Ok so no, I didn’t go to the golden temple… I went to Kyoto and only did 2 of the major temples. And you know what, I survived to tell the tale!
Listen, Kyoto is FULL of temples and you could spend your entire trip doing just that, so I decided to cut down (+ I’m going back in March so I’ll do more then). The temples I did do were: Fushimi-Inari and Kiyomizu-dera. Check out the videos.
To reach the temple you’ll pass a thousand and 1 shops of various goodies and be MEGA matcha overloaded. Since I did this trip 1 month into my arrival in Japan, I wasn’t yet jaded by the hyper commercial alley. But I digress.
The first thing that hits you upon entering Kiyomizu-dera is the brightly painted, coral red gate and pagoda. But what truly blew my mind is that this structure dates from 1633 and NOT A SINGLE nail was used to build the 13 meter stage! Fun fact, Kiyomizu-dera gets its name from the waterfall area near it, Kiyomizu meaning clear or pure water.
I have a very vivid memory of accessing the wooden stage under a ceiling of wind chimes. It was such a beautiful and peaceful sound, a welcome soundtrack while overlooking the lush greenery from the stage.
So there you have it, you CAN visit Kyoto without doing EVERY SINGLE temple until your eyes bleed, and still enjoy the ones available to you!
*** 10min walk from Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi Bus Stop, Kyoto City Bus 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station
6am- around 6pm
Adults: 300 yen
Junior and elementary school students: 200 yen