The starting point for this trip is Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Electric Railway. Although this is a small station, it is a great sightseeing base that is easy to use for solo travelers, as the lights on the premises and footbaths soothe travelers. Before departing, I purchased a giant shaumai skewer (500 yen) at the station. With a mouth full of hot shaumai, I headed north toward my first destination.
A very quiet and secluded spot for viewing autumn foliage lit up: Daikakuji Temple “Crimson Water Mirror
When you exit Arashiyama Station and head in the direction of Togetsu Bridge, you will find a bustling area with fashionable souvenir shops and food shops on both sides of the road, typical of Kyoto. Conversely, as you head north, you will see fewer tourists, and once you cross the JR line, the streets become sparsely populated. From there, trusting to Google Maps, it is about a 25-minute walk to our first destination, Daikakuji Temple. You will arrive at your first destination, Daikakuji Temple.
The main attraction here is the crimson Shinkyō Hōto (treasure pagoda), erected in 1967 to commemorate the 1,150th anniversary of the Emperor Saga’s copying of the Shinkyō Sutra. The bright red pagoda appears upside down in a mirrored image in the small Houshoike pond in front of the temple. Although the leaves do not cover the entire area as far as the eye can see, the yellow to red leaves are illuminated by the soft light, creating a quiet and magical atmosphere with the Shinkyō Hōtō. Since there are not many tourists, you may want to take your time to take your camera and take your favorite picture.
A 30-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Line. Please inquire directly during the special nighttime viewing periods.
Address: 4 Saga-Osawa-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Hours of visitation (night time): 17:30-20:00
Admission (night time): Adults 500 yen, children 300 yen
After spending 40 minutes at Daikakuji Temple, return south the way you came. This is not the end of the tour. We will head to another famous spot where the autumn leaves are illuminated. Our destination is Hogonin “Shishiku no Niwa”, the best place in Arashiyama to view the autumn leaves. Passing Arashiyama Station, turn right at the intersection of Togetsu Bridge and walk upstream. View the famous Arashiyama Kitcho on your right (the autumn leaves here are also beautiful), and turn right to reach the destination.
It is recommended to visit here! Hogonin “Shishiku no Niwa” (Garden of Shishiku), one of the best places to view the autumn leaves in Arashiyama, Kyoto.
In stark contrast to the tranquil atmosphere of Daikakuji Temple, the entire garden here is a gorgeous world filled with autumn leaves. The Japanese garden is also beautifully landscaped, making it photogenic no matter where you point your camera.
Hogonin is inevitably crowded during peak season, but perhaps because it was still a little early in the season, there were not many tourists and I was able to walk around slowly without worrying about time. I guess the tourists will be rushing to the temple from now on. If you are planning to go on a date, now might be a good time.
Daihonzan Tenryuji Tattou Hogoin Out of 5
Residence: 68, Manomaba-cho, Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Time of visit (nighttime): 17:30-20:30
Price (nighttime): Adults 600yen, elementary and junior high school students 300yen
Hogonin is a 7-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Keifuku Line (or an 11-minute walk from Trolley Arashiyama Station on the JR Line). Please inquire directly for special nighttime viewing periods.
P.S. It will be nice to soak in the hot spring and enjoy the autumn leaves…