10 gorgeous places to see autumn leaves (Momiji – fall foliage) in Kyoto 

Curated by BuffaloTripSeptember 16, 2016 Viewed: 3019

Coming to Kyoto in the fall, you can easily be caught red color everywhere. From the majestic mountains to the sacred temples inside the city. Kyoto is the "spirit party" for international visitors when they come here.

In Kyoto, the leaves began to change color from October. But the most brilliant is around mid-November. However, until mid-December, if visiting Kyoto, you can still leisurely to admire the red leaves !

Kyoto autumn is one of the charms of Japan. Here we pick the list of 10 best places and spots to see fall foliage (Momiji) in Kyoto and the surrounding areas and forecast the best time to see.

1. Arashiyama 

Arashiyama is a tourist attraction place in the western suburb of Kyoto. This area has become a popular destination since the Heian period (794-1185) when the aristocracy comes to enjoy its natural surroundings. Arashiyama becomes the most attractive for tourists around the beginning of April when the cherry blossoms beginning bloom and at the end of November when the maple leaves turn its forests in the fall. 

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in Last November and early December 12. 

How to get there

Station: Arashiyama (JR Saga Line, Hankyu Arashiyama Line, Randen)

2. Enryaku-ji Temple

Located in the northeast of Hieizan mountain in Kyoto, Enryakuji temple was once the most influential temple in Japanese culture. Is the main temple of the Tendai sect, a sect first for the establishment of other sects like Jodo, Zen, and Nichiren. Saicho zen master who introduced Tendai sect to Japan, to built the temple in year 806. According to history books say that Saicho builds the temple at the request of Kanmu Emperor.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in mid of November.

Address: 4220 Sakamoto honmachi, Otsu-shi, Shiga, Kyoto, Japan

Opening hours: 8:30 to 16:30 (March to November); 9:00 to 16:00 (December); 9:00 to 16:30 (January and February); Saito and Yokawa areas open 30 minutes later and close 30 minutes earlier. No closing days

How to get there

From Kyoto: Take Eizan train from Yase-Hieizan Demachi station to Yanagi-guchi station then transferred via cable car. Or take the bus from Sanjo Keihan station or Kyoto station.

From Shiga: Take the cable car from Hiei-Sakamoto station. 

3. Tofuku-ji Temple

In Kyoto, you should visit Tofukuji Temple is located in the southeast of Kyoto. It is especially famous for its beautiful autumn colors. This temple was founded in 1236 at the behest of the Fujiwara clan. It is not only one of the major monasteries of Japanese Zen sect that is also known for its lush maple forests stretching around Tsutenkyo famous bridge.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in November and early December

Address: 15-778 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Opening hours: 9am-4pm April-October; 8.30am-4pm November- early December; 9am-3:30pm early December-March

Telephone: +81 75-561-0087

How to get there

Station: Tofukuji (JR Nara Line, Keihan Main Line)

4. Kodai-ji Temple

Kodai is the main temple of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who unified the mainland in 1606, is the temple of the Rinzai Kenninji sect, built to commemorate Sir Hideyoshi.

The garden area which stretching from east to west with Engetsuchi lake in the west. The garden is said to be a masterpiece of Enshu Focal. Fall foliage landscape at surrounding Engetsuchi lake is very beautiful, annually from October to December may organize special trips in the evening, when maple trees will be spread decorative lights, creating shimmering beauty, romance.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in last November and early December 

Address: 526 Shimokawara-cho, Kodai-ji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm, last entry 5:00pm

How to get there

Bus: Higashiyama Yasui (Bus No. 100 or 206 from Kyoto Station

Light up: 17: 00 ~ 21: 30

5. Kyomizudera Temple

A place you can’t miss to visit in Kyoto that is Kiyomizudera Temple - is one of the most famous temples in Japan. The temple was founded in 780 next to Otowa waterfall, in the hills wooded east of Kyoto, and the temple's name is derived from the purified water of fall. In 1994, the temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers for visitors an ideal place to see the cherry blossoms in the spring and the brilliant maple trees in autumn, creating colorful paintings throughout the year and the entire city of Kyoto not far way. 

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in last November and early December 

Address: 294 Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Opening hours: 6am- around 6pm, the gate close time varies by season (5:30pm-6:30pm)

How to get there:

Station: Kiyomizu-Gojo (Keihan Main Line). 

Bus: Gojo-Zaka Kiyomizu-michi or (take bus No. 100 or 206)

6. Eikando Temple

One another place we want to introduce to you that's Eikando temple, also known as Zenrinji Temple, under the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism. Located in the north of the Nanzenji great temple, Eikando is very famous for its autumn colors and at this place in every evening is always displays the stunning lighting. The temple has a long history, and in the campus of temple had several houses, gardens, and ponds for visitors explore.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time in the last year: the second half of November

Address: 48 Eikando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Opening hours: Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (No admission after 16:00); Closed: Open year round; (Gates are closed at 5:00 PM)

How to get there

Station: Keage (Subway Tozai Line). 

Bus: Nanzenji-Eikando-michi (bus number 5 from Kyoto station).

Light up from 17:30 to 20:30 

7. Kitano-Tenmangu 

Kitano Tenmangu is known as a temple dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, a scholar, and politician who unjustly exiled by his political opponents from several years ago. After Michizane died, many natural disasters such as lightning ... happens constantly in Kyoto. Rumors spread everywhere, for that calamity struck by the curse of Michizane, so the feudal government has to establish the temple in year 947 to quell the curse it. The temple has named Kitano-Tenmangu. 

Best time to see: The most wonderful time in the last year around mid-November to early December.

Address: Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8386, Japan

Opening hours: 5:00 to 18:00 (April to September); 5:30 to 17:30 (October to March)

How to get there

Bus: Kitano-Tenmangu (Bus No. 50 or 101 from Kyoto Station)

Light up: from 20:00 pm.

8. Nanzenji Temple

Nestled at the foot of Higashiyama Mountains, annually, a large number of visitors to visit Nanzenji temple, as the home of Rinzai Zen team, Nanzenji is considered one of the most important temples in Japan. The monastery is situated among the trees of all colors also famous for its numerous antique paintings and unique landscape gardens. If you go to the temple in the middle of the fall, visitors will have the opportunity to fully enjoy the beauty of the season leaves change color.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time of the last year in the second half of November to early December. 

Address: 86 Fukuchi-cho, Nanzen-ji, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Opening hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February). Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time. CLOSED: December 28 to 31

How to get there

Station: Keage (Subway Tozai Line). Bus: Nanzenji-Eikando-michi (bus number 5 from Kyoto station). 

9. Uji Region

Uji region has many famous tourist attractions, such as Ushikawa River with Ukai traditional job (fishing by cormorant), Byoudo-in pagoda with Hoodo temple... The most attraction in here is the color of trees which cover all-region by seasonal, especially in the fall.

Best time to see: The most wonderful time in the last year around last November and early December 

How to get there

Station: Uji (JR Nara Line, Keihan Uji Line) 

10. Hozukyo Region

Best time to see: The most wonderful time in the last year around last November and early December 

How to get there

Station: JR Kameoka.

Read more Kyoto travel guide at here.