Winding along the path up to the World Heritage listed Kiyomizudera, shops line the bustling streets selling souvenirs, Kyoto-style ceramics, and locally-made wagashi (Japanese sweets). Perched on the top of a hill beside the Otowa Waterfall, sweeping views of Kyoto from this “Pure Water Temple” change with the seasons, particularly spectacular in spring and the fall. Eventually, its roads wind down to meet the cobbled streets of Gion and Downtown beyond, while a little way north of Kiyomizudera lies the famous Heian Shrine, surrounded by world-class galleries and museums. The eastern Higashiyama District between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizudera hosts one of Kyoto’s best-preserved historic districts, where other temples are dotted between narrow lanes filled with traditional wooden buildings reminiscent of life in the old capital. With cozy restaurants and specialty stores selling sweets, pickles, and local handicrafts, these atmospheric laneways stretch across 2 kilometers, showcasing Kyoto’s finest food and local wares.
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