Oct. 23, 2023 UPDATE

Ohara, Kyoto – Japanese Gardens, Mountain Huts and Autumn Leaves!

In this article, we look at the top sightseeing spots and autumn leaf covered trails of Ohara, Kyoto

Ohara is an area north of Kyoto City and is where the imperial family and nobles once spent their days.

In this article, we look at how to get to Ohara and introduce you to our recommended places to visit.

Even today, Ohara remains home to abundant greenery, temples and a very different atmosphere to Kyoto City.

During autumn, the whole landscape is dyed a shade of dark red, attracting swaths of people looking to get a glimpse.

While relatively far away, Ohara is definitely a worthwhile trip for anyone wanting to see a quieter, more subdued side of Japan.

Kyoto station

There are two main ways of getting to Ohara from Kyoto Station.

 No. 1: Take the Subway to Kokusaikaikan Station (approx. 20 min), then take the No. 19 bus.

 No 2: Take the No. 17 bus from the Kyoto Station bus terminal (approx. 1 hour). 

Sanzen-in Temple

Sanzen-in TempleThe first sightseeing spot on our list, Sanzen-in Temple, is only a 10-minute walk from the nearest bus stop.

This temple is famous for its beautiful moss garden and seasonally shifting landscape. During the temple’s Momiji Matsuri festival, you can enjoy tea and snacks on benches set up around the temple while gazing at the beautiful autumn leaves. This is truly a must-see spot for anyone wanting to experience autumn in Kyoto to its fullest. 

change color

The leaves at the Sanzen-in Temple begin to change color around early November and reach their peak around mid to late November. In addition to the autumn leaves, the scenery of the fresh moss covered in brilliantly colored yellow and red leaves is also a sight to see.

Opening Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Nov: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. / Dec – Feb: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Admission Fee: Adults: ¥700 (groups of 30 or more: ¥600), Junior/High school students: ¥400 (groups of 30 or more: ¥300), Elementary school students: ¥150

Address 540 Ohara Raigoincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1242
Open Hours 9am - 5:00pm November: 8:30am - 5:00pm December-February:9am - 4:30pm

Shorin-in Temple

Shorin-in TempleOnly two minutes’ walk from the Sanzen-in Temple sits the Shorin-in Temple, a relatively quiet temple where you can enjoy the autumn leaves in a relaxed and tranquil environment. The main hall of this temple features a brilliant moss garden, which couples with the maple trees to the right of the hall to create a fantastically picturesque scene.

Spots of yellowSpots of yellow and orange dot the darkening maple leaves and create a wonderfully refreshing atmosphere. With such a tranquil atmosphere inside the temple, you’ll be sure to enjoy a carefree, unrushed time. 

 The leaves at the Shorin-in Temple reach their peak around mid-November.

Opening Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Admission Fee: Adults, University students & High school students: ¥300, Junior high school students/children: ¥200

Hosen-in Temple

Hosen-in TempleThe final stop on our list is the Hosen-in Temple, home to a 700-year-old pinus parviflora pine tree. The white sand, rocks and colorful maple leaves inside the temple grounds come together to create a beautifully picturesque scene.

enjoy tea and snacksAt Hosen-in Temple you can also enjoy tea and snacks while taking in the beautiful autumn leaves as well. The dark red color the leaves turn as they reach their peak, usually between early to mid-November, is definitely a sight to behold by anyone venturing out to Ohara.

Opening Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission Fee: Adults: ¥800, Junior/High school students: ¥700, Elementary school students: ¥600

Address 187, Ohara Shorinincho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 601-1241
Open Hours 9am - 5pm (must enter by 4:30pm)
Vanessa[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
Although Ohara is a bit of a trek from Kyoto Station, relaxing among the beautiful autumn leaves and wandering temples with magnificent moss gardens and cedar trees simply can’t be beaten.
Related keywords
All Things To Do Temples & Shrines Japanese Gardens Scenery Autumn Ohara

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