Walking in a Kimono: Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Yasaka Pagoda, and the streets of Kyoto

After dressing in the kimono, we decided to start our stroll through the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The big, bold, and grand red entrance gates were a popular photo spot for everyone.


I thought it was really cute to see all these little statues wrapped with a little cloth as if to protect the spirit (?) from the cold. This seemed to be a thing all around the temples – I noticed it two days later at Fushimi Inari as well.

Checking out the tiny (?) little red pagoda from the main temple building.


The main temple building as seen from the path below. It’s quite amazing. The temple building is structured upon these massive wooden frames on top of a hill.


At the bottom of the hill, you can have a nice meal.


The Otawa waterfall is popular with many visitors to the shrine. You can drink from one of the three streams of water which are supposed to give different benefits. But it is considered greedy to drink from all three.


We left the temple shortly after and decided to walk around the area. And on this walk, we stumbled across this view. It was a young lady dressed up as a maiko (geisha-in-training). This is another cultural experience for any who are visiting Japan – getting the whole maiko experience instead of just the kimono.


We stumbled across a little Studio Ghibli shop that was connected to a Hello Kitty restaurant. Of course, I needed to take a picture in my kimono garb with one of my favourite Japanese friends. I also got a new little Totoro friend.


Our walk took us to this little hill leading up to another temple where we could look across the rooftops of the Japanese buildings and see the Yasaka Pagoda. It looked so amazing with the sun behind it. Any fans of the film Memoirs of a Geisha will recognize the silhouette from the movie itself.


We also stumbled upon a huge statue of this Buddha. We didn’t get any closer but even from a distance, it looked amazing.




We headed towards the pagoda itself. As with pagodas, the pictures that are right in front of the pagoda don’t seem quite as impressive. The look of it seems a lot nicer from a distance when you can see the building itself.


And finally, my favourite picture with my kimono in the HIgashiyama area streets. These are the Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka stairs, which are lined with traditional Japanese little shops, cafes, and restaurants. I loved the old traditional Kyoto atmosphere of the area.



  1. Awesome post!! Just a curiosity, Could you tell me a street near the Hello Kitty restaurant/studio ghibli shop… a link or something to be able to go to see that totoro?
    I suppose it’s a difficult thing, but I’ll go to Kyoto next week and I’d love to be able to go!!
    Thank you~~

    • I can’t be entirely sure of it but I do believe that it was the lower street connected to the Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka stairs. Just follow along that road and look into the little shops on the left hand side.
      I hope you find it! Have lots of fun in Kyoto!

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