Of all the temples in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera is probably my favorite. I visited the temple for the first time in 2014 while studying abroad, and then again in the summer of 2015 after my temple-stay in Oita. The Kiyomizu temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting massive numbers of tourists. For those who have an inclination of being introverted or become overwhelmed in large crowds like myself, I suggest going early in the morning.
The first time I went, it was so crowded that I did not get to fully experience nor appreciate the temple: its sacredness, its history, etc. I wanted to make my next visit the following weekend more than just a sightseeing activity, so I arrived at Kiyomizudera right when it opened at 6 am. It was wonderful. I was completely content, meditatively walking and sitting for about three hours. I did the exact same routine the following year. There is this warm feel-good energy that emanates from the temple. Reminiscing about it now, I still remember the feeling of being at peace. There have been many instances when I experienced that similar feeling when I lived there. I hope I will visit Japan again soon and keep exploring this wonderful country.
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