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

M for Momiji (maple tree)

Warmer temperatures were recorded over the last few months across Japan, and that contributed to the slow start and slight delay to the autumn color season, while the typhoon and heavy rains in the last month caused damage to the trees and leaves in certain areas. Temperature lows for this week are forecast to be a few degree Celsius lower compared to the average year, and this should provide the trees that turn colors a good push towards developing their attractive autumn hues.

I spent the day in Kyoto to bring you our first Kyoto autumn color report of 2019. There are many autumn color spots in Kyoto, and I visited some of the popular ones. I am pleased to report that the colors have just started showing in the city. Given the good weather forecast for the rest of this week, I expect the best viewing period in Kyoto to be in the second half of November, in about two weeks from now.

Tofukuji Temple

Starting to Change

I started my day at the popular autumn color spot Tofukuji Temple. The temple sees large crowds at the peak of the season, but was refreshingly empty today when I was there due to the lack of autumn colors. The maple trees in the temple garden had just taken on a touch of color, and I expect them to develop more intensity over the next week or two. The best viewing period is expected to start from around the second half of November. The temple garden is open from 8:30 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00) until December 8, and admission costs 400 yen.

Looking at Tsutenkyo Bridge from across the valley
A hint of color in the garden
Still mostly green inside
The view from Tsutenkyo Bridge

Eikando Temple

Starting to Change

Eikando Temple is another popular autumn color spot in Kyoto. Today, I found that the autumn colors have begun at the temple, and the hues were more intense near the pond than elsewhere. I expect more colors to develop over the next week or two, especially around the main hall, and the best viewing period to start in the second half of November.

From November 6 to December 4, Eikando Temple will be illuminated in the evenings from 17:30 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30) and entry during the illumination event costs 600 yen. Daytime entry is between 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00) and costs 1000 yen. Note that the daytime ticket does not allow for admission during the illumination period, and a separate ticket will have to be purchased.

Tahoto Pagoda with some colors below
The momiji corridor is still very green
Vibrance gets the attention
Autumn colors around the pond
Last look at the entrance before leaving

Togetsukyo Bridge

Starting to Change

Arashiyama is a popular tourist destination in the outskirts of Kyoto. Today, I took a walk near the popular Togetsukyo Bridge to see how the colors were faring. I am pleased to report that the trees have taken on some autumn hues, and I expect the best viewing period to start from the later half of November.

Togetsukyo Bridge
Some colors along the river
Always green in the bamboo forest

Jojakkoji Temple

Starting to Change

My last stop for the day was Jojakkoji Temple, a popular autumn color spot in Kyoto and one of my favourite spots as well. Today, the maple trees on the temple grounds were still mostly green with a smattering of orange and yellow hues. It should not be long before the leaves take on more colors, and I expect the best viewing period to start from the second half of November.

Very green entrance
Stairway to autumn in time to come
Some colors around the bell tower
My favourite part of autumn

Tours and Travel Services