Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • During the autumn season, Kyoto's many parks, shrines, temple gardens, and many scenic spots transform in a beautiful ballet of orange, yellow, and red colors.

  • Boasting a large number of fall color viewing locations, it's no surprise that many visitors from around the world travel to Kyoto to see some of its most scenic autumn color spots.

  • The autumn leaves can usually be best viewed in Japan from mid September to early December, with the autumn color front making its way from Hokkaido in the north, down to the south of Japan.

  • Generally, autumn colors can be seen around Kyoto from early November to early December, with the colors usually reaching their peak during the second half of November.

  • Some spots in the mountains surrounding the city change a few days earlier, providing a good opportunity if you are visiting a little bit before colors reach their peak in central Kyoto.

  • Planning to visit Kyoto's most scenic foliage viewing spots can be a bit difficult since there are so many to choose from; however, to give you a good place to start, here are our top 10 recommended autumn color locations in Kyoto.

  • Number 10 Enkoji: This small lesser known Zen temple located in the northeast of Kyoto boasts impressive fall colors throughout its beautiful garden.

  • The vivid leaves can be enjoyed while strolling along the garden's walking paths as well as from the temple's Tatami Rooms which are open to the outside.

  • Also, be sure not to miss the observation platform located on the hill behind the garden, which allows visitors to view the beautiful foliage and the temple from a unique angle.

  • Number 9 Kodaiji: Located in the Higashiyama District, Kodaiji Temple's grounds feature a pleasant garden with maple trees that turn a brilliant shade of red and orange during the autumn season.

  • If you are looking to enjoy the autumn foliage in a different light, Kodaiji also hosts spectacular night illuminations throughout the season.

  • The beautifully lit maple leaves reflecting on the surface of the temple's pond make for a truly breathtaking scene.

  • Number 8 Nanzenji: Bright shades of red, yellow, and orange colors can be enjoyed across the grounds of Nanzenji Temple and several of its subtemples.

  • For a small fee, it's also possible to go up to the second floor of the Sanmon Gate from which a higher view of the temple grounds can be enjoyed.

  • One of the highlights of visiting Nanzenji during the autumn season is the Tenjuan Subtemple, which features colorful foliage over its rock garden in a dramatic way both during the day and nightly illuminations.

  • Number 7 Shinnyodo: This slightly lesser known autumn color spot offers its visitors some charming fall colors.

  • The approach to the main hall, framed by vivid red maple trees and the temple's majestic pagoda, are particularly spectacular during the peak of the season.

  • Located not far away from Ginkakuji and the Philosopher's Path, Shinnyodo makes for a very nice autumn color spot to visit if you are in the area.

  • Number 6 Takao: This forested valley in the mountains north of the city center showcases some impressive fall colors, especially on the grounds of its three temples.

  • The trees here change color usually a few days earlier than the ones in central Kyoto.

  • This makes for a great opportunity to view majestic autumn colors if you are visiting a little before the peak of the season.

  • We particularly recommend checking out the attractive Jingoji Temple whose approach and grounds are usually framed beautifully by vivid fall colors.

  • Number 5 Kiyomizudera: One of the most celebrated temples in Japan, and a definite must-see destination during your visit to Kyoto at any time of the year, Kiyomizudera is a popular autumn color spot.

  • At the peak of the season, the temple's impressive wooden stage standing 13 meters above the hill below appears to be floating on top of a sea of brilliant red and orange leaves.

  • The landscape becomes even more surreal at night when lights are turned on and the fiery colors are illuminated.

  • It is important to note, however, that being one of the most visited spots for fall colors, the temple grounds can get crowded at the peak of the season.

  • Number 4 Yoshiminedera: Similar to Kiyomizudera on the opposite side of town, this temple standing on the slopes of the mountains west of Kyoto offers lots of majestic autumn colors on its spacious grounds.

  • On top of that, a few paths extending up the mountainside allow visitors to enjoy impressive views of the city and the temple grounds.

  • Number 3 Eikando: Showcasing an abundance of autumn colors, Eikando is one of the most spectacular and colorful spots in Kyoto during fall.

  • Some highlights of a visit to Eikando include the views from its Tahoto Pagoda, as well as its very scenic Hojo Pond, framed by delightful foliage.

  • Also, during the autumn color season the temple extends its opening hours and visitors can enjoy breathtaking night illuminations.

  • Number 2 Tofukuji: Attracting visitors from all over the world, Tofukuji is one of Kyoto's most popular autumn color spots.

  • Views of and from its Tsutenkyo Bridge, which spans a small valley of maple trees, are some of the most breathtaking you can find during the fall season.

  • Similarly, strolling its many paths which wind through the valley is also exceedingly pleasant.

  • Accordingly, it's worth mentioning that this spot can get extremely crowded when colors are looking their best.

  • Number 1 Arashiyama: Finally, making it to the number one spot on our list.

  • The Arashiyama district on the outskirts of Kyoto offers some of the best range of leaf-viewing opportunities, not only on the forested slopes of the mountain located near the famous Togetsukyo Bridge, but also at the many temples located in the area.

  • Some of Kyoto's most beautiful autumn colors can be found on the grounds of Tenryuji, Jojakkoji, Nisonin and Daikakuji.

  • In our opinion, taking a stroll through Arashiyama during fall to admire the foliage should definitely be on your must-do list if you are travelling to Kyoto during the peak of the season.

  • So there you have it: our top ten autumn color spots in Kyoto.

  • Hopefully this video helps you to plan your perfect autumn trip.

  • More in-depth information on autumn colors in Japan can be found in the dedicated section of our website including lists of the best leaf-viewing spots depending on the area, and during the season, frequent reports from around the country.

  • For more information or to watch another video, click the links on the screen below now or head to japan-guide dot com, your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide first hand from Japan.

  • Thanks for watching. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan.

  • Happy travels.

During the autumn season, Kyoto's many parks, shrines, temple gardens, and many scenic spots transform in a beautiful ballet of orange, yellow, and red colors.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it