Best Autumn spots around Ginkakuji Temple & Nanzenji Temple
Kyoto Higashiyama stretches to the base of Mt. Daimonji in Kyoto and is home to Ginkakuji Temple and Nanzenji Temple. It’s a tranquil university and residential area, shying away from Kyoto’s buzzing city centre.
In this article, we’ll introduce some of the best autumn leaf spots around Ginkakuji Temple and Nanzenji Temple.
Higashiyama’s best autumn walking route around Ginkakuji Temple (3-4 hour plan)
This walking route will introduce you to some of the photogenic spots around Ginkakuji Temple, which can be explored whilst on a pleasant autumn stroll.
Taking the subway is the best way of getting to Keage Station (the starting point for this route). A 10 minute-walk from the station will take you to Nanzenji Temple. From there you can walk to Eikando Temple, continue on to Honen-in Temple, and then make your way to Ginkakuji Temple which is along the "Philosopher’s Path".
This plan takes roughly 3 to 4 hours, giving you plenty of time to savor Kyoto’s atmospheric scenery decorated by autumn leaves.
Walking route around Ginkakuji Temple - 3∼4 hour plan
Nanzenji Temple is well-known for its captivating atmosphere and unique contrast between European and Japanese architectural styles. Needless to say, the autumn colors decorating the Sanmon Gate are delightful. Take your time and enjoy this peaceful setting. The best time to visit the temple is in the morning, when the crowds are smaller.
One of the most popular autumn viewing spots in Kyoto is Eikando Temple, which features 3000 vividly colored maple trees around its Hojo pond.
In November, there will be an exhibition where various temple treasures will be on display. On top of that, there'll be a nighttime illumination from the 6th November to the 4th December. The temple becomes extremely busy in the autumn season, so if you wish to see the nighttime illuminations, it’s recommended that you visit after 7 p.m.
The Philosopher’s Path was inspired by Kitaro Nishida, a Kyoto native philosopher who used to stroll along this stone-paved path while contemplating the intracacies of life.
This serene two-kilometer route connects Ginkakuji Temple and Kumano Nyakuoji Shrine. It is lined with pretty cafes and restaurants, so take a break and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Since autumn is the peak season at Ginkakuji Temple, the Philosopher’s Path and its cafes are an ideal place to get away from the crowds.
Situated near the residential part of Higashiyama, Honen-in Temple exudes a restful atmosphere and creates a sense of well being in the mountains. It’s no wonder various scholars such as Junichiro Tanizaki revered this tranquil spot.
The temple’s main hall is only open to the public between the 1st and the 7th of November (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) while the temple itself is open from 6 a.m.
One of the well-known temples in Kyoto is Ginkakuji Temple. It attracts large numbers of domestic and international tourists throughout the year.
Established by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa during the Muromachi period, the temple’s official name is Jisho-ji Temple. Although Ginkakuji is renowned for its modest look — embodying the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi (simplistic beauty and imperfection) — it turns utterly gorgeous during autumn. The observatory enables visitors to appreciate the spectacular views of the temple adorned by colorful autumn leaves.