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Kyoto: Peak Colors

Colors across the valley at Tofukuji Temple

Late November is typically the period when the cities in eastern through to western Japan reach their peak. Today, the last Monday of November, I headed into central Kyoto to check on the autumn colors in the city. I am pleased to report that the colors in Kyoto are at their peak, and I expect this new week to be one of the best times to see some amazing autumn colors. Great weather is forecast for the rest of the week and the colors should remain at their best till the end of the month.

Tofukuji Temple

Peak Color

Tofukuji Temple is one of the top spots in Kyoto to see autumn colors and today, the colors were nothing short of spectacular. The temple is extremely popular during this season and I would advice those planning to go to head there about 30-45 minutes after opening, instead of before the temple opens, to avoid the long lines at the entrance. I expect the colors to improve even more over the next few days and the rest of this week to be the best time to see autumn colors at their best.

Morning view of Tsutenkyo Bridge
This was the crowd only five minutes after the temple opened
So much color at every turn
Hi bridge!
Into the valley
Fluffy moss and maple-y leaves
Miniature life

Nanzenji Temple

Peak Color

Over at Nanzenji Temple, I visited the sub-temple Tenjuan Temple. I found the colors in the garden behind the main building at Tenjuan to be very vivid and expect the spectacular colors to continue through this week. Around Nanzenji Temple's Sanmon and the nearby aqueduct, the maple leaves were also showing beautiful hues of orange and red. Similarly, I expect the colors here to last through the week.

Window view at Tenjuan
Into the garden
Dry garden and autumn colors
Autumn colors
Bridge over still waters
Can't get enough of this view
Imagine living here and having this view always
Looking at Nanzenji Temple's main hall
Colors around Nanzenji
Aqueduct and autumn colors

Eikando Temple

Peak Color

Eikando Temple is another popular autumn leaf spots in Kyoto. Today, the colors had developed even more intensity than when Schauwecker was there five days ago, especially the trail area above the pond. I expect the colors here to remain good through the rest of this week, but not much longer into December as some of the more advanced trees have already started showing signs of the start of the end. Until December 2, Eikando is illuminated from 17:30 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30) and admission during the light up time costs 600 yen.

Entrance to Eikando
Much red, very autumn
Outside the main hall
Trail above the pond looking quite colorful
Seeing orange and red
Lanterns to guide the way
View from the pagoda at the top
Peak autumn at Eikando
Temple grounds
Seen enough autumn colors yet?
Main gate into the temple grounds

Kiyomizudera Temple

Peak Color

Kiyomizudera Temple is a popular temple in Kyoto, and offers autumn colors for visitors to see as well. I found the maple trees in the valley to have developed more colors and am pleased to report that they have reached their peak. The leaves at Kiyomizudera should remain nice to see through the rest of this week and possibly into early December as well. Until December 2, Kiyomizudera is illuminated from 17:30 to 21:00.

Colors around Kiyomizudera Temple
Looking across the valley to the Koyasu Pagoda
Maple trees at the base of the main stage
Trees in the valley
Pond and pagoda at Kiyomizudera