Apr. 18, 2017 UPDATE

The absolutely best spots to see autumn leaves in Arashiyama!

Sometimes it may be hard to choose where to go in Arashiyama during the autumn leaves season, especially because it's so crowded. But fear not; Sharing Kyoto has all the best spots!
Erika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

When you think about autumn in Kyoto, you think beautiful red and yellow leaves. While there are plenty of places to see the autumn foliage in Kyoto, one of the most popular is Arashiyama. Many people head to Arashiyama each year to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the autumn leaves at the areas many shrines and temples.


The ShareK staff also traveled to Arashiyama to see the autumn leaves. Here, we will introduce the best spots from the locations we at ShareK visited ourselves! All of the spots are conveniently located close to Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Line, so if you like, you can follow the same route! If you’ re thinking of visiting Arashiyama to see the autumn leaves but you’re not sure where you should go, be sure to take a look!



We began our course at 10:00 a.m. at Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Line. The weather was spectacular; it was a perfect day for enjoying the autumn foliage!



Not far from the station is one of the most famous sights in Arashiyama, Togetsu-kyo Bridge(https://sharing-kyoto.com/see_Togetsukyo-bridge/).


The crisp morning air at Togetsu-kyo Bridge was so refreshing!



The view of Arashiyama from Togetsu-kyo Bridge was incredible! The leaves of many of the trees up on the mountains had changed color, making for spectacular shades of red and yellow, interwoven with the green foliage.



Arashiyama has plenty of shops selling snacks that you can eat on the go.


As we were feeling a little bit peckish, we stopped here for some fried fish cakes. This shop’s specialty is tofu skin and cheese tempura.



The freshly fried fish cakes were hot and delicious! Munching on them as we walked while being careful not to burn ourselves, we headed to our first destination.



Once we had crossed Togetsu-kyo Bridge, we spotted it in the distance: a quiet temple slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of Arashiyama’s main tourist street. With nothing but houses around, the temple exuded a serene atmosphere.


We had arrived at Rokuo-in Temple, 15 minutes’walk from Togetsu-kyo Bridge. The temple can also be reached via the Randen Tram Line.



Passing through the somewhat mysterious-looking gate, we discovered a cobbled path. The path was lined on both sides with trees, their leaves dyed spectacular shades of red, providing a splendid contrast with the emerald-green shade of the moss.



Such beautiful autumn foliage, in a quiet place like this! Although it was mid-morning, there were only three other groups there, besides ourselves, so we were able to take our time enjoying the view.



There is also a garden inside the temple grounds, which offers wonderful scenery. The clean air left us thoroughly refreshed.


If you’d like to go someplace where you can enjoy a quiet atmosphere, we strongly recommend Rokuo-in Temple. If you’re visiting Arashiyama and don’t mind a bit of a walk, be sure to drop by!



From Rokuo-in Temple, we hopped on the Randen Tram Line that connects Arashiyama with Kyoto’s city center and headed to Arashiyama Station.


The tram is used not only by tourists, but Arashiyama residents as well, and has lots of local character. If you’re in Arashiyama, make sure to ride it at least once!


The area around Arashiyama Station is packed with restaurants and souvenir shops, so you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice. It’s a great place for shopping, but even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll have a great time just looking around!



Leaving Arashiyama Station, we headed to our next destination. Next up was Tenryu-ji Temple(https://sharing-kyoto.com/see_Tenryu-ji-Temple/), one of the most well known places in Arashiyama, and a registered World Heritage Site.



Before entering, we picked up a shuin featuring the temple stamp. Because many tourists visit the temple during the autumn foliage season, they had prepared plenty of shuin in advance. If you would like to have your shuin notebook signed directly, instead of receiving your shuin on a separate piece of paper, we recommend visiting during a less busy time.



Tenryu-ji Temple is a large temple, and is visited by many tourists year round.



The temple is well known for its garden. The Japanese rock garden, vibrant red and yellow autumn leaves, and beautiful pond coalesce to form a picturesque view. Arashiyama’s autumn colors on a fine day are a truly unforgettable sight.



The entry ticket to Tenryu-ji Temple features an illustration of the garden.


The ceiling of the hall of Tenryu-ji Temple is graced with a lively painting of a dragon. Open to the public for a limited time only, we strongly recommended checking it out.



After admiring the autumn leaves at Tenryu-ji Temple, we set off for the nearby Hogon-in Temple. A sub-temple of Tenryu-ji Temple, it is usually sealed off to the public, but accepts visitors during spring and autumn.


Hogon-in Temple is famous for its beautiful autumn colors and garden. For those who want to enjoy the autumn foliage season to the fullest, it’s not to be missed.



The grounds were full of beautiful autumn leaves; everywhere we looked there were shades of red and yellow. The green moss made the colors appear even more vivid.



The temple grounds feature a pond garden called Shishiku Garden, surrounded by maple trees. While it is not a very large temple, it was so beautiful, we caught ourselves losing track of the time.



Light filtered down through the trees, creating breathtaking dreamlike scenery. The large rocks scattered here and there throughout the garden add to its charm.




There is also a rather enchanting teahouse. Hogon-in Temple is one of the best places to see the autumn leaves; we cannot recommend it more.



The many Buddhist statues that stand in front of Hogon-in Temple also make for an interesting sight. The statues’ poses and expressions all differ slightly from one another.


It was a wonderful autumn foliage tour!



In Arashiyama, you can enjoy not only beautiful autumn leaves, but also delicious food. Many restaurants offer typical Kyoto cuisine such as soba noodles and boiled tofu, and there are plenty of popular eateries to choose from.
As most restaurants are busy during the autumn foliage season, we recommend making a reservation.



The embodiment of autumn in Kyoto, Arashiyama. We at ShareK have been honored to introduce our top spots to see the autumn leaves. From the standard stops to little-known hideaways, there are plenty of great spots to enjoy the autumn foliage in Arashiyama. Visit Arashiyama in autumn for a truly unforgettable trip!

A comment from the staff
Shiho
Arashiyama is so famous for its autumn leaves; you could even say that the region epitomizes autumn in Kyoto. If you want to enjoy autumn in Kyoto, Arashiyama is a must-see. We recommend standing on Togetsu-kyo Bridge and looking out at the mountains, dyed with shades of red and yellow, on a clear day. Take in the beautiful scenery as you breathe the crisp autumn air.
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