There is just something about the autumn season that is just mesmerizing. The world turns a little bit cooler and the colors come alive in a way that doesn’t happen in spring or summer.
When we thought about visiting Japan, we tried to plan our days in Kyoto to coincide with peak foliage time, and guys, we came pretty close, if not precisely during that timeframe. Specifically, we went during the third week of November. The trees were burning orange and red, the air was cool and crisp, and it was just beautiful.
During our three days stay, we visited a few places where fall foliage was abundant, and I wanted to dedicate a blog post just for those beautiful sceneries.
Side note: all of these were taken with an iPhone 8 because disaster struck right as we got off the train in Nagoya two days prior to Kyoto that left my dslr hitting the pavement. Let’s just say that I need to go back to properly document the fall foliage in Kyoto with my beloved camera.
The Higashiyama ward is a historic shopping district where the Yakansa pagoda is situated. The district is also within walking distance to the Kiyomizudera temple, which I include below as one of the beautiful spots for autumn foliage in Kyoto.
Although this district’s main attraction are its shops and restaurants that have the vibe of old Kyoto, there are many little hidden pathways that lead to things like this koi pond garden!
“Autumn is like a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.”– Albert Camus
Another little pathway tucked away that led into the courtyard of a little gifts store.
Out of the various areas that we visited, Kiyomizu-dera was probably my favorite place to witness the autumn colors. This temple is a UNESCO site that was built in 778 AD, and is one of Kyoto’s most popular sites for its landscape views.
From the photo above, you can see something else that this temple is known for – the Otowa Waterfall. People line up just to drink from the water, as it is said that the water holds the power to extend one’s lifespan and grant wishes.
Can we just take a moment and appreciate this stunning view?
If you only can go to one place in Kyoto for the fall foliage, I would highly recommend Kiyomizu-dera to be that place.
Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavillion)
The second place on the list is the Golden Pavillion. Built in 1397, this temple was originally a retirement home for shogun Ashikaga, and later converted to a temple by his son. On a regular day, the golden temple is already a sight to see. Add the warm hues of the fall leaves, and you have yourself a wonder.
The paths surrounding the temple is beautifully covered in fall foliage as well.
All in all, there’s a reason why the autumn season is one of Kyoto’s peak tourism seasons, and the fall foliage should be reason enough for you to add this beautiful Japanese city to your list.