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Historic Site

When should you visit a historic site? Historic sites are locations where pieces of political, cultural, or social history have been preserved. Often due to their cultural value. Historic sites can be temples, whole cities, pyramids, castles, churches or any other kind of buildings.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is usually swarmed with tourists. Sometimes it even becomes difficult to move around. To beat the crowds you need to:

  • Avoid weekends, go mid-week.
  • Arrive early, if possible between 6 A.M. and 7 A.M.: It's a perfect time to enjoy the magic of this temple in solitude. If you can't make it that early try to be there at least between 7 - 8 A.M when it‘s still relatively quiet compared to later in the day. TIP: Stay at the closest hotel (walking distance) and get there easily first thing in the morning. See our guest house/hotel recommendation below (Where to Stay).
  • You could also arrive late, about 1 hour before it closes. Then you may have the last minutes almost for yourself. 

Opening Hours (Entrance Fee 400 Yen)

Open year-round from 6:00 .a.m.
Closes at 6:00 p.m. (18:00) or 6:30 p.m. (18:30), depending on the season. More details (and night opening hours) here: Kiyomizudera Opening Hours

Spring and Fall Illumination

During fall season the temple and the gorgeious autumn colors are illuminated from 18:00 to 21:00 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.). This happens also in the spring. Illumination periods are:

  • Spring: mid-March until mid-April
  • Autumn: mid-November to early December

It's crowded during this time but definitely worth it. Tip: If you'd like to dodge the heavy crowds during the illumination do not get there early around or before 6 p.m. Instead arrive between 8:30 p.m and 9 p.m. They don't close at 9 p.m. It's usually open until 10 p.m. That means you still have an hour or longer with less crowds. 


Highlights

Nature's seasonal highlights at Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto are cherry blossoms in spring and the changing leaf color in autumn. The temple features about 1500 cherry blossoms and 1000 colorful trees with changing leaves.

Cherry Blossoms


Cherry blossom in Kyomizu by Tasuku Soma, CC BY added content

The temple is one of Kyoto's top cherry blossom spots, with almost 1500 mountain cherry and somei yoshino trees. The blooming season is very short. It only takes about two weeks from the opening of the first blossoms until they are falling from the trees. On average the first blossoms in Kyoto open end of March. They reach full bloom around April 5. However, the start of the blooming season can vary by one week (plus/minus) each year. Generally, your best bet is to visit early April, if you'd like to spot them. A great map and table with dates for Kyoto and other cities: JNTO Cherry Blossoms Timetable Tip: The blossoms are illuminated at night, creating a beautiful romantic scenery. If you don't mind the crowds, visit during the spring illumination.

Fall Foliage


Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto by Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA colored

The leaf changing colors are almost equally beautiful and Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a truly spectacular autumn color spot. Compared to cherry blossoms, the gorgeous leaf colors last much longer: The foliage season in Kyoto lasts from mid-October until mid-December, with a peak in mid-November. Your best bet to spot the beautiful fall foliage is between mid-November and late November. However, any time within the two months is usually worth it. Tip: Like for the cherry blossoms in spring, the fall illumination of the autumn foliage creates a beautiful atmosphere. 

 

JP Japan

Be aware that a visit during sunrise brings a lot of crowds. However, you wouldn't want to miss the scenery - it's just magical. In order to avoid the heavy crowds, arrive in the afternoon, and instead enjoy sunset before the temple closes.

Following the typical weather patterns for much of Southeast Asia, the best time to visit Angkor Wat is during the dry season from late November to early April.

KH Cambodia

March - November
Best to visit when the weather is warm to experience the atmosphere in the streets.
This city seems to always have people walking around during the summer months no matter what day of the week it is.

DE Germany

The Visitor Center and Ordensburg Vogelsang are opened year-round from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. In December 24th and 31st open until 2 p.m. It is beautifully situated in the Eifel National Park.

Highlights (Tower, Exhibition, Hike) 

The 48 meters high tower is accessible from April until October and closed for the remaining months. Visiting the tower is only possible guided from Monday until Friday at 1 p.m. At weekends and public holidays, every hour from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed in bad weather conditions. This 45 minutes guided tour has an ascent of 172 steps. It’s a 360° scenic view from the top to the whole Vogelsang area, The price is 6 € p.p. Maximum 15 people per tower ascent are allowed.

The tower of Ordensburg Vogelsang in the National Park Eifel

Don't miss the exhibition of the German History from 1930-45. It gives you an honest view how Hitler planned to create a "master race". It leaves you poignant. The exhibition is an exhortation that it never gets repeated. Audio multimedia guides are offered in different languages. 

There is a 16 km hike which can be done all year. We came here in October and enjoyed the fall foliage.

Fall foliage at River Rur Dam

Avoiding Crowds

Vogelsang is very popular nowadays and is even more crowded at weekends, bank holidays and summer holidays in July and August. In September 2016 the Vogelsang reconstruction was finished, and two permanent exhibitions were established. Fewer people come here mid-week.

Top Tip - Sites Nearby

If you are into nature, you will love to stay here for a couple of days. Vogelsang is situated in the National Park Eifel at the River Rur Dam.

  • It's an excellent location for hiking in the National Park and the nearby Ardennes, High Fens in Belgium. Boardwalks are leading through the bog. Top Hikes in the Ardennes
    Hiking in the Ardennes, High Fens on a boardwalk
     
  • Don't miss the historic town Monschau with its half-timbered houses. 
    Half-timbered Houses in Monschau
     
  • Visit the historic Mustard Mill close to Monschau just half an hour drive from Heimbach. It's a family run manufacture. They are famous for their huge variety of mustard and the restaurant Schnabuleum. Have a closer look and try the different mustards. It's always a perfect present to bring back home.
  • Stay in a quiet hotel at the Rur Dam. Enjoy the waterfront views, the local cuisine on a high standard, and the spa. Experience the area in the hotel Der Seehof with included breakfast buffet. 
  • It's just a 10 minutes drive to the Mariawald Abbey from the hotel Der Seehof and 15 minutes from Vogelsang. The Abbey is the only Trappist Monastery in Germany. It's famous for the home cooked pea soup. Open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.
    Mariawald Abbey a 15 minutes drive from Vogelsang
DE Germany

Mesa Verde is always open. We recommend a visit after Labor Day in September. However, the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for. Read on for detailed information about the weather, how to avoid the crowds and the best time for tours:

Avoiding Crowds

The best time to avoid the crowds and still enjoy pleasant weather is September after Labor Day, as long as guided tours are offered. School holidays are between the end of May and Labor Day. Around 600,000 visitors come to Mesa Verde annually, most of them in the summer. There are fewer people in the early morning and the late afternoon.

Weather

There isn’t much rain. It’s a dry area better known as “Four Corners”. The driest month is June, the "wettest" in August. Thunderstorms occur in summer. In Autumn the temps are still pleasant. Due to the high-elevation snow is common in the winter. Spring starts late, and temps are bearable in the summer with around 30°C / 86°, winter average is 4°C / 39°F. Check road and weather conditions first, as it’s located in high elevation between 7,000 to 8,572 foot / 2.134 to 2.613 meter. During heavy snowfall, roads may be closed. The road to Wetherill Mesa with the Step House and Long House opens to the public depending on the weather conditions (snow and ice) between late April to Mid-May and closure between mid to late October. The road is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in spring and fall and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Opening Hours

Mesa Verde lookouts are open year-round, even in winter from 8 A.M. until sunset. Visitor Center and Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum are also open throughout the year. Check the Opening hours. Most shops, restaurants, gas station are open from late spring to late fall.

US United States

I prefer the dry season from December to April to escape the European winter and to have fewer mosquitos, less humidity and heat. Best month April, already fewer crowds in Yucatan.

Less crowded early morning before busses arrive.
Opening hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Gets crowded before midday.

MX Mexico