Top 10 Autumn Colour in Kyoto, November (Part I)

2014.11.20
Its November, and Autumn colour also comes to Kansai region of Japan. Many travel agents start to generate theme trip “紅葉狩り!京都へ行こう!”(Let's go to see Autumn colour in Kyoto!). Hence, its easy to understand that Kyoto is the perfect place to enjoy Autumn colours.
Based on the Japan weather forecast, Autumn colours might delay to December compare with previous year due to Japan is having a mild-winter this year (2014). This time, we would like to introduce you the Top 10 places for viewing Autumn colours in Kyoto, and we will send our assistants to experience these places and provide more detailed information later.
We would like to emphasized that these top 10 places are all have its own specialty and natural beauty, therefore there is no specific ranking order. This article is Part I only.
1. Mountain temple, Bridge, Gardens, beautiful views at Toufukuji
Toufukuji (とうふくじ)is located in Higashiyama-ku in Kyoto, right beside Daihon mountain and was built in 1236. It is one of the Five Great Temple of Kyoto. The temple is very luxurious and magnificent, and is the biggest in Kyoto. The name is a combination of the names of two great temples in Nara “Todaiji” and “Kofukuji”.

通天橋
The most popular view to see Autumn colour at Toufukuji is of the Tsutenkyo Bridge, which spans a valley of lush maple trees. You willl see the graceful and gorgeous autumn foliage from the Tsutenkyo Bridge where been called “beautiful scenery” by Japanese. In addition, apart from the Toufukuji, Ryougin-an is also worth to visit where is one of the Japanese National Treasure Buildings.
Address: 15-778, Hon-machi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto.
Hours: 8:30~16:00
Admission: 400 yen regular fee, 500 yen for Ryougin-an.
Access: By JR Nara Line and Keihan Main Line, and take off “Tofukuji” Station, about 10 minutes walk towards to East South.
 075-551-5321
When calling from outside Japan, replace the first 0 in the telephone number with 81.
2. World Cultral Heritage, the most popular tourist attraction – Kiyomizudera.
Not only been well-known in Japan, world famous temple – Kiyomizudera (きよみずでら)is the oldest temple in Kyoto. Kiyomizudera is located halfway up Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto City. It is a historic temple and was established in 778, and developed before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. “Kiyomizu Stage” was developed by using a special method; huge 12-meter high keyaki(Japanese Zelkova) pillars were assembled without using a single nail and the floor was installed using more than 410 cypress boards. The view of the city centre of Kyoto from the Stage is magnificent. The main hall – Hondo of the temple is designated as a national treasure, and other important cultral properties such as Deva gate, west gate, three-storied pagoda and bell tower. It was registered on the UNESCO World Cultrual Heritage List in 1994.

Kiyomizu Stage at Autumn night
The main area to view the Autumn colour at Kiyomizudera is “Kiyomizu Stage.” Viewing numerous maple trees from the Stage, just like viewing a beautiful extensive ocean covers with red leaves. Especially it has special illuminations during the autumn leaf season at night, which is another mysterious beauty of nature.
Address: 1-chome, Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto.
Hours: ordinary 6:00~18:00 special night 18:30~21:30
Admission: 300 yen per adult, 200 yen per primary and junior high school student.
Special night: 400 yen per adult, 200 yen per primary and junior high school student
Access: City bus from Kyoto Station, get off at the Kiyomizu-michi Stop on Route 207, and walk for 10 minutes.
 075-551-1234
When calling from outside Japan, replace the first 0 in the telephone number with 81.
3. Shining in gold, red in Autumn, special and beautiful Autumn colour at Kinkakuji.
Kinkakuji(きんかくじ), the official name is Rokuonji (ろくおんじ)was established in 1397. It is a zen temple is completely covered in golf leaf, therefore also name “Golden Pavilion”, and was registered on the UNESCO World Cultrual Heritage List in 1994.
Kinkakuji has an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, where are the main spots for viewing Autumn colours. There is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva inside the Pavilion. A 3 floor-building seats in the middle of the Mirror Pond and top of the building has a bronze phoenix ornament. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf, so it creates a unique and elegant view when it reflects by Autumn sun. It is such beautiful to see these maple leaves drop into the pond.
Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto.
Hours: 9:00~17:00
Admission: 400 yen per adult, 300 per elementary and junior high school student.
Access: Take bus number 10 1 or 205 direct from Kyoto Station.
 075-461-0013
When calling from outside Japan, replace the first 0 in the telephone number with 81.
4. Beside cherry blossoms, Autumn colours at Daigoji are also outstanding.

Bentendo Hall
Daigoji was established in 874, and located in South East of Kyoto which has thousand years history. The temple complex of Kami Daigo (the upper part of Daigo), Shimo Daigo (the lower part of Daigo) and Sanboin. The Shimo Daigo and Sanboin are the most popular and famous areas of Daigoji. The Five-stories Pagoda was completed in 951, and is the oldest building. Sanboin was developed in 1115, and was well-known for the cherry blossom viewing party for Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The main buildings are designated as national treasures or important cultural assets.

Five-stories Pagoda
Kinkakuji has an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond, where are the main spots for viewing Autumn colours. There is a seated Kannon Bodhisattva inside the Pavilion. A 3 floor-building seats in the middle of the Mirror Pond and top of the building has a bronze phoenix ornament. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf, so it creates a unique and elegant view when it reflects by Autumn sun. It is such beautiful to see these maple leaves drop into the pond.
Address: 22 Higashioji-cho, Daigo, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.
Hours: 9:00~17:00
Admission: 600 yen per adult, 300 yen for senior high and junior high school student, free admission for primary school student.
Access: From JR Kyoto Station, JR Biwako Line or Kosei line5 minutes to Yamashina Station. Change to metro Tozai Line and get off at “Daigo Station” and about 8 minutes walk.
 075-571-0002
When calling from outside Japan, replace the first 0 in the telephone number with 81.
5. Two windows show beautiful Autumn colours at Genkouan.
Genkouan established in 1346, and the official name is Yohozan Hojurin Genkouan and already had 650 year history. At here might not have an impressive grand sight of Autumn colour, but this place is famous for the beautiful view from two windows looking out over the temple's garden. Especially for Japanese professional photographers who love this place and take Autumn colour in the season. Sometimes the photographers even compare which photo contains highest realm of Zen spirit.

Left: The Window of Enlightenment. Right: The Window of Confusion
The main hall contains the historical Buddha and of Kannon Bodhisattva, and two windows consist high realm of Zen spirit. The round one in the left is the “The Window of Enlightenment”(悟りの窓) implying realization and non-prejudice. If someone has been enlightened, the window is as big as universe space. The square window in the right is “The Window of Confusion”(迷いの窓), imply delusion and human suffering.
Address: 47 Kita-Takagamine-cho, Takagamine Kita-ku, Kyoto.
Hours: 9:30~17:00
Admission: 400 yen.
Access: Take subway Karasuma Line and get off at “Kitaōji Station”, and take city bus route 1 and get off at “Genko-an-mae” and 5 minutes walk.
 075-492-1858
When calling from outside Japan, replace the first 0 in the telephone number with 81.