To Kyoto, where the Japanese culture meets
Kyoto used to be the old capital of Japan, During those days, numerous heritage sites were built.
Kyoto’s townscape, now an essential cultural heritage of Japan, is also very much saturated with all things Japanese – people dressed in kimonos and popular Japanese-style restaurants are common sights.
Located in the center of Japan, Kyoto is also easily accessible by planes and the Shinkansen (Japan’s bullet trains).
In this post, let us introduce you to Kyoto’s Kiyomizu, where the rich Japanese culture and delicious food can be enjoyed equally in a carefree manner.
Hankyu Kawaramachi Station
Approx. 2 hours (various routes are available by bus and trains) from Kansai International Airport.
Costs around 2,000 yen per trip
Approx. 20 mins by bus from Kyoto Station:
160 yen per trip
Ninenzaka, a slope that leads to Kiyomizu-dera Temple
From Kawaramachi, make your way up the slope of Ninenzaka towards the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and you will come across the teahouse, Akoyachaya (阿古屋茶屋).
There, a traditional Japanese fabric divider, or Noren, hangs by the entrance. Be sure to have a look at the view of Ninenzaka from the entrance before you enter the restaurant.
There’s a myth that states that you’ll be dead within 2 years should you fall on the slope of Ninenzaka. Though, that may simply just be a harsher reminder for everyone to walk the steep slope with more care and caution.
As the slope may get crowded with tourists, do be mindful of the people around while are taking photographs.
Japan, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Masuyacho, Kiyomizu2chome
Approx. 20 minutes walk from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station
All-you-can-eat Chazuke and Pickled Vegetables at Akoyachaya (阿古屋茶屋)
A multicoloured variety of pickled vegetables greets you the moment you step foot into the restaurant.
In Akoyachaya’s all-you-can-eat buffet, enjoy more than 20 different kinds of pickled vegetables and chazuke with your favorite combination of rice and tea. There are 3 types of rice – plain Japanese white rice, mixed grain rice, and rice porridge. As for tea, there’s just 2 to choose from: houjicha or sencha. The pickled vegetables offered for the buffet also vary from season to season, so it was rather delightful to be able to mix up a chazuke entirely to my liking.
As there’s no time limit for the buffet, I accidentally ate more than I should..
Akoyachaya doesn’t accept reservations, and there are usually long queues of customers during weekends and lunch hours. Do get here early or after lunch hours to avoid the crowd.
3 Chome-343 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan
11:00〜17：00 （receiving of customers starts at 10:00, while the last is at 16:00）
Adults 1,450yen Child 700yen
The Stage of Kiyomizu at the top of the slope
After climbing the slope that extends from the shop, you will reach The Stage of Kiyomizu. It seems I have burned off all the food that I ate.
Because Kiyomizu sits on a hill, the rich nature colors surrounding Kiyomizu changes according to season. Here, the Koyasu Pagoda is seen with autumn leaves.
Look down to the streets of Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera Temple. At certain times of the year, Special Night Viewing events are also held, where the temple is illuminated with a gentle light, giving off an entirely different vibe.
The winds can get quite chilly at night, so do layer up!
A rest downhill at Umezono
Feeling a little hungry after heading back down to Ninenzaka, I headed towards Umezono, a shop famous for its mitarashi dango, for a short rest. Umezono is on the same street as Akoyachaya.
Drinking matcha while taking a break sounds like a great idea here.
Takeaway is also available here. Seems like today would be a good day to enjoy some sweets at home.
Kiyomizu where you can enjoy Japanese culture
There are so many shops around Kiyomizu-dera Temple that we can’t introduce.
Before climbing the slope, you can also rent a kimono, so why not try wearing a kimono and taking a leisurely stroll in Kiyomizu town?
Please be careful not to fall down at Ninenzaka.