Kyoto: Autumn in the Old Capital

Guide to Japan

Kyoto is Japan’s top tourist destination. There are crowds of visitors all year round, but the season peaks in autumn, when vivid seasonal leaves color the historical temples and fascinating streets. In this video, we present the best of Kyoto in the fall, from Eikandō, famous from antiquity as a top site for viewing autumn leaves, to the colorful temple Ninnaji, a World Heritage Site, Tōfukuji, where the seasonal foliage can be seen from the temple’s covered bridges, and the lights of Kitano Tenmangū.

Eikandō (Zenrinji)

Eikandō-chō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto

Surrounded by brilliant foliage, the ceremonial release pond, where brocade carp swim, is one of the chief views of Eikandō—formally known as Zenrinji—in autumn, together with the Tahōtō pagoda.


Ōuchi, Omuro, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto

Gojūnotō, the temple’s five-storied pagoda, is an important national cultural asset.


Fukuchichō, Nanzenji, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto

The view from Nanzenji’s Sanmon gate. Legend has it that “Zekkei ka na, zekkei ka na!” (Magnificent! Stunning!) the well-known kabuki line attributed to Ishikawa Goemon, the notorious samurai-turned-bandit, referred to this locale.

Kifune shrine

Kibune-chō 180, Kurama, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto

The approach to the main shrine is lined with Kasuga lanterns and charmingly colored trees in the fall.

Ryūsenkaku affords a view of the gorge decorated in autumn colors.

Related articleGetting Around Kyoto: The Randen, Eizan, and Sagano Scenic Railways


Kitatakagamine-chō, Takagamine, Kita-ku, Kyoto

The window of wisdom, at left, and the window of confusion.


Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

The autumn foliage around the Gaunkyō bridge as seen from the observation deck of another covered bridge on the temple grounds, Tsūtenkyō.

Related articleTōfukuji: Kyoto’s Most Picturesque Autumn Site


Takao-chō, Umegahata, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto

Autumn foliage and flowers seem to encroach on the stone steps leading to the Kondō hall at this temple.

Kitano Tenmangū

Bakuro-chō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto

Autumn foliage surrounding Uguisukyō (the nightingale bridge) spanning the Kamiya River.

(Originally published in Japanese. Photos and video by Fujii Kazuyuki.)

Kyoto tourism World Heritage temple Shrines and Temples