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Glorious Fall Colors at Historical Temples

From around mid-November, Japan’s nature paints the mountains and valleys with a glorious color displaying vibrant hues of red, gold and yellow. Nature’s colorful explosions serve as a backdrop against the bluest of autumn skies to unveil a completely different face of Japans historical Temples. As night falls, the illumination of Japanese maple trees in a calm atmosphere is indeed an experience of wonder. Below are featured some of the best temples to visit during the fall season. Explore the dramatic array of vivid colors at historical temples in a meditative atmosphere.

Jissoin Temple (Iwakura, Kyoto Prefecture)

Jissoin Temple (Iwakura, Kyoto Prefecture)Situated in northeastern Kyoto, the Iwakura area is very quiet, surrounded by mountains and has been a favorite secluded place of the aristocracy since the Heian period. Established in 1229, the Jissoin Temple was a prestigious place whose chief priest was a member of the Imperial family. When visiting the temple, a must-see is the many Japanese traditional sliding doors painted by the Kano school artists from the Edo period. It feels like being in a museum as you admire these beautiful preserved paintings. A stunning landscape style garden and stone garden of white sand provide colors throughout all seasons with mountains as a backdrop. Particularly striking is the wooden floor in the temple. During the autumn season, many tourists visit here to enjoy the famous "floor maple" with its magnificent reflection of Japanese maple on the shiny wooden floor. Be fascinated by the harmony of the paints, maple colors and the magic of the reflection.

For more information about Jissouin Temple, please visit here.



Enkouji Temple (Sakyou-ku, Kyoto Prefecture)

Enkouji Temple (Sakyou-ku, Kyoto Prefecture)

Enkouji Temple is in the Rakuhoku area of Kyoto and is a short taxi ride from the Jissouin temple. The temple was originally a school with its history dating back 400 years. It is famous for its breathtaking garden called "Jyu-gyu no niwa" that contains an abundance of Japanese maple trees. The Garden is a picture perfect depict on of a contrast of red color with moss with the dramatic fall color providing excellent foliage. Take a trip along the walking path up to the spectacular red maple trees and bamboo forest towards the top of the mountain. At the top, you will enjoy a spectacular view of Kyoto and a great view of Jyu-gyu no niwa. During the fall peak season, the temple opens early in the morning (especially for those who booked in advance).

For more information, please visit here.

Gakuen-ji Temple (Izumo, Shimane Prefecture)

Gakuen-ji Temple (Izumo, Shimane Prefecture)

The Gakuen-ji Temple is located in the Izumo region of the Shimane prefecture in Western Japan. This region has been termed land of the Gods and as the birthplace of the Japanese sprit. The Temple in Izumo has a long history originally dating back about 1,400 years. The Izumo Shinbutsu pilgrimage leads to twenty shrines and temples and Gakuen-ji is part of this pilgrimage. Nestled deep in a mountain, the temple is one of the top destinations to discover fall foliage on display in the region. Strolling along the narrow path to the temple unveils a deep forest surrounded by Japanese maple trees that are bursting with the color of fall. Steps to the temple form a glowing red tunnel in fall. Japanese maple here are distinctive, called "Iroha-Momiji" because they are quite delicate with small leaves that turn incomparable shades of vermilion.

For more information, please visit here.

Set out to explore the best fall travelling experience in Japan. Glorious vivid colors and natural histories will inspire you to embrace the wonderful scenery.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

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