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Kyoto in Autumn, Where to Go?

Hi guys!

Sorry for not updating this blog for almost a month. August was pretty much a busy month for me, it’s my birthday month so I went travel somewhere, then the company sent me to London again, then I got sick and bunch of stuffs happened.

As autumn is approaching, I know some of you might want to plan your travel. Japan in autumn is so pretty and Kyoto is one of the most famous destination for its fall foliage. I’m going to share some of the places I went last year, hopefully it’s not going to be so crowded this year.

First stop: Rurikoin 瑠璃光院

For local Japanese tourist, this temple is quite well-known. Rurikoin only open 2 months in a year; 1 month during the summer when the leaves are green and 1 month in autumn when the leaves are red. You need to make sure your date before your visit here.

When you’re traveling in Kyoto, you might want to get the 1-day bus pass (300¥) because bus is one of the most convenient means of transport. However, the bus for Rurikoin is not covered with this pass. You’ll need to take the bus from Demachi Yanagi station or Kokusai Kaigikan. I took the bus from Kokusai Kaigikan and took the bus to Yase. If you go from Demachi Yanagi, stop at Yase Hieisan guchi (八瀬比叡山口).

The temple says it opens at 10, but when I arrived there around 8:30AM, people were already lining and they also let people to buy ticket already. So in this temple, you need to get ticket in advance and they will let you know when you can go in. The temple is really popular so I think they want to limit the number of crowd inside. I’m lining at 8:30 and they told me my group can get in at 9:00AM.

The ticket price is 2000¥ (yes, you read it right, 2000 not 200)  and the entrance is located around 7 minutes walk from the ticket price. Don’t worry, the staff will guide you. And when you about to enter the temple, the staff will tell you to line again (to limit the crowd).

The temple is actually not that big. It’s a 2-level building surrounded by a lot of tress and there are a Japanese-style garden on the lower level. However the most famous spot of this temple is located at level 2.

It’s actually a corner of the room where you can see the whole fall foliage and it’s reflection on the surface. The scene is really pretty and it can only be seen from certain spot inside the room so people are actually lining to take those shots.

Once you are satisfied with the photos you take, go to level 1 and enjoy the Japanese garden. FYI: no shoes allowed so they’ll give you a plastic bag to carry your shoes.

The scene from the Japanese garden is also so beautiful and serene. They have a mini pond and fountain in the garden. Also, they serve a hot tea inside (self-service).

They don’t give you time limit once you’re inside, so make sure you enjoy yourself. Another tips is to get there as early as possible because the temple is usually getting crowded as the day goes.

The scenery around the temple is also pretty and good for taking pictures. This temple is located next to Mt. Hiei. The air feels a bit colder and it’s quite far from the city, making the surrounding is quiet and is a really good place to relax.

The most convenient way to go here is by bus. I think there’s also a parking slot for car nearby.

Second Stop: Kotoin 高桐院

Kotoin is maybe the most famous sub-temple of Daitokuji (大徳寺). I went there because I saw some photos in Japanese blog. The fall foliage in this temple is also pretty in Autumn. I went there and they told me that the temple is not open for some time due to renovation work :(((((

A bit disappointed tho because I came all the way from Tokyo, but because it’s so quiet in that area, I’m able to take some pictures there.

Daitokuji is a big complex consists of several sub-temples so actually there are a lot of places to explore around the area.

Actually I still have several spots of Autumn Foliage in Kyoto from last year. I’m going to keep them for now and publish them on my next post. I don’t want to make this post super long.

Please bear with me and stay tune for the next post! As usual, your comments are always loved <3

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