A little side venture during our long weekend in Osaka led us to Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. We arrived by taxi (it’s not so expensive from Kyoto Station if you’re splitting the fare) and as I stepped out of the air-conditioned vehicle, I confidently proclaimed that Kyoto wasn’t as hot as everyone had warned it would be. Ten minutes and a little hill climb later and I was fanning myself profusely and refusing photographs I was so sweaty. Kyoto summer is no joke! It didn’t seem to scare off the three Japanese University students that offered to practice their English and show us around the temple. It was fantastic having them accompany us, albeit amusing. They kept having to pause for minutes at a time because they were out of breath/ so hot they couldn’t think. I was also so hot I couldn’t think, so I unfortunately don’t remember much of what they said. One thing’s for sure, between the crowds of tourists and sweltering heat, I could definitely appreciate the magnificence of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’d recommend you pay the 100 yen to experience the pitch black tunnel that is Tainai-meguri. You walk through a hallway (it really is freakishly dark) which is supposed to symbolise the womb of Daizuigu Bosatsu, a female bodhisattva (an enlightened being). There’s plenty more to do at the temple, but this website offers a better explanation.
Happy temple wondering! I’ll definitely be heading back to Kyoto for more xoxo.