We came half an hour before the temple closed. Just like at the Osaka temple, we were hoping that by this time, the crowd of tourists has already dissipated. But we were absolutely wrong.
Even at almost 6PM, the stairs and halls of Kiyomize-dera were still swamped with local and foreign visitors. Maybe we just got unlucky but there were several groups of Japanese students exploring the temple and taking souvenir photos at the entrance. We inched our way to the main hall and even got as far as the main hall but 10 minutes later the crowd became suffocating so we hurriedly left.