunlight or the striking autumn foliage, enjoy coordinating your kimono to suit each unique season.
5. The Traditional Streets of Kyoto
Beyond just visiting Kiyomizu-dera, it’s also highly recommended to explore the surrounding areas. Walking through the streets of Kyoto in a kimono unveils a captivating landscape where tradition and modernity merge seamlessly. With various souvenir shops and tea houses scattered around, you can also enjoy tea times and shopping with friends or family.
Kyo Yasaka Pudding：A dessert shop offering several types of puddings, each with its unique flavor and smoothness.
Address: 87-4 Hoshino-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto.
Phone Number: 075-533-8338.
6. Afternoon Tea Experience in a Kimono
Near Kiyomizu-dera, there are many stylish cafes and traditional teahouses. It’s also recommended to enjoy an afternoon tea while dressed in a kimono. While savoring tea and traditional Japanese sweets, you can immerse yourself in the ambiance of Kyoto. It’s a perfect spot to take a breather and relax after touring Kiyomizu-dera.
The Lounge & Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto：You can enjoy an afternoon tea infused with the essence of Kyoto’s autumn.
Address: 445-3 Myoho-in Maekawa-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City.
Phone Number: 075-541-8288.
Embracing Kyoto’s Essence: Kiyomizu-dera, Kimonos, and Culinary Delights
Exploring Kyoto’s historic Kiyomizu-dera is an experience that can be profoundly enriched when dressed in traditional attire. For those who don’t have their own, there are several places offering rental kimonos near Kiyomizu temple, allowing visitors to fully immerse in the traditional ambiance of the area. Beyond the temple, Kyoto’s streets exhibit a harmonious blend of old and new. After a stroll, one can relax at local cafes or traditional teahouses, with The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offering an especially delightful afternoon tea experience. Equipped with the right attire and knowledge, visitors can deeply connect with the city’s rich history and culture.