Let me take you back to Japan for a while. I showed you so far a bit of Tokyo and stunning Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taesha. This time let me take you to Kiomizu-dera, one of the most beautiful and celebrated independent buddhist temples – another historical place you should not miss while visiting Kyoto. For me going to such places is not only about learning countries history and admire it’s treasures, but also being close to nature, which in Japan is on each and every corner!
I said that already more than once, I guess, and you will ‘read’ many times more me saying how much I love Japan. I can’t put into words exactly why so much… is it the whole atmosphere, the vibe? It’s cultural difference to what me, european chick, is used to? It’s architectural mind blowing (to me) mix between modern world and history? It’s treasures, the culture, food, fashion? Don’t ask me, I have no clue, I just love it!
While visiting Kyoto I couldn’t miss Kiomizu-dera. It’s been one of 21 finilists for the New 7 Wonders Of The World, but at the end didn’t get the nomination.
It is though a part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (which encompasses 17 locations in Japan, within the city of Kyoto and its close surroundings) – the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Just that should give you an idea how stunning it is. I found this place magical!
Temples name, which means “Pure Water Temple”, was taken from a waterfall running next to it – Otowa Waterfall. Its waters are divided into three separate streams, and visitors can use cups attached to long poles to drink from them.
Each water stream is said to have a different benefit, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life. However, drinking from all three streams is considered greedy!
Wich one would you choose to drink from!? 😉
What Kiyomizu-dera is best known for, is its wooden terrace reaching 13 meters above the hillside. What is most important, is that together with the temples main hall it was built without the use of nails!
Standing by its edge you can enjoy a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance.
Apart from the Kiomizu-dera itself and exploring its many structures, I enjoyed a lot the approach to the temple also. To get there you have to pass through Higashiyama district, that is very lively and full of bars, restaurants and shops offering plenty of local wares. I couldn’t help myself and had to get my favourite green tea ice cream!!!
After visiting the temple I decided to see a nearby Nijo Castle.
Its buildings are arguably the best surviving examples of castle palace architecture of Japan’s feudal era, what made it a UNESCO world heritage site.
As It’s mentioned in the guide “the Castle can be divided into three areas: the Honmaru (main circle of defense), the Ninomaru (secondary circle of defense) and some gardens that encircle the Honmaru and Ninomaru. The entire castle grounds and the Honmaru are surrounded by stone walls and moats.”
You can visit the interiors of Ninomaru Palace, unfortunately you can’t take any pictures inside, so if you want to see it start planing a trip to Kyoto now!
Honmaru Palace is not regularly open to the public, but the building itself is a fantastic piece of architecture.
Outside of the Ninomaru Palace extends the Ninomaru Garden, a traditional Japanese landscape with a large pond, ornamental stones and pine trees that get their beauty treatments on a daily basis.
Walk around the Honmaru gardens is as pleasureable. You can also climb up the stone foundation of the former castle keep, which offers views over the castle grounds.
Fantastic place to have a break from walking and just enjoy the places vibe and views. Highly recommended!
My each and every Japanese experience is briliant! Each and every place magical. I still have lots to show you guys, so expect more throwbacks. I love it and I need to go back very soon and explore more. You guys should see this ‘other’ world yourself too!