Wondering what to eat in Kyoto near Kiyomizu-dera when you need a quick boost? Luckily, the  Kiyomizu-dera (or Kiyomizu Temple) area has plenty of places to satisfy your sweet tooth. There’s something to suit every palate!

We’ve put together a list of our favorite Kyoto cafes and places to try Japanese sweets in the Kiyomizu-dera area. We’ve included a variety of places, from a trendy matcha tea store to a soy specialty donut shop. Without further ado, here’s our top 5!

What is the Kiyomizu Temple Area?

© Richie Chan / Adobe Stock

Kiyomizu Temple, or Kiyomizu-dera, in the Higashiyama district, is one of the most popular temples not only in Kyoto but in Japan. Visiting temples like these is one of the best things to do in Kyoto. It really gives you an appreciation for nature, Japanese culture and history, and the intersection between the two. 

Kiyomizu Temple is known for the large wooden deck of its main hall. The deck extends out over the hillside with plenty of maple and cherry trees. The view is especially gorgeous during cherry blossom season in spring, as well as during fall when they have special light-up events.

Things to See at Kiyomizu Temple

There are several places to go on the temple grounds, including picturesque pagodas and statue-filled halls. 

A must-see on the temple grounds is Otowa Waterfall. This is where the temple gets its name from; kiyomizu means “clear water” or “pure water.” The waterfall has three streams that you can drink from, representing luck in love, academic success, and long life.

In addition to drinking from the waterfall, a fun activity to try at the temple is at Jishu Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to a matchmaking deity. Here, there are two stones placed far apart. If you can make it from one stone to the other stone with your eyes closed, it’s said that you’ll have luck in love!

How to Get to Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple is very easy to get to from JR Kyoto Station. Take the number 206 or number 100 bus and get off at either the Kiyomizu-michi bus stop or the Gojo-zaka bus stop. Once you get there, it’s a 10-minute uphill walk to get to the temple.

See our recommended accommodations in Kyoto: MACHIYA RESIDENCE INN KYOTO

Best Kyoto Cafes and Japanese Sweets near Kiyomizu Temple

Once you’ve seen all the temple grounds have to offer, or once your sweet tooth starts tugging at you, here are the best places to go in the surrounding area:

Itoken x SOU・SOU

Want to try some iconic Japanese sweets, but with a twist? Head over to Itoken x SOU・SOU. This shop is a collaboration between Itoken, a well-known sweets shop in Kyoto with several branches, and SOUSOU, a local Kyoto textile brand.

You may be familiar with dango — they’re the iconic Japanese sweet dumplings made with rice flour. When they’re served on skewers, they’re called kushi dango. Itoken x SOU・SOU offers a photogenic spin on kushi dango, with aesthetic shapes and pastel colors. 

The shop is just a 3-minute walk from the temple. Kushi dango is a perfect sightseeing food, so be sure to make a stop here while on your journey around the Higashiyama district and the Kiyomizu Temple area.

 Itoken x SOU・SOU
Address3 Chome-315 Kiyomizuyaki Yasuta, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862
Google Maphttps://maps.app.goo.gl/cV5T6hTsysyfy9eJ9


COQUELICOT BLANC is a bakery known for its colorful croissants, geometric breads, and other whimsical baked goods. There’s a coffee shop attached to the bakery called Black Swan Coffee.

The croissants are very popular and tend to be sold out by the afternoon, so visit COQUELICOT BLANC early to make sure you get a chance to try one. A croissant or two, plus coffee from Black Swan Coffee, makes for a light but satisfying breakfast.

Coquelicot Blanc is a 10-minute walk from Kiyomizu Temple, and is also close to the similarly popular Yasaka Pagoda. (If you’re wondering what to do in Kyoto on your trip, touring the historic Higashiyama district is a good idea — there’s plenty to see!)

Address4 Chome−391 Kinencho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0828
Google Maphttps://maps.app.goo.gl/YdQ3oLXSvN1HTsdN9


The name says it all: Mr.SOY is a Kyoto cafe that offers drinks and donuts made with soy milk. (Some products also contain dairy, so be sure to ask if you have any food restrictions.)

There are only a few items on the menu at Mr.SOY, but they’re all amazing. Among the options, we highly recommend the soy custard donut. The light and refreshing custard hits the spot, especially on a hot summer day. Plus, it’s made to order.

As for drinks, we recommend the matcha soy latte or the hojicha soy latte. Grab one to go while you go sightseeing in the area, or while relaxing and enjoying the scenery in nearby Maruyama Park.

Address362-6 Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0826
Google Maphttps://maps.app.goo.gl/rcPYXCrStfUz1KEw5


One of the top flavors for Japanese sweets and drinks is matcha, and there’s no better place near Kiyomizu Temple to get your matcha fix than GOKAGO.

This Kyoto cafe and tea shop specializes in matcha drinks, offering many different kinds and sweetness levels. Try their signature Extra Rich Matcha Latte. It’s very earthy and rich, without being too bitter. If you have a sweet tooth, get a matcha donut or matcha ice cream, too.

GOKAGO is just a 1-minute walk from Kiyomizu-dera, so it’s a great place to take a short break. Before you leave, make sure to pick up some of their packaged matcha to carry home with you.

Address2 Chome-258 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862
Google Maphttps://maps.app.goo.gl/mSrH1PLmJbXmWXnb7

Tsuruya Chosei 

Tsuruya Chosei (Sanneizaka branch) is a small and quaint Kyoto cafe that’s a 7-minute walk from Kiyomizu Temple. It tends to be quiet and not too crowded.

This cafe is best known for its dorayaki. Dorayaki is a Japanese dessert consisting of fluffy Japanese pancakes with a filling (usually red bean paste) sandwiched between them. The dorayaki here is a mix of traditional and trendy, with cute and creative fillings. 

We love the signature Tsuru Dora, which features three little birds perched on top of the red bean paste and peeking out between the pancakes — so cute! The birds are made with shiratamako, a sweet rice flour that goes well with the sweet red bean paste.

 Tsuruya Chosei
Address3 Chome-333-3 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862
Google Maphttps://maps.app.goo.gl/otdbcMvARvkcELt7A

Ready to visit Kiyomizu Temple and the surrounding area?

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