According to my awesome Googling skills, it is a Buddhist temple originally built close to 2,000 years ago although the current structure was built in the 1600’s – so it’s still impressive. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and apparently, it’s got one of the best spots to be having some cherry blossom viewing.
See that spired thing out there? Waaaaaaay out there? That’s part of the temple.
In fact, in certain times during the bloom, the temple has longer hours in the evening for those who want to bask in the pink and white floral paradise that is the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
There is a pond that draws water from a tiny controlled stream/baby waterfalls and supposedly taking a sip/slug/chug from this water is said to grant you a wish or two.
I tell all of you this in a matter-of-factly manner because, to be perfectly honest – I never got to see the damn thing. Nope. Not even close. Didn’t even see it from afar. Although to be fair, I was 10 minutes away from it.
Oh yes, having so much on our itinerary that day, plus it being the height of spring break (thus, the tourist season), we really were pressed for time in every destination. For our time in Kiyumizu temple, we were given 45 minutes to trek the uphill path leading to a still-faraway Kiyumizu and do awesome shopping. It was either you did the temple or you did the shopping. You couldn’t do both without running uphill an already crowded area. Knowing me, I guess you already know the choice we took.
There is a mix of good and bad souvenir shops. The trick is, to get to the side streets and go deeper. This is how I found the Studio Ghibli store, although small and incomplete was completely refreshing from the hoards and hoards of shops trying to pawn me the same factory-made, not-really-authentic Japanese “pastries.” In fact, the store was far from the street. A giant 2-foot Totoro caught my attention and I followed the sign that said, “More this way.”
We took to our fridge magnet and souvenir shirts shopping here though since the prices were relatively okay. If you get past the mostly-Made-in-China stuff, you’ll get to be able to experience the novelties like replica samurai swords and crazy-as-eff-priced kimonos.
When we were there, there was no concept of walking. You would basically be stepping into a current of human beings that goes up or down a street. You just get automatically swept away. Think Ayala MRT Station at 530pm-ish — lots of people but not a standstill. Traversing the uphill river of people was hard enough but imagine carrying an already-exhausted-from-the-day toddler.
Current of people
The S’Dad decided to sit this one out. The road is a little bit too steep and with all of the walking we did in Gion, that wasn’t going to happen.
Can anybody say, “tourist buses”?