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Kyoto Fall Foliage 2023: 5 Best Places to Visit in Kyoto During Autumn

If you are visiting Japan for the fall, Kyoto is a must. The oldest capital of Japan becomes a totally different place as autumn hits.

Experiencing fall foliage is one of the best things to do in Kyoto. Fall foliage in Kyoto starts sometime in October. The leaves start to change colors by then. But the peak of fall foliage typically comes around mid-November until December's first week.

Kyoto is very popular among tourists—both local and international—in the fall. Nevertheless, the first two weeks of October usually have less foot traffic. The bulk of tourists start to arrive in the second week of October. Don’t fret, though. We highly recommend arriving later in October as this is when most of the leaves turn into deep orange colors.

5 Places to Visit in Kyoto in Autumn

If you are wondering where to go in Kyoto this fall, here are the best places to visit:

1. Togetsu-kyo Bridge

One of the most popular spots for viewing autumn leaves is Togetsu-kyo in Arashiyama. The bridge is actually part of the entire picture as it’s superimposed against the mountainous background. Hop on a yakatabune or rent a row boat to experience the river. It’s a must-visit after or before your visit to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.

  • Admission: Free

  • Hours: 24 hours

  • Address: 1-5 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8384, Japan

2. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Popular all year round, expect Kiyomizu-dera to be more popular in the fall. This Buddhist temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by thick forests and an overlooking view of the city. Be there before sunset to witness one of the most scenic landscapes you will ever see.

  • Admission: 400 yen

  • Hours: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

  • Address: 1 Chome-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0862, Japan

3. Kodai-ji Temple

Founded in 1605 by the retired shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Kodai-ji is known for its awe-inspiring gardens. In the fall, the gardens turn into magnificent, colorful foliage, making it very popular throughout the season. Follow trails and enjoy being surrounded by Mother Nature.

  • Admission: 600 yen

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

  • Address: 526 Shimogawara-cho Kodaiji,Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto,605-0825 Japan

4. Tofuku-ji Temple

One of the most well-loved temples in Kyoto for fall foliage is Tofuku-ji. It is home to many attractions that you should visit, including the Sanmon Gate, Hojo Garden, Kaisando Hall, and Tsuten-kyo Bridge. Be sure to head to Fushimi Inari Shrine before or after.

  • Admission: 400 yen

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

  • Address: 15 Chome-778 Honmachi, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0981, Japan

5. Eikando Temple

Having over 3,000 maple trees that light up at night, Eikando Temple looks like straight out of a painting in the fall. Although it gets very crowded in the season, located beside the end of Philopher’s Path, it’s still worth a visit.

  • Admission: 600 yen

  • Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

  • Address: 48 Eikandocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8445, Japan


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