Things to Do in Kyoto During Autumn

Autumn is a magical season in Kyoto, Japan. The city is transformed as the leaves on the trees turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. There are many things to do in Kyoto during autumn that will allow you to fully experience the beauty of the season.

One of the best things to do in Kyoto during autumn is to go on a foliage tour. The city is home to many temples and shrines that are surrounded by trees, making them the perfect places to see the autumn leaves. Some of the best temples and shrines to visit include Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Tofuku-ji Temple, and Eikando Temple. These places are not only beautiful during the day but are also illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere that you won’t want to miss.

Key Takeaways

  • Kyoto is a beautiful city to visit during autumn.
  • Going on a foliage tour is one of the best ways to experience the season.
  • Kyoto’s temples and shrines are the perfect places to see the autumn leaves.

Experiencing Kyoto’s Autumn Foliage

Experiencing-Kyotos-Autumn-Foliage

You’re in for a treat if you’re visiting Kyoto in the fall. The city is renowned for its breathtaking autumn foliage, or “koyo” in Japanese. The leaves change colour from green to shades of red, orange, and yellow, creating a picturesque scene that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Kyoto is home to many parks, temples, and shrines that offer stunning views of the fall foliage. Here are some of the best places to experience the autumn colours in Kyoto:

PlaceDescription
Togetsu-kyo BridgeThe bridge is one of the most popular spots for viewing autumn leaves in Arashiyama. You can hop on a yakatabune or rent a row boat to experience the river.
Kitano Tenmangu ShrineThe shrine is known for its beautiful maple trees that turn bright red in the fall.
Kodaiji TempleThe temple is famous for its stunning autumn foliage and illuminated gardens at night.
Kifune ShrineThe shrine is located in the mountains and is surrounded by beautiful fall foliage.
Eikando TempleThe temple is known for its “momiji tunnel,” a pathway lined with maple trees that turn a fiery red in the fall.
Tofukuji TempleThe temple is famous for its stunning autumn colours, especially the view from the Tsutenkyo Bridge.
Chion-in TempleThe temple is home to many maple trees that turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall.
Kyoto Gyoen National GardenThe garden is a popular spot for picnics and strolls under the autumn foliage.
Hakuryuen GardenThe garden is home to many maple trees that turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall.
Rurikoin TempleThe temple is known for its stunning autumn foliage and is only open to the public during the fall.
Arashiyama and SaganoThe area is one of the most popular spots for viewing autumn leaves in Kyoto. You can take a scenic train ride or a boat ride down the river to experience the fall foliage.
Philosopher’s PathThe path is lined with cherry and maple trees that turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall.

In addition to visiting these places, you can also experience the fall colours by taking a stroll through the city’s streets and parks. The Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, Nijo Castle, and the Kamogawa River are all great places to enjoy the autumn foliage.

Overall, Kyoto’s autumn foliage is a must-see for anyone visiting the city in the fall. With so many beautiful places to experience the fall colours, you’re sure to have a memorable trip.

Temples and Shrines to Visit

Temples-and-Shrines-to-Visit

If you are looking for a spiritual and serene experience, Kyoto’s temples and shrines should be on your must-visit list. Here are some of the most popular ones to consider:

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

Kiyomizu-Dera Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Kyoto. One of the highlights of the temple is the wooden stage that juts out from the main hall, offering stunning views of the city. During autumn, the surrounding trees turn into a sea of red, orange, and yellow, making it a perfect spot to take in the beautiful autumn foliage.

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto. The temple’s garden is a masterpiece of Japanese landscaping, and during autumn, the maple trees turn into a vibrant display of red and gold. The garden is also a great spot for a peaceful stroll and meditation.

Toji Temple

Toji Temple is a Buddhist temple famous for its five-story pagoda, which is the tallest wooden tower in Japan. During autumn, the temple’s grounds are illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere. The temple is also home to a market that sells traditional Japanese crafts and souvenirs.

Tofukuji Temple

Tofukuji Temple is a Zen temple famous for its stunning autumn foliage. The temple’s Tsutenkyo Bridge is a popular spot to take in the surrounding maple trees, which turn into a fiery display of red and orange during autumn. The temple is also known for its rock garden, which is considered one of the best in Japan.

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god of learning, Sugawara Michizane. The shrine is famous for its plum blossoms in spring and its autumn foliage in fall. During autumn, the shrine’s maple trees turn into a beautiful display of red and gold, making it a popular spot for autumn foliage viewing.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto and is known for its thousands of torii gates that lead up to the top of Mount Inari. During autumn, the shrine’s surrounding trees turn into a beautiful display of autumn foliage, making it a great spot for a scenic hike.

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen temple famous for its stunning golden pavilion and beautiful gardens. During autumn, the temple’s surrounding trees turn into a beautiful display of red and gold, making it a popular spot for autumn foliage viewing. The temple is also known for its gold leaves, which are used to decorate the pavilion.

Overall, Kyoto’s temples and shrines offer a peaceful and spiritual experience, and during autumn, they become even more stunning with the beautiful display of autumn foliage.

Autumn Festivals in Kyoto

Autumn-Festivals-in-Kyoto

Kyoto is famous for its vibrant autumn festivals that celebrate the beauty of the season. Here are some of the must-see festivals to attend during your autumn visit to Kyoto:

Gion Odori

Gion Odori is one of the most popular festivals in Kyoto, held annually in November. This festival celebrates the culture of Kyoto with traditional dances performed by Geiko and Maiko. You can witness the stunning performances of the Geiko and Maiko in their beautiful traditional costumes. The festival also features traditional Japanese music and performances, making it a truly immersive experience.

Fall Festival

The Fall Festival is another popular festival in Kyoto, held annually in October. This festival is a celebration of the harvest season and features traditional Japanese music, dance performances, and food stalls. You can witness the traditional Japanese culture and enjoy the delicious food during the festival.

Umeshu Festa

Umeshu Festa is a festival dedicated to plum wine, held annually in November. This festival celebrates the delicious plum wine made in Kyoto, and you can taste different varieties of plum wine from different parts of Japan. The festival also features food stalls and live music performances, making it a perfect place to spend an autumn evening.

In conclusion, Kyoto’s autumn festivals are a great way to experience the traditional Japanese culture and enjoy the beauty of the season. Don’t miss out on these amazing festivals during your autumn visit to Kyoto.

Exploring Kyoto’s Natural Beauty

Exploring-Kyotos-Natural-Beauty

Autumn is the perfect time to explore Kyoto’s natural beauty. From the colourful leaves to the breathtaking sunsets, there’s no shortage of stunning sights to see. Here are some of the best ways to experience Kyoto’s natural beauty during the autumn season.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. The towering bamboo stalks create a serene and peaceful atmosphere that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Take a leisurely stroll through the grove and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Philosopher’s Path

The Philosopher’s Path is a picturesque walking trail that follows a canal lined with cherry trees. During the autumn season, the leaves turn a vibrant shade of red and orange, creating a stunning contrast against the water. Take a leisurely walk along the path and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings.

Hozugawa River Cruise

For a unique perspective on Kyoto’s natural beauty, take a Hozugawa River Cruise. The cruise takes you down the Hozugawa River, where you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery. The autumn leaves provide a colourful backdrop as you glide down the river, making for an unforgettable experience.

Monkey Park

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Kyoto’s natural beauty, head to the Monkey Park. Located in the Arashiyama area, the park is home to over 170 Japanese macaques. The park offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll through a bamboo grove or an adventurous river cruise, Kyoto’s natural beauty has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the beauty of autumn in Kyoto.

Autumn Delicacies in Kyoto

Autumn-Delicacies-in-Kyoto

Autumn in Kyoto is not only about the beautiful fall foliage but also about the delicious seasonal delicacies that the city has to offer. From Matsutake mushrooms to Kuri Gohan, Kyoto has a lot to offer to your taste buds during this season.

One of the most sought-after delicacies during autumn in Kyoto is Matsutake mushrooms. These mushrooms are considered a luxury item and are often used in traditional Japanese cuisine. You can find them in various dishes such as soups, rice dishes, and even tempura.

Another must-try dish during autumn in Kyoto is Kuri Gohan. This is a traditional Japanese dish made with chestnuts and rice. The chestnuts are cooked with the rice, giving it a nutty and sweet taste that is perfect for the season.

If you have a sweet tooth, then you must try Japanese sweets or Wagashi. These sweets are often made with seasonal ingredients and are beautifully crafted. Some of the popular autumn Wagashi include Kuri Yokan, which is a sweet chestnut paste, and Momiji Manju, which is a maple leaf-shaped cake filled with sweet bean paste.

Kyoto Matsutake Mushrooms are also a popular ingredient in many traditional Japanese sweets during autumn. You can find them in Wagashi such as Matsutake Yokan, which is a jelly-like sweet made with Matsutake mushrooms and sugar.

In conclusion, Autumn in Kyoto is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the taste buds. With a variety of seasonal delicacies to try, you are sure to have an unforgettable culinary experience during your visit to Kyoto in autumn.

Visiting Kyoto in Early November and December

Visiting-Kyoto-in-Early-November-and-December

If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto in the fall, early November and December are great times to visit. While the peak foliage season is usually in mid to late November, you can still catch some beautiful autumn colours in early November. Plus, the crowds are usually smaller, and the weather is still pleasant.

During early November, some of the best places to see autumn foliage in Kyoto include Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Tofukuji Temple, and Arashiyama. Kiyomizu-dera is especially beautiful at this time, as the leaves turn shades of red and orange, and the temple is illuminated in the evenings. Tofukuji Temple is also a great spot to see the autumn colours, with its long, covered walkway lined with maple trees.

In December, the foliage season is winding down, but there are still some beautiful spots to visit. The Okochi Sanso Garden is a peaceful retreat from the city, with winding paths and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is also worth a visit, as the bamboo takes on a golden hue in the autumn light.

Aside from foliage viewing, there are plenty of other things to do in Kyoto during this time of year. The Gion Odori, a traditional dance performance, takes place in early November, showcasing the skill and elegance of maiko and geiko. And in December, the Arashiyama Momiji Festival celebrates the end of the foliage season with food stalls, music, and dance performances.

Overall, visiting Kyoto in early November and December is a great way to experience the beauty of the fall season without the crowds. Whether you’re interested in foliage viewing or cultural events, there’s plenty to see and do in Kyoto during this time of year.

Hidden Gems in Kyoto

Hidden-Gems-in-Kyoto

Kyoto is a city full of hidden gems. These are the places that are off the beaten path and not as well-known as some of the city’s more popular tourist attractions. During the autumn season, these hidden gems are even more special, with the changing colours of the leaves adding an extra layer of beauty to their already stunning surroundings.

Kenninji Temple

Kenninji Temple is a hidden gem that is located in the heart of Kyoto. It is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto and is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful architecture. During the autumn season, the temple’s gardens are filled with vibrant colours, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

Nanzen-Ji Temple

Nanzen-Ji Temple is a hidden gem that is located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto. It is a large temple complex that is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful architecture. During the autumn season, the temple’s gardens are filled with vibrant colours, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

Bishamondo Temple

Bishamondo Temple is a hidden gem that is located in the northern part of Kyoto. It is a small temple that is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful architecture. During the autumn season, the temple’s gardens are filled with vibrant colours, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

Enkoji Temple

Enkoji Temple is a hidden gem that is located in the eastern part of Kyoto. It is a small temple that is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful architecture. During the autumn season, the temple’s gardens are filled with vibrant colours, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

Jojakko-Ji Temple

Jojakko-Ji Temple is a hidden gem that is located in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto. It is a small temple that is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful architecture. During the autumn season, the temple’s gardens are filled with vibrant colours, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll.

These hidden gems are just a few of the many stunning spots that Kyoto has to offer during the autumn season. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a place to take some stunning photos, these hidden gems are sure to impress.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have discovered some of the best things to do in Kyoto during autumn. With so many events, festivals, and beautiful places to visit, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained.

During this season, Kyoto is transformed into a colourful wonderland of autumn leaves, seasonal foods, and exciting events. From the Arashiyama Momiji Festival to the Kurama Fire Festival, there is something for everyone.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, Kyoto is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. With its rich history, stunning nature, and unique culture, it is no wonder that Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to explore the best of Kyoto in autumn. We hope you have an unforgettable experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top spots to see autumn leaves in Kyoto?

Kyoto is known for its breathtaking autumn foliage, and there are many spots where you can enjoy the vibrant colours of the season. Some of the most popular places to see autumn leaves in Kyoto are Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Tofuku-ji Temple, and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. These places get very crowded during peak season, so it’s best to plan your visit early in the morning or on a weekday.

Which autumn festivals are celebrated in Kyoto?

Kyoto is home to many autumn festivals, each with its unique traditions and celebrations. Some of the most popular festivals are Jidai Matsuri, Kurama Fire Festival, and Higashiyama Hanatoro. These festivals are a great way to experience Japanese culture and customs.

What are the best things to do in Kyoto in September?

September is a great time to visit Kyoto as the weather is mild, and the autumn foliage starts to appear. Some of the best things to do in Kyoto in September are visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine, taking a stroll through the Philosopher’s Path, and attending the Miyako Odori dance performance.

Where are the best places to visit in Osaka during autumn?

If you have some extra time, Osaka is a great city to visit during the autumn season. Some of the best places to see autumn foliage in Osaka are Osaka Castle Park, Kema Sakuranomiya Park, and Minoo Park. These places offer stunning views of the autumn leaves and are great for a day trip from Kyoto.

What is the weather like in Kyoto during November?

November is a great time to visit Kyoto as the autumn foliage is at its peak, and the weather is mild. The average temperature in November is around 12°C to 19°C, so it’s best to bring warm clothes and a jacket. It can get quite chilly in the evenings, so make sure to dress appropriately.

How do the Japanese celebrate autumn in Kyoto?

Japanese people celebrate autumn in many ways, and Kyoto is no exception. Some of the most popular autumn activities in Kyoto are visiting temples and shrines, enjoying seasonal food and drinks, and attending autumn festivals. Many Japanese people also enjoy hiking and taking nature walks to see the autumn foliage.


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