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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Japan: Best Autumn Color Spots near Kyoto

There are many places in Japan are good for autumn-color viewing.  Kyoto is one of the tourist's choices.  To view autumn colors, the timing is everything.  Leaves normally change colors from mid-Nov to early-Dec in Kyoto area.  Be warned that heavy rain may ruin the colors easily.  The good news is that December in Kyoto is the driest month on average.

Autumn Color Spots


Based on japan-guide.com, the best 5 spots to view autumn colors in Kyoto are:

Tofukuji (東福寺) best of Japan
Mid to late November
Usually best in the second half of November, Tofukuji Temple displays some of Kyoto's most spectacular autumn foliage. The views of and from the Tsutenkyo Bridge are particularly impressive, and the temple gets very crowded.
Arashiyama (嵐山) best of Japan
Late November to early December
Arashiyama is a district at the outskirts of Kyoto. The forested mountains in the background and the trees on the grounds of Arashiyama's temples usually turn colors in the second half of November.
Kiyomizudera (清水寺) best of Japan
Late November to early December
The highly popular Kiyomizudera is also a spectacular autumn color spot. The trees around the temples large wooded stages usually turn red in the second half of November.
Eikando (永觀堂) best of Japan
Late November to early December
With their abundance of autumn colors, the temple grounds of Eikandoare another of Kyoto's most popular koyo spots. It is one of several temples that offer special illumination opening hours in the evenings.
Yoshiminedera (善峯寺) best of Japan
Mid to late November
Similar to Kiyomizudera on Kyoto's eastern mountains (Higashiyama 東山),Yoshiminedera is a temple on the slopes of Kyoto's western mountains (Nishiyama 西山) with nice views over the city and beautiful autumn colors.
    But, the rankings could be different based on different opinions.  For example, based on Japanesquest, its top 5 rankings are a bit different from the above.  However, it also provides the night viewing rankings.  So, do check the video out below.[16]



    Kyoto Walks and Itineraries

    • Higashiyama District (東山best of Japan
      • Kiyomizudera (清水寺)
      • Sannenzaka (三年坂)/ninenzaka (二年坂) shops
        • The shops usually open relatively late (around 10am) and close relatively early (around 5pm)
        • Kiyomizuzaka is super-crowded most of the time, but Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka don't usually get super-packed on regular weekdays.
        • Yasaka Pagoda
        • Yasaka Shrine
        • Maruyama Park (円山公園)
          • Gion (祇園)
            • It is Kyoto's most famous geisha district, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. It is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain
            • .See the route details here
            • Along the old canal
            • Northern Kyoto Half Day


            References

            1. Best Autumn Color Spots (main source of this article)
            2. Access and Transportation (Kyoto)
            3. Narita Airport to Kyoto (route search)
              • The best way to get to Kyoto is by taking the Narita Express to Tokyo station and transfer there to the Shinkansen
            4. Japan Rail Pass
            5. Japan Rail Group
              • 7 days 62,950 YEN 
              • 14 days 81,870 YEN
            6. Visa requirements
            7. Kyoto: Annual Weather Averages
            8. Kyoto (Wikitravel)
            9. AVERAGE MONTHLY SNOW AND RAINFALL IN KYOTO (MILLIMETER)
            10. Suggested Kyoto Itineraries and Side Trips (good)
            11. Japanese Guest Houses (Ryokan reservation) 
            12. japanican.com
            13. Official website of Koyasan (高野山)
            14. Kyoto Walks (JNTO; good)
            15. Sento (銭湯) Guide (Kyoto)
            16. 5 Places to See the Fall Colors of Kyoto! | Video Japan Guide  (video)
            17. 10 Best Places to Visit in Kyoto! | Video Japan Guide  (video)
            18. Public toilets in Japan
              • "Public toilets are usually readily available all over Japan, and can be found in department stores, supermarkets, book stores, CD shops, parks, most convenience stores, and in all but the most rural train stations."
            19. Hyperdia (good)
              • "HyperDia" is a service which offers the route and the timetable of the railway and the aviation of Japan.
            20. Enjoy Kyoto-style Vegetarian Cuisine!
              • shojin ryori (精進料理)—Buddhist cuisine
              • obanzai (おばんざい) —Obanzai cooking heavily relies on vegetables and seafood, prepared simply.
            21. Kyoto Dream Trips (photos)
            22. Tips: Traveling in Japan (Travel for a Purpose)
            23. Cultural Immersion: Experiencing a Traditional Market in Kyoto (Travel for a Purpose)
            24. Rail Passes for the Kansai Region (important)
              • A myriad of tickets and rail passes are available to help tourists save some money
            25. Benefits of Kansai Thru Pass (2 days / 3 days)
              • Discounts at Ryoanji Temple, Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, etc.
            26. Arashiyama in Kyoto Tour! - Video Japan Guide (video)
            27. The four seasons in Kyoto(Japan), Autumn leaves【四季の京都、秋・紅葉】 (video)
            28. Hotels (Japanology on Youtube; video)
            29. Kyoto Travel: Visitng North-Western Area (Travel for a Purpose)
            30. Kyoto Travel—Visiting Ohara for Autumn Colors and Moss Garden  (Travel for a Purpose)
            31. Weather forecast (Japan Meteorological Agency)
            32. Kyoto 14 day weather forecast, Japan 
            33. Visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)—Personal Experience  (Travel for a Purpose)

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