Itinerary for autumn leaves in eastern Kyoto around Kiyomizu Temple
The famous Kiyomizu Temple “fetal experience” also starts at 9 a.m. making this the perfect time. In the experience you walk around the completely dark Zuikudo Hall while feeling a Sanskrit character in the middle with your hands. The autumn leaves of Kiyomizu Temple will surely look even more vivid after you come out from the darkness of the Zuikudo Hall.
These slopes are not only pretty to look at, but there are also many interesting shops around them selling all kinds of souvenirs. There’s even a Starbucks that’s located in a 100-year old Kyoto town house! This Starbucks even has tatami seating. Note that it’s so popular that it might be hard to get inside as you’re not allowed to line in front of the café, but at 11 a.m. you should stand a chance.
If you want to buy some very nice matcha cookies, you could consider getting some at Malebranche. While their cookies and chocolate are not cheap, the quality is well worth it.
The temple area is really big and continues up the mountain, where you can even find a little bamboo grove. So without going to Arashiyama you get to see both autumn leaves and a bamboo grove, isn’t that nice.
And what’s best about the shrine is not the shrine itself, but the park: Maruyama Park is almost breathtaking in autumn. And what’s even better, it’s not as crowded as it is during the cherry blossom season.
Or you could also consider heading for Negiya-Heikichi in Ponto-cho for some dinner and call it a day temple-wise.
First, Chion-in, this temple is the head temple of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism, and the importance of the temple is easy to know from the huge main gate which is the first thing that welcomes you to the temple.
Negi in Japanese means green onion, and you do get a lot of green onion with your sukiyaki. So for those who like green onion this is the place to be in Kyoto. The meat they use is wagyu beef, so the fat in it has that distinctive sweetness to it so it goes really well with green onion.
The Japanese way to eat would be to dip the beef into raw egg, but you can also put some egg to the soup if you don’t want to eat raw egg.