Ninen-zaka, Sannen-zaka [二年坂, 三年坂]
Yasaka Pagoda from Ninen-zaka
Ninen-zaka & Sannen-zaka are a series of approaches to Kiyomizu-dera.
These are gentle and narrow sloping streets with flagstones and stone steps.
The streets run from the northwest of Kiyomizu-dera to the halfway point of Kiyomizu-zaka approach.
The north part is Ninen-zaka and the south part is Sannen-zaka.
The total length of them is about 400 meters.
Along the streets, there are many souvenir shops, the shops of Kiyomizu-ware (a pottery created around Kiyomizu-dera), tea houses and Japanese restaurants.
The streets have a Kyoto's unique atmosphere, so many visitors walk always.
"Ninen-zaka" means "slope of two years", and "Sannen-zaka" means "slope of three years".
("Nen" means "year".)
It is said that you will die within two years when you fall down on Ninen-zaka and you will die within three years when you fall down on Sannen-zaka.
Please be careful not to fall down here.
Sign of 'Sannei-zaka'
By the way, the original names of the streets were "Ninei-zaka" and "Sannei-zaka".
Especially, the name of "Sannei-zaka" is often used.
"Sannei" (産寧) has different meaning from "three years".
It means "easy delivery".
Women who want to be blessed with a baby had walked uphill for worshipping through this slope to Kiyomizu-dera.
How to get here
By route bus, from Kyoto station, about 15 minutes to Gojozaka stop, about 17 minutes to Kiyomizumichi stop.
Then about 10 minutes from each bus stop.