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.
Japan Rail Pass
Japan Rail Group
Kyoto: Annual Weather Averages
AVERAGE MONTHLY SNOW AND RAINFALL IN KYOTO (MILLIMETER)
Suggested Kyoto Itineraries and Side Trips (good)
Japanese Guest Houses (Ryokan reservation)
Official website of Koyasan (高野山)
Kyoto Walks (JNTO; good)
Sento (銭湯) Guide (Kyoto)
5 Places to See the Fall Colors of Kyoto! | Video Japan Guide (video)
10 Best Places to Visit in Kyoto! | Video Japan Guide (video)
Public toilets in Japan
Enjoy Kyoto-style Vegetarian Cuisine!
Kyoto Dream Trips (photos)
Tips: Traveling in Japan (Travel for a Purpose)
Cultural Immersion: Experiencing a Traditional Market in Kyoto (Travel for a Purpose)
Rail Passes for the Kansai Region (important)
Benefits of Kansai Thru Pass (2 days / 3 days)
Arashiyama in Kyoto Tour! - Video Japan Guide (video)
The four seasons in Kyoto(Japan), Autumn leaves【四季の京都、秋・紅葉】 (video)
Hotels (Japanology on Youtube; video)
Kyoto Travel: Visitng North-Western Area (Travel for a Purpose)
Kyoto Travel—Visiting Ohara for Autumn Colors and Moss Garden (Travel for a Purpose)
Weather forecast (Japan Meteorological Agency)
Kyoto 14 day weather forecast, Japan
Visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)—Personal Experience (Travel for a Purpose)
Autumn Color Spots
Based on japan-guide.com, the best 5 spots to view autumn colors in Kyoto are:
Kyoto Walks and Itineraries
- Higashiyama District (東山)
- 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
- .Local scholars call the little alley flanking the canal "Philosopher's Path"
- See the route details here
- Northern Kyoto Half Day
- Southeastern Kyoto
- Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社; video)
- It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. However, read this etiquette guidelines before you head for it.
- Tofukuji Temple | (東福寺)
- Tofukuji is a large Zen temple in southeastern Kyoto that is particularly famous for its spectacular autumn colors.
- Arashiyama (嵐山) Full Day
- Monkey park (see this video)
- Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street
- Togetsu-kyo Bridge (渡月橋)
- Bamboo forest
- Sagano Scenic Railway (嵯峨野観光鉄道, also known as the Sagano Romantic Train or Sagano Torokko)
- See the route details here and here
- Ohara Area (大原)
- Best Autumn Color Spots (main source of this article)
- Access and Transportation (Kyoto)
- 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
- 7 days 62,950 YEN
- 14 days 81,870 YEN
- Kurama Onsen
- Tenzan No Yu
- May need to bring an own towel
- http://www.day-onsen.com/area26.aspx (in Japanese)
- http://www.chikara-u.com/ (in Japanese)
- "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."
- "HyperDia" is a service which offers the route and the timetable of the railway and the aviation of Japan.
- shojin ryori (精進料理)—Buddhist cuisine
- obanzai (おばんざい) —Obanzai cooking heavily relies on vegetables and seafood, prepared simply.
- A myriad of tickets and rail passes are available to help tourists save some money
- Discounts at Ryoanji Temple, Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, etc.