Kiyomizu-Dera, Kyoto

Going on exchange and stepping out of your comfort zone is scary terrifying but you do learn a lot about yourself – your strengths and weaknesses, how you handle under pressure and what you like/dislike. For better or for worse, I realised I’m actually really stubborn. If I want to go somewhere or do something, I will get there no matter what, even if it means doing it alone in the pouring rain. That was how I ended up at Kiyomizu-dera in the peak of autumn, one of the most beautiful temples I’ve ever visited. How much did I love it? I visited it 3 times when I was there.


Kiyomizu-dera: obligatory photo which I’m pretty sure everyone has taken at the exact same spot

Looking out at the red clouds from the stage

The drawings this old man did were amazing – when I spoke to him, he said he was here everyday during autumn.

As I was trying to leave the place, it was crammed full of people. I literally was just standing for 10 minutes at one stage – I couldn’t go forward or backward :(

A peek at the cray cray

As I was wandering around I came upon these steps – I went in and everyone around me was paired up. It was filled with couples buying charms and getting their fortune told, while I stood there awkwardly wondering where am I, it hit me – I’m at a temple to pray for love!

During autumn they had a special lighting event at night, I was so surprised at how packed it was. There were more people at night then in the daytime and I could see why – the view was amazing. Giant laser beams across the sky, beautiful illuminated red trees and stunning reflections in the ponds. My photos didn’t turn out too great but take my word for it, it was awesome.

One word of warning is not to go during winter if you can help it. I really loved this temple and I wanted to show it to my friends that came to visit, but surprise surprise, everything was dead.

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