5 Must See Night-time Autumn Leaf Viewing Spots in Kyoto

Kyoto has many famous autumn-leaf viewing spots. Although the autumn leaves in the daytime are marvelous, you can enjoy the fantastic views of autumn leaves in a bit different way in the evening. Here are a few of the best, must-see autumn leaf viewing spots that are illuminated at night:

1. Kiyomizu-dera Temple


The beautifully illuminated trees in blazing red are breathtaking! There are an amazing number, roughly 1000 Japanese maple trees here!


Illumination period: Beginning of November to the end of December
Illumination time: 18:30 – 21:30 (cut-off time for entry)
Admission fee: JPY 400 for adults; JPY 200 for elementary and junior high students.
Address: Kiyomizu 1-chome, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

2. Arashiyama Hana Toro

Photo: 松岡明芳, via Wikimedia Commons

Togetsu-kyo Bridge, one of the important landmarks of Arashiyama, is illuminated in the evenings and it appears completely different from that of the daytime. If you have time we recommend you to see both.


Venue: Area around Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Saga
Illumination period: Mid-December
Illumination time: 17:00 – 20:30

3. Eikan-do Zenrin-ji Temple

Photo: Tomomarusan, via Wikimedia Commons

There are about 3000 trees, including Japanese maple, Yamamomiji maple, and Omomiji maple, planted within the site of Eikan-do Zenrin-ji Temple. The view of the illuminated maple trees is breathtakingly beautiful. The view of the reflections of autumn leaves on the surface of Hojo-ike Pond along with the illumination is mesmerizing enough to make you lose track of time.


Illumination period: Beginning of November to beginning of December (Annually)
Illumination time: 17:30- 20:30
Admission fee: JPY 600 for junior high students and above
Address: 48 Eikan-do, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

4. Kyu Saga Gosho Daikaku-ji Monseki


Kyu Saga Gosho Daikaku-ji Monseki is a former imperial retirement villa originally built for Emperor Saga back in the 7th century. It is known as where Saga Goryu, one of the prominent ikebana (flower arrangement) schools, originated from, and the autumn leaves surrounding Osawa-no-ike Pond are very beautiful. In addition, the reflection of Shingyo Hoto pagoda and autumn leaves on the pond’s surface creates a fantastic world.


Illumination period: mid-November to the beginning of December
Illumination time: 17:30-20:30
Admission fee: JPY 500 for adults; JPY 300 for kids
Address: 4, Saga Osawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

5. Nison-in Temple

Photo by 松岡明芳 on Wikimedia Commons.

Nison-in Temple features a tunnel of maple trees which extends about 100m. The temple is also referred to as “Momiji-no baba" (riding ground of maple leaves), and is designated as a cultural asset by Kyoto.


Illumination period: mid-December
Illumination time: 17:30-20:30
Admission fee: JPY 500 for junior high school students and above
Address: 27, Saganison-inmonzenchojincho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

Make sure to enjoy the autumn leaves both in the daytime and the evenings!

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