Most Beautiful Places to See Maple Leaves in Kyoto
There are two places around Kyoto that stand out above all other places. Some of you may argue with me, but that’s ok. I’m used to it. However, if you have ever been to these places you will probably agree with me.
Both of the places have all kinds of different trees located on the premises. One is lit up at night during autumn and the other isn’t…although it should be. One has a tall pagoda and a veranda overlooking Kyoto. The other has a small ravine filled with maples and a bridge where people can walk above them and look down into the ravine of maples. Do you know what places I’m referring to yet?
The first one is Kiyomizudera and the other is Tofukuji. Go to either one of these places during autumn and you’ll be joined by half of Japan. They are so popular that during momiji season, you will most likely be viewing the maples shoulder to shoulder with someone else you don’t know…on both sides of you.
Kiyomizudera is the most popular of the two and larger. There are tons of maple trees around the temple grounds along the backside of the temple, in front to the left, if you are looking back at Kyoto Tower, and further to the left up along the mountain. If you really want to see it in its full-on beauty, visit the temple at night when the spotlight is shining brightly in the sky like a Batman beacon. Stand along the little pond to the left, again if you are facing Kyoto Tower, and look back at the temple and beacon for a great reflection shot of the temple, beacon and trees. See the photo pictured in this article for reference to what I’m talking about.
Tofukuji on the other hand is smaller in scale, but nonetheless beautiful. It may even be more beautiful depending on what you like. The bridge overlooking the ravine of colorful red maples and the small grove of yellow maples just before the ravine are amazing. If you happen to go on a partly cloudy day, you will surely know what I’m talking about. The contrast in colors against a blue and white sky make for picturesque photos; ones you will never forget. But unfortunately for anyone who loves this place, it is not lit up at night even though the website created by those who run this temple say it is. They close down the temple just before dark in autumn. So get there early enough to see it all before they kick you out. It’s a breathtaking maple viewing place! See the photo in this article.