Oct. 29, 2015 UPDATE
Feature
Kiyomizu-dera Temple and its Surroundings
Part 2

A Tour of Saka — the Slopes

A Tour of Saka — the Slopes
Kiyomizu-dera stands mid-way up a mountain; while the mountain itself is not so tall, the paths up to the temple are full of slopes. Two of the most famous sites on the mountain are Sannen-zaka slope and Ninen-zaka.
If you visit the temple on foot there are a few rather parts you will have to climb, as well as long segments of stone steps. The paths are too steep for bicycles, and visitors with baby strollers will probably need an extra pair of hands to get around. You can also reach the temple by taxi, however, so give some thought as to the best way to get there for you.
The paths up the mountain might seem intimidating, but you are sure to find plenty of delightful discoveries and areas on your way up! If you’re lucky, no matter how many times you visit Kiyomizu-dera you stand to find something new and exciting on the small, winding, and picturesque streets up to the temple.
If you’ve got time and are up for a little adventure, it’s well worth a trip up some of the slopes. There’s sure to be something great waiting in store for you, be it some fabulous souvenirs for your family, stunning scenery, or an unexpected meeting.
Check Out Some of Sharing Kyoto’s Recommended “Slopes!”
Pottery! Pottery! Pottery! Chawan-zaka
Chawan-zaka, which means “Rice Bowl Slope” in Japanese, awaits you after your visit to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
This area has long flourished as the source of Kiyomizu-yaki pottery since the 8th century. These quiet hill roads, lined with quaint pottery stores on either side, are just perfect for a leisurely wander. Take some time to stop by some of the shops and look for something special for yourself or loved ones.
A Good Path with a Great View — Asahi-zaka
Asahi-zaka is perhaps the path we would like to recommend the most out of all of our selections. This slope, with an entrance somewhere along the slope which leads up to the front gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple ―Kiyomizu-zaka— is a shortcut to the aforementioned Chawan-zaka.
We highly recommend finding your own way along these smaller routes, which provide a breath of fresh air from the larger roads going up to the temple. There are plenty of delightful places to drop by along the way, including cafés, craft shops, and pottery-making workshops that you can join in on; our top recommendation is to enjoy a short breather with a cup of coffee and soak in the spectacular mountainside views.
Not a Slope, but a Marvelous Path — Ishibei-koji
This delightful little path is a little far from the main gates of Kiyomizu-dera, but for people fond of little alleys and side streets it’s really a must-see.
Keep this photograph in mind as you explore the area, and if you find this gateway then we really recommend stepping through for a look. The winding streets are full with retro Japanese scenery that’s sure to take your breath away.
The path is too narrow for cars to get through, and the sides are lined with lots of private houses huddled closely together, so please remember to keep your voices down on this sleepy little street no matter how much you want to exclaim your newfound love for it from the rooftops!
Besides those we’ve mentioned above, the area is truly bursting with countless delights throughout its many slopes, alleys, and stone stair-lined pathways. Take your time, capture the uniquely Japanese scenery from the slopes with your camera, and enjoy a relaxing walk to and from Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

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