Before the start of winter and the heavenly fall of snow in Kyoto, the popular travel destination is graced with warm autumn leaves every year. The leaves of maple trees turn a brilliant yellow, orange, and red, and tourists flock to the many picturesque sightseeing spots to behold the breathtaking sceneries the prefecture has to offer.

Among the countless sightseeing locations in Kyoto, Arashiyama is undoubtedly one of the most famous. A nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty, its magnificent beauty attracts tourists from all over the world, especially during spring and fall when the mountain is colored with pink cherry blossoms and red maple leaves.


At Arashiyama, a river stretches out along the lush mountain painted with beautiful fall leaves, and visitors can enjoy the view as well as the numerous other attractions in the area. Pleasure boats drift peacefully down the river, and from them can be enjoyed an even closer look at the expanse of trees spreading out into the distance. The best time to visit Arashiyama is in the morning before the number of visitors is at its peak — from around noon, the pathways and bridges swarm with people, and the river fills up with over 150 boats bumping into each other at every thrust of the oars.


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Bamboo Grove

About a 10-minute walk from the mountain of Arashiyama is the Bamboo Grove. Amidst the Bamboo Grove is the main path that allows for a serene walk in nature. As a must-see spot in the Arashiyama area, the path is naturally packed with tourists during the peak travel season. Still, the view is divine, and green bamboo stalks soar into the sky creating a tranquil oasis.


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Tenryū-ji Temple

Tenryū-ji Temple is an ideal spot to see the reddening autumn foliage up close, and it is conveniently located right off the Bamboo Grove path. Numerous little pathways wind down among maple trees to the main temple, and from there a calming scenery of a lake and autumn leaves awaits visitors. The temple, which is the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, was completed in 1345 and immerses guests in both its deep history and breathtaking beauty.


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There are many more temples including the scenic Koko-dera (Moss Temple) around Arashiyama, as well as the Monkey Park where visitors can interact and feed adorable monkeys. All of these areas are less than 20 minutes away from the nearest Saga-Arashiyama train station by foot, and are easily accessible from each other. There's still time to enjoy Kyoto's autumn leaves, but there's no denying that the historic city is stunning all year round.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.