Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) was another famous, tourist-heavy area in Kyoto but definitely worth a visit. This was my second visit and I was glad to come back - though perhaps I was less eager to do the traditional 'tourist' activities like the Love Stone and drinking the water from the Otowa waterfall. It was a lot more interesting to just observe other people.
The street leading up to Kiyomizu-dera from Kiyomizu-michi bus stop is the Kiyomizu Monzekai loaded with store after store of traditional food and souvenirs and milling with lots of people in kimonos - not all Japanese (you can rent a kimono...it looked so fun to dress up). Definitely grab a few samples of mochi and tea while you work your way up
The temple itself has been modified to be welcoming to tourists and foreigners, with a lot of information plaques in English.
The grounds are gorgeous in autumn - I have a particular weakness for fiery red and yellow colours in the background. Standing on the edge of the temple gives you an interesting contrast of views between the blue city stretching beyond and the mass of forest up close near the temple.
I can't say it was an entirely relaxing affair weaving through throngs of people but it was certainly a place rife with interesting street photo snaps. Again, if you have a problem with any photos, please say so and I will remove them.
Definitely try the chestnut (マロン) and green tea ice-cream that can be found up Kyoto Monzekai. They give you 'spoons' that are actually baked yatsuhashi, a traditional Kyoto biscuit with a slight cinnamon flavour
Make sure you visit Jizo - a tiny, adorable ceramics shop on the way up from Kiyomizu-michi road, approaching the split in Kiyomizu Monzekai. The designs are cute, minimalist and very charming (and I FINALLY found the website!)
(☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞ JAPAN 2013 MASTERPOST