Stepping up to Kiyomizu-dera

The route along Kyoto’s Gojo-dori was lined with tourist traps, but it didn’t end there. I headed to Kiyomizu-dera temple where souvenirs hovered right up to the temple steps.

Steps to Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto
Steps leading to Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

I thought I’d be smart waiting until after cherry blossom season, but there were still hoards of people. Passing through the entrance and past the bright orange pagoda, I headed to the tiny garden to catch my breath before joining the throng in Kiyomizu-dera.

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto
One of the few quiet spots at Kiyomizu-dera

This huge structure originated in 778 and was built without a single nail. Today it’s listed as a UNESCO historical site. The grounds were home to a number of buildings and when I spotted one in the distance across from Kiyomizu-dera, I knew that was my next stop.