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Best Spots To View Autumn Leaves In Kyoto, Japan - Updated 2020

autumn leaf colors
Sudarsana
Sudarsana
Updated

Kyoto is arguably the best place to experience the beautiful fall of autumn leaves with stunning colors of red, yellow and orange. The ancient city of Japan known for its popular cultural traditions and festivals, and also for its incredible view of the vibrant landscape as the fall foliage turns the city into a picturesque landscape. To discover the old traditions of Japan, one must visit Kyoto, especially during autumn from mid-November to early January, as it’s the ideal time to experience the beautiful scenic view of the Mother Nature with colorful leaves and gorgeous historical sites, temples, shrines and beautiful gardens. The breathtaking autumn views of the stunning landscapes will make you stay forever. So if you are curious to explore the best spots to view autumn leaves in Kyoto, here is a list of the popular landmarks that you must explore.

1. Tofuku-ji Temple


Located on the south-east part of Kyoto city, this Zen-Buddhist temple is arguably one of the best autumn leaves spot in Kyoto. The Japanese temple displays a beautiful view of the garden and bridges filled with diverse colors of autumn leaves. The fall foliage during the autumn season is natures wonder and there can’t be a better place to witness this impeccable beauty of nature. The Tsetenkyo Bridge and Hojo Garden offer a perfect view of the falling maple leaves.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

2. Sanzenin Temple

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Autumn In Japan</div>
Source: Photo by user Foooomio used under CC BY 3.0

This temple is one of the popular hotspots to visit in Kyoto. Apart from its rich historical contents, the temple features a beautiful Japanese style garden, maple, and cedar tree gardens, a beautiful walking path, statue of Amida Buddha and other miniature statues of Kannon accompanied with few restaurants and shops. It is a tranquil destination in Kyoto to witness the magnificent view of the autumn fall as you take a stroll through the path of this rural temple.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

3. Tenryu-ji Temple

もみじ+竹
Source: Photo by user 8ware used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This temple is one of the biggest attractions in Arashiyama. This sprawling temple offers a beautiful view of the gardens with cherry blossoms to hunting Momiji in the fall and the beautiful views of the mountains. The temple is the first logical step to explore the other splendid landmarks of the area and attracts a lot of tourist during the spring and autumn season.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

4. Jojakkoji Temple


Located along the slope of the mountains, the temple offers a fine view of the city. This tranquil and serene destination lets you escape from the crowds of the city to explore the soothing greenery and the fall of autumn leaves that surrounds it. It is a great place to visit for those looking for a peaceful and secluded environment to witness this amazing beauty of nature.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

5. Nisonin Temple

Nison-in in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tomi Mäkitalo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

It is one of the hidden landmarks in Kyoto and is well known for its beautiful view of the maple trees. This serene temple is often overlooked by travelers who transcend to look for other famous attractions in the area. However, the temple offers a pleasant view, as you walk through the main gate, you can witness a colorful panorama of cherry blossom and maple trees planted every 100 meters thus, creating a beautiful tunnel effect of the colorful leaves in autumn.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

6. Gio-ji Temple

Gio-ji, Precincts -1 (November 2017)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tetsuhiro Terada used under CC BY 2.0

It is a small quiet temple surrounded by trees and moss garden. The thatched roof main hall offers a splendid view of the moss garden that is completely covered in green during spring to summer. Being densely covered with trees, many tourists walk past this temple venturing other local attractions. But, the Gio-Ji temple offers one of the finest views in the Arashiyama. During the autumn season, the temple grounds look magnificent as the colorful fall of maple leaves forms a sharp contrast with the green moss.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

7. Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizu Dera In Autumn
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Siegfried Ehret used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the popular landmarks in Kyoto, this temple offers a splendid view surrounded by cherry blossom and maple trees. It is a breathtaking view to witness the temple surrounded by colorful leaves of red and orange as if the temple stands on burning fire. It offers a more splendid view, as the colorful autumn leaves dazzle with the light up event in the evening.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

8. Eikando Temple

Eikan-do Zenrin-ji,
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Martin Falbisoner used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located to the north of the temple complex of Nanzenji, this ancient temple has a long history and features several buildings that include a pool garden and Tahoto Pagoda. The temple is famous for its beautiful scenic view of the autumn fall as the leaves turn into glorious colors of red creating a magnificent view for the visitors. It offers an impressive view from the pagoda as you witness the temple grounds blossomed with maple leaves, which you surely don’t wanna miss. Your leaf peeing trip is incomplete without paying a visit to this beautiful temple of Eikando.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

9. Yoshiminedera Temple

Yoshimine-dera
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located on the south-western mountains of Kyoto, this Japanese Buddhist temple is a hidden gem. This old temple is spacious with several other buildings that are distributed up the mountainside. In addition to the buildings, the temple also features few revered trees. One of the trees is a 600-year-old pine tree standing tall with about 40 meters wide. During the autumn season; it’s a visual treat to watch the beautiful combination of the falling leaves.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

10. Kodaiji Temple

Kodai-ji Zen Temple
Source: Photo by Flickr user Gordon Cheung used under CC BY 2.0

Located in Higashiyama area, the temple is popular autumn leaves viewing spot for its spectacular scenic view with a variety of trees such as maples, cherry blossoms and other Japanese trees surrounding the temple complex. The temple will amaze you with its splendid view of three different gardens i.e. the Zen garden, rock garden, and the Tsukiyama style garden. Besides the magnificent gardens, the beautiful ginkgo tree on the rock garden should not be given a miss. The glorious view of the autumn colors will mesmerize you as the maple trees are light lit up in the evening.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kyoto, Japan and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kyoto, Japan

Enjoy the autumn trip in Kyoto

Kyoto is an incredible city with an abundance of autumn leaves spot to explore. Nothing better than visiting the gorgeous historical sites, shrines, temples with beautiful gardens and experience the splendid view of the colorful autumn leaves. So make sure you stop by these places to explore the scenic extravaganza while visiting Kyoto.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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I'm a freelance writer and I love travelling to different places and explore the different cultures.

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