Kyoto is famous for its hundreds of temples and shrines that are spread across the city and its forested, mountainous outskirts. Many of these places have gardens that are carefully maintained (see my favs on Google Maps). Of course, their autumn colors vary in intensity and progress each year. If you, however, go in the second half of November, you should see some crimson-colored maple leaves for sure. One of my favorite resources for planning an itinerary are the autumn color reports from japan-guide.com.
Kyoto has been the capital of Japan for more than thousand years until the Imperial Court moved to Tokyo in 1868. It is still considered the nation’s cultural heart.
In order to preserve its historic and natural landscapes, the city has strict building regulations put in place, corresponding to its rather low-rise skyline. The result is a characteristic little-town feel, contrasting Kyoto’s size and its population of almost 1.5 million.