Tofukuji Temple – Autumn Leaves in Kyoto

Posted by Chris Davis on November 30th, 2010. Filters:

Cherry blossom viewing is a famous past time in Japan, every spring. However, in autumn there is also the less well-known past time of autumn leaf viewing, with red maple leaves being a favorite for many Japanese. This year I took part in the tradition by heading to Tofukuji temple in Kyoto. The temple can be reached by a short 10-15 minute bus ride from the center of Kyoto city.

Tofukuji Temple is famous for a bridge that spans a small valley filled with maple trees. The colors are spectacular in late November!

Even on a normal working day, hordes of people come to Kyoto to see the autumn leaves. A payment of 400 yen will give you access to the bridge and the temple grounds.

From the bridge a mix of red, yellow and green leaves can be seen.

Having your photo taken in front of the leaves is popular and some people have their own unique pose!

A close-up shows a glorious contrast of greens and reds.

Although it was a cloudy day, a gorgeous blue sky sometimes made its appearance.

The temple staff are very serious about keeping the ground free of fallen leaves.

The best time to see autumn leaves in Kyoto is usually from mid to late November. You can read more about Tofukuji temple at If you have a favorite place to see autumn leaves in Japan please let me know!

  • yonasu

    This looks really nice! I still prefer cherry blossoms, but if I ever find myself in Kyoto at this time of the year I’ll make sure to go to Tofukuji temple :)

    • Chris Davis

      Haha, let me know if you need a guide. Also, the Arashiyama area in Kyoto is amazing but you have to be prepared to be shoulder to shoulder with the hordes of people!

    • yonasu

      Will do^^ It couldn’t be any worse than trains in Tokyo at rush hour!

  • Loc Lam | ロックラム

    Wow, they’re beautiful! Around my area, it just jumps from summer to winter so the trees lose their leaves a bit faster than normal this year :(

    • Chris Davis

      Yeah, autumn was not so exciting when I lived in Australia. Most of the native trees are evergreen and the majority of foreign trees drop their leaves quickly in a most unspectacular fashion.

      Of course, this is nothing new for all the Canadians living here but, for me, seeing all the reds and yellows is quite amazing.

    • yonasu

      It’s the same thing here, I barely even noticed the autumn this year. Everything was green, and then all of a sudden we got minus degrees and snow =/ I’m not a big fan of the autumn anyways though, I’m more of a spring guy!

      The autumn colors are pretty awesome on a sunny day however :) But it’s rarely sunny…