Hidden Places in Kyoto – Fall foliage (Autumn colors) 🍁

Although Kyoto is said to be Kyoto of fall foliage, it’s always crowded with tourists as fall foliage places such as Eikan-do, Tofuku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera and Arashiyama attract attention from all over the world.

However, there’re many hidden places in Kyoto where you can slowly enjoy the fall foliage if you go a little further. Among them, I will introduce you to the recommended places which were especially good when you actually went there.



Jingo-ji Temple ~Superb view that spreads across the 400 stone steps~

Jingo-ji is not far from the World Heritage site Kozan-ji on the mountainside of Mount Takao.

Because the altitude is higher than the city, the color starts to change in early November, and the best time to see it is in the middle of November.

You have to climb the 400 stone steps to reach the temple, and the beautiful fall foliage on both sides of the path will somewhat relieve your fatigue.

The large precincts of the temple are colored with fall foliage and you can enjoy walking. I especially recommend the fall foliage in the place of the Kawarake-nage.

You can see the Kon-do Hall from the fall foliage.↓

You can go to Jingo-ji by bus. It gets a little crowded during the fall foliage season, so if you leave early in the morning, the bus will be less crowded and you can go smoothly.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From early November to late November
  • Hours: 9:00~16:00
  • Admission: 600 yen for junior high school students and above, 300 yen for children
  • Website



Anraku-ji Temple ~Stones Dyed Red~

Anraku-ji is located in the mountain side of the Tetsugaku-no-Michi.

The scenery of fall foliage when you look up at the temple gate from the bottom of the stone steps is very beautiful.

It’s open to the public during the spring and autumn flower seasons, and you can see the main hall, study and garden.

Even in the season of fall foliage, there’re relatively few tourists and it’s very quiet and relaxing.

If you only want to see the scenery of the stone steps in front of the temple gate, you don’t need to pay an entrance fee, so I think you can stop by while walking along the Tetsugaku-no-Michi.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 9:30~16:30
  • Admission: 500 yen for general (Free for junior high school students and under)
  • Website



Sekizan-Zen-in Temple ~Commonly known as Momiji Temple~

Sekizan-Zen-in is one of the sub-temples of Hieizan-Enryaku-ji and also known as a temple of prosperous business.

Located in a quiet area near the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, this scenic spot for autumn leaves, commonly known as the Momiji Temple, leads from the temple gate to the precincts into the fall foliage tunnel.

The matching of Japanese houses and fall foliage is wonderful!

The precincts are not so big, but there’re many highlights.

Transportation from the city is not very convenient, so even during the fall foliage season, there’re few tourists and you can travel around calmly.

You can enjoy the fall foliage here for free, so I recommend it.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 9:00~16:30
  • Admission: Free
  • Website



Shinnyo-do Temple ~Blazing red leaves~

Shinnyo-do is a Tendai Sect temple officially called Shinsho-Gokurak-ji and is famous for its fall foliage.

The main hall, three-storied pagoda and front gate are lined up, and in the fall foliage season, the magnificent three-storied pagoda is used as a backdrop for vivid maple and ginkgo trees.

It’s free if you just want to see the fall foliage in the precincts, so there are many people who want to see the collaboration of the three-story pagoda and the fall foliage.

But the precincts are large, so you can enjoy fall foliage in a relatively calm atmosphere.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to early December
  • Hours: 9:00~16:00
  • Admission: The special admission fee for the fall foliage season is 1,000 yen.
  • Website



Shoren-in-Monzeki Temple ~Must see the light up~

Shoren-in-Monzeki is an imperial Monzeki temple located in a quiet area adjacent to Chion-in Temple in Higashiyama.

A big camphor tree 800 years old welcomes you in front of the gate.

The temple precincts have a historical Buddha hall, garden and bamboo grove, and there’re few tourists so you can take your time to see them.

In spring and autumn every year, there’s a special night viewing where you can experience a fantastic world surrounded by blue lights.

The illumination is also beautiful.

I really recommend Shoren-in-Monzeki where you can enjoy fall foliage both day and night!

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  • Hours: 9:00~17:00 (16:30 Acceptance ended) ※Spring/Autumn: Light up
  • Admission: 500 yen for general, 400 yen for junior high and high school students, 200 yen for elementary school students
  • website



Seikan-ji Temple ~Really hidden place~

Seikan-ji is a little-known place for fall foliage that you can walk to in about 5 minutes from the south gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

It’s on the top of the mountain, but the color of fall foliage is slow. From the Kaname-ishi (Famous stone)  placed in the precincts, you can see the view of Kyoto city from between the mountains.

It’s a temple associated with Takamori Saigo who is famous in Japan.

The fall foliage at Kiyomizu-dera are wonderful, but if you want to monopolize the view, let’s go to Seikan-ji.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From late November to early December
  • Hours: 8:00~16:00
  • Admission: 300 yen for general (Only in the precincts)



Josho-ji Temple ~Famous for both Sakura and Momiji~

Josho-ji is a temple located between Kinkaku-ji and Kamigamo-jinja, which is known as a World Heritage Site.

The fall foliage at the neighboring Genko-an Temple are wonderful, but Josho-ji is not so crowded even in the peak season of fall foliage, so you can enjoy the beautiful fall foliage leisurely in the large precincts.

This temple is also famous for its cherry blossoms and is loved by people throughout the year.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 8:30~17:00
  • Admission: 500 yen for Junior high school students and above (Only during the fall foliage season)



Toji-in Temple ~Inverted fall foliage reflected on the water~

Toji-in is a Tenryuji School temple in Arashiyama, also known as the family temple of Ashikaga Shogun.

The feature of this temple is the Chisen-Kaiyu style garden (Stroll garden with a central pond), which is said to have been created by famous gardener Soseki Muso.

The fall foliage in the garden are wonderful and you can enjoy the colorful fall foliage. Compared to nearby Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji, there’re less tourists and you can enjoy it calmly.

In particular, the inverted fall foliage which reflects colorful autumn leaves on the water surface is worth seeing.

I recommend you to see the garden while having Japanese sweets and tea.

Find More Beautiful with Mirrorless

 

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to early December
  • Hours: 9:00~17:00
  • Admission: 500 yen for general, 300 yen for elementary and junior high school students
  • Website

 

Komyo-in Temple ~Contrast of moss and fall foliage~

Komyo-in is one of Tofukuji’s sub-temples and is also called Niji-no-Kokedera (Moss Temple).

The contrast between the green of moss and the red of fall foliage is the artistic beauty of the garden, and you can sit and look at it calmly. You can enjoy a nice view from the round window.

 

It’s a bit far from Tofuku-ji so you can enjoy the fall foliage at your leisure while Tofuku-ji is very crowded.

Incidentally, there’s a temple with a very similar name, “Komyo-ji” in Nagaokakyo City, which is also famous for its autumn leaves.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 8:30~16:00
  • Admission: 300 yen for general (Only during the autumn leaves season)



Nison-in Temple ~Momiji Tunnel~

Nison-in is a Tendai Sect temple located in Sagano, Ukyo Ward.

The approach from the main gate to the main hall is called “Momiji-no-Baba” and is famous for the fall foliage tunnel.

The fall foliage along the white wall at the top of the stone steps are also a very popular spot.

It’s located a little far from central Arashiyama, so you can enjoy fall foliage in a calm atmosphere. I recommend you to take a leisurely stroll along the ogurayama alley.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to early December
  • Hours: 9:00~16:30
  • Admission: 500 yen for junior high school students and above (Free for children)
  • http://nisonin.jp/lang=en



Hokyo-in Temple ~Beautiful fall foliage that cover your view~

Hokyo-in is a Rinzai Sect temple located in Sagano, Ukyo Ward, within walking distance of Nison-in.

When you pass through the entrance gate, you will see a straight stone-paved road, a tunnel of fall foliage running through both sides, and you will see beautiful fall foliage that cover your view.

It’s also known for its beautiful fall foliage.

It’s a small temple, but you can enjoy the autumn leaves calmly and you can be moved enough with the admission fee of 500 yen.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to early December
  • Hours: 9:00~16:00 (Until 16:30 in November)
  • Admission: 500 yen for high school students and above, 200 yen elementary and junior high school students
  • Website



Jikishi-an Temple ~Hideaway in the Saga area~

Proceeding further north from Hokyo-in in Saga, beyond Daikaku-ji, Jikishi-an is located in Saga’s northernmost bamboo grove.

The fall foliage at Jikishi-an are characterized by a vivid mixture of red, yellow and orange, allowing you to enjoy the wonderful scenery at your leisure.

I especially recommend the scattered fall foliage that spread out in front of the small main hall with a thatched roof.

This place is also a love power spot for matchmaking and good match, and in front of the main hall, two cute Jizo statues are close to each other.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From late November to early December
  • Hours: 9:00~16:00
  • Admission: 500 yen for general, 400 yen for high school students and under
  • Website



Jizo-in Temple ~Collaboration of bamboo grove and fall foliage~

Jizo-in is a Rinzai temple near the world heritage site Saiho-ji. It’s also called Take-no-Tera (Bamboo Temple) because of its beautiful bamboo grove.

If you pay the admission fee at the reception and go inside, you will feel very refreshed with countless bamboo trees growing on both sides of the narrow road.

As you walk along the bamboo path, you will see the main hall, Jizo-do Hall, and the maple leaves in front of you will be vivid in color.

There’s a garden if you go east from the main hall. It’s a small temple where you can see everything in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect to enjoy the fall foliage at your leisure.

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed at the moment.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late December
  • Hours: 9:00~16:30
  • Admission: 500 yen for general, 300 yen for elementary, Junior high and high school students
  • Website



Shuon-an Temple (Ikkyu-ji) ~Fall foliage Ikkyu also saw~

Shuon-an is a temple in Kyotanabe City, Kyoto Pref., known as the temple where the famous monk Ikkyu spent his later years.

As it’s far from the city of Kyoto, there’re few foreign tourists and it’s a little-known spot even during the fall foliage season.

I have an impression that the precincts are well taken care of. Not only the fall foliage season but also the summer green leaves are popular.

The stone-paved approach close to the parking lot is very Kyoto-like, and you can be satisfied just by looking at the scenery.

Luxury Beauty in Japan

 

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 9:00~17:00
  • Admission:  500 yen for junior high school students and above, 250 yen for children
  • website



Bishamon-do Temple ~Scattered Momiji that cover the Chokushi-zaka Slope~

Bishamon-do is a famous Monzeki temple in Yamashina Ward.

You can enjoy beautiful scenery throughout the year such as cherry blossoms in spring and fall foliage in autumn.

There’s a certain amount of crowd during the season, but it’s relatively quiet and calm as it’s located in Yamashina Ward across the mountain from downtown Kyoto.

Speaking of fall foliage at Bishamon-do, the scenery where the whole face of Chokushi-zaka is dyed red is famous, but if you want to take pictures, I recommend you to go early in the morning when there are few people.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to early December
  • Hours: 8:30~17:00 (From December to February until 16:30)
  • Admission: 500 yen for general, 400 yen for high school students, 300 yen for elementary and Junior high school students
  • Website



Zuishin-in Temple ~Famous temple in Yamashina and Ono~

Zuishin-in is a Shingon Sect temple in Yamashina Ward, and is associated with Ono-no-Komachi, a woman of unparalleled beauty.

The fall foliage at Zuishin-in can be seen mainly in the garden in front of the Tatami room, and the view of the fall foliage through the Shoji is spectacular and worth seeing.

During the season when the fall foliage are at their best, they are lit up and you can enjoy the fantastic scenery.

The light-up time is from 18 to 21 o’clock and the admission fee is 500 yen. (Please check with the temple for the latest information.)

Zuishin-in is also famous for beautiful plum blossoms.

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  • The best time to see it every year: From mid-November to late November
  • Hours: 9:00~16:30
  • Admission: 400 yen for high school students and above, 300 yen for junior high school students (Free for elementary school students and under)
  • Website