Autumn in Kyoto

Zenrin-ji Eikan-do Temple Garden, Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto has hundreds of temple and shrine gardens spread out across the city, making it Japan’s most popular location to watch autumn foliage. During fall, these places will show some striking colors (see my favorites on Google Maps).

Depending on the weather and the situation, intensity and progress of the colors will vary greatly. The best time to go is the second half of November in general. You get to see plenty of crimson-colored maple leaves (momiji) for sure then. For more details when planning your itinerary, just check out the autumn color reports from

Daihikaku Senko-ji Temple and Saginomori Shrine Approach, Kyoto, Japan.

Kyoto’s Small Town Feel

The former Japanese capital, generally seen as the nation’s cultural heart, offers plenty of old-world sights, many of which are acknowledged as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic quarters have a distinct small town feel, obscuring the fact that it hosts a population of almost 1.5 million in total. The city’s low-rise skyline comes into play here. New development projects are subject to strict height limits, helping preserve its largely traditional appearance. 

Komyo-ji temple garden, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, Japan.