Autumn foliage in Kyoto Arashiyama

November 3rd was Culture day and national holiday in Japan. I had a chance to visit Kyoto once again.

As I mentioned in many previous blogs, I spent many years in Kyoto when I was students. I love the city, I love the people and most of all I love sightseeing in Kyoto! This city is beautiful at any season. Every temples and shrines are different when the season changes.

If you ask me to where my favorite place is Kyoto is. I don’t think I can answer that question (can’t decide!) However, I can say that Arashiyama is definitely one in the top 3 on my list.


Where is Arashiyama?



Kyoto, Arashiyama



Arashiyama is the name of district and mountain in the west of Kyoto. It only takes 15 mins by train from Kyoto station. Please check Japan guide for your reference.

Arashiyama is very beautiful at any season but specially in autumn. Well, it’s a mountain! It should have many trees right? And many of those trees are Japanese maples or “momiji” in Japanese.

The leaves start to change color from the beginning of November and last until the first week of December (rough estimate, sometimes it’s faster sometimes it’s slower depends on the weather). I was a little bit early to visit Kyoto this year but hey, why not? Even if the leaves are still green, there are plenty of places to see in Arashiyama area anyway including the famous Bamboo grooves.


Saga Arashiyama station 


I took JR train from Kyoto station bound for Kameoka and got off at Saga-Arashiyama station.

Next to Saga-Arashiyama JR station, there is a Torokko train station. I originally wanted to get on this train but tickets were sold out for the day, unfortunately. A ride on Torokko Romantic train is the activity I highly recommend. One way trip costs 620 yen. You can reserve the ticket at JR Kyoto station too.

For more information click! 

Beautiful Japanese garden




From the station, it’s about 700 meters to the famous “Moon crossing bridge – Togetsukyou”. I didn’t know the direction but I just followed the crowd and there I am! At my first stop… Tenryuji Temple.

This temple is one of the UNESCO world heritage site. Admission is 500 yen but I didn’t go inside, just enjoy the garden in the premises.



Beautiful autumn leaves at Tenryuji Temple


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I would say about 30% of the leaves started to change color in November 3rd but it’s different depend on the year. In a week or two, it will be about 80%. Maybe this year the season won’t last until early December.

Mostly the leaves are still green as you can see.

Most leaves are still green as you can see


With additional of some very very red leaves tree (taken in front of one of the ryokan in the area


Red maple leaves


“Mt. Arashiyama”


Hozu river



The rowing boat is for rent at 1,200 yen/hour. This activity is actually quite fun and a good work-out;p

If you are keen on shopping, there are many souvenir shops in the area as well as restaurants, tea house, cafe and pastry. Having a cup of tea isn’t such a bad idea if you have time.



shops in Arashiyama


I’m so in love!


That’s all from me today.

I have few others stories about Kyoto which I will cover in TIC blog very soon. Stay tuned!


Camera :  Canon EOS 5D Mark II

For optional tour reservation and inquiry, please contact or visit one of our Tourist information center in Tokyo.

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