• Nicolas Wauters

My best autumn leaf viewing spots in Kyoto :

I started to discover Japan in 2009 and I live here since 2013, however, throughout the years I never had the chance to enjoy the fall and its colors in Kyoto.

But this year and due to the Covid 19 I decide to take the chance to have less job to see Kyoto during autumn and I want to share with you my fives favorites locations to enjoy it.

Japan is very reputed for its cherry blossoms, but if you plan a trip to Japan I invite you to think about planning your trip in autumn.


The autumn colors start to come in October in the north-side of Japan and disappear during the end of December in the south.

But for most of the visited places like Tokyo and Kyoto normally mid-November will be the perfect season!

The huge advantage of autumn in comparison with spring is the duration of these periods.

Spring can go very fast and disappear in less than one week while fall colors will stretch from two to three weeks.

Number 5 : Bishamon-do Temple


Bishamon-do is a temple located near Yamashina station and that officially dates back to the 8th.

While this temple is beautiful all year round, Bishamon-do is stunning during Kyoto’s Fall Foliage.

Number 4 : Ginkaku-ji (silver pavilion)

Ginkaku-ji (silver pavilion)

The little brother of Kinkaku-ji is the Ginkaku-ji and it's the second most famous temple in Kyōto.

Located on the eastern hills of Kyōto this temple is definitely on my list of the top 5. It's garden and Momiji give spectaculars scenerys in fall.

Number 3 : Ninna-Ji


Located on the north-east side of Kyoto the Ninna-ji s a Buddhist temple that is deeply related to the Imperial Family of Japan.

The temple is especially famous for its Sakura cherry trees while fall give also very nice colors that blend perfectly (in my opinion) with the pagoda in the background.

Number 2 : To-ji


Founded in 796, To-Ji was one of the only three Buddhist temples allowed in the city at the time it became the capital of Japan.

Now it become the highest pagoda in Japan and one of the most iconic symbols of Kyoto city.

During autumn, the temple as many other is open at night time and offers illuminations.

The great things are that you can use a tripod in this temple but for sure have to respect and do not disturb all the other visitors.

Number 1 : Daigo-ji


Daigo-ji is a Unesco World Heritage Site and definitely my favorite location to enjoy fall foliage in Kyoto.

Located in southeastern Kyoto, Daigo-ji is a Shingon Buddhist temple with over 1,100 years of history.

I hope this list will help you to plan your next trip to Kyoto or your next photo trip!

Please find below a map with those locations and some other advice to visits.

If this article is this map has helped you feel free to share it with those around you!

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