seasonal-koyo-approaching seasonal-koyo-beyond seasonal-koyo-brown seasonal-koyo-green seasonal-koyo-red seasonal-koyo-starting seasonal-koyo-yellow seasonal-sakura-aboutToOpen seasonal-sakura-endOfSeason seasonal-sakura-fullBloom seasonal-sakura-justOpened seasonal-sakura-notOpen seasonal-sakura-opening seasonal-sakura-petalsFalling seasonal-sakura-petalsStarting seasonal-sakura-simple-bestViewing seasonal-sakura-simple-falling seasonal-sakura-simple-finished seasonal-sakura-simple-notOpen seasonal-sakura-simple-opening

Kyoto: Starting to Change

Colors at Eikando

As we enter the second week of November, the autumn colors are moving slowly but surely towards the major cities. I visited Kyoto today, about a week after Sam's last visit to the old capital.

I am pleased to report that colors at the places I visited today are progressing well, and it will not be too long before they reach their best viewing which I expect to be towards the end of the month.

Daigoji Temple:
Starting to Change

My first stop was Daigoji Temple in southeastern Kyoto. The temple is famous for its cherry blossoms, but the autumn colors are also very pretty as well. I found that the leaves were still under the midway mark to their best. The trees in the temple grounds suffered substantial damage during the typhoons that hit the region in the previous months, but the cultural properties on the grounds were not badly hit. From November 16 until December 2, the Shimo Daigo area will be illuminated from 18;00 to 20:50 (entry until 20:10).

Colors at Daigoji Temple
Autumn around the Benten Shrine
Still a while to go before it's peak here
A sprinkle of color at the gate near the Benten Shrine
Mostly green in the woods behind the Benten Shrine
Colors at the Sanboin and the Karamon Gate
Used to be lots of trees here, but it's all empty now
Main approach to Shimo Daigo
Garden in Sanboin with a bit of color

Nanzenji Temple:
Starting to Change

Moving to the popular Nanzenji Temple in central Kyoto. I found the colors there to be just under the halfway mark to their best and it will be about a week or so before they reach their best. Unfortunately, the nearby Tenjuan Temple was closed when I was there today but the colors I saw from the outside were extremely promising. I expect the best viewing at Nanzenji Temple to be around the coming weekend.

Bottom of the Sanmon at Nanzenji Temple
Looking down from the Sanmon Gate
Colors looking good at Tenjuan Temple
Autumn afternoon near the aquaduct
Still slightly green at the back of the main hall

Eikando Temple:
Approaching Peak

Finally, I made my way to Eikando Temple, a popular autumn color spot in Kyoto. I found the colors to be developed on the exterior but still green on the inside. Overall, the colors were at their midway to their best and I expect them to improve further over the week. Until December 2, the temple grounds are illuminated from 17:30 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30). Daytime opening hours are from 9:00 to 16:00 and visitors will have to exit and reenter again for the illumination. A separate fee of 600 yen is charged for admission to the light up event, while the entrance fee costs 1000 yen during the daytime.

It was definitely crowded at Eikando Temple when I was there
Looking down the tea house area from the pagoda at Eikando
Looks nice from here
But it's still pretty green once you walk in
Orange and green this time
View from the pagoda
Teahouse area was well patronised
It was also very pretty
Colors of the leaves
Curled leaves
Entrance of Eikando

Tours and travel services