The best and the most popular season to visit Kyoto is in the month of November for its fall leaves. Kyoto’s hundreds of famous temples and shrines are beautiful with the colors of autumn, the reds and the yellows of maple and ginkgo. Eikando-ji is very famous for its autumn colors and the evening illuminations that take place in fall. I read about it on the internet and as I am crazy for fall colors, I had to visit. I went there last week and the trees in the temple grounds of Eikando were bright with red-orange-yellow color fall leaves. It is one of the top attractions for autumn leaves, many Japanese visitors also come here to viewing autumn colours. One of the reason is, Eikando-ji has around 3,000 maple trees!
Eikando-ji was known as Zenrinji Temple before, and there is a story behind this name change. Zenrinji had a popular head priest named Eikan, after whom the temple is popularly named Eikando. Eikan is responsible for getting the temple’s main object of worship, an unusual statue of the Amida Buddha with his head turned sidewards. According to legend, Eikan was walking through the temple one day, when the statue, which was originally facing forward, turned its head towards the priest and talked to him. And frankly, I was quite fascinated with the unusual head turning Buddha statue!
Eikando’s most important building is Tahoto Pagoda, which is nestled in the trees on the hillside above the temple’s other buildings. Visitors can walk up to the pagoda, for beautiful views of the temple grounds and the gorgeous city of Kyoto. The view from the pagoda is particularly attractive in autumn, when the maple trees of the temple grounds are changing colors.
Another attractive spot during the fall is the Hojo Pond, around which an attractive garden has been cultivated. Small streams run through the temple grounds and connect to this main pond, at the center of which is a small shrine on an island. There is a tea shop where you can drink sweet rice wine while viewing autumn colours and evening illuminations that take place in fall!
Access: Eikando-ji is a 15 – 20 minute walk from the nearest subway station, Keage Station on the Tozai Line
Ticket: 600 yen (Autumn daytime: 1000 yen & night illumination: 600 yen

Best place to see fall leaves in Japan: Eikando-ji, Kyoto 永観堂

Hojo Pond, Eikando-ji, Kyoto

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kimono and yukata; traditional japanese clothes

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Tahoto Pagoda, Eikando-ji

Tahoto Pagoda

Best place to see fall leaves in Japan: Eikando-ji, Kyoto 永観堂

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Top – H&M, $ 25, 2015, also worn here;
Skirt – H&M, $ 25, 2015, also worn here;
Sweater – GAP, $ 30, 2014;
Boots – Namba Parks なんば パークス , 137 $, 2012; also worn here;
Sunglasses – Forever 21 フォーエバー21, $ 10, 2015, also worn here;
Bag – Michael Kors, gift, 2014, also worn here;
Scarf – Burberry バーバリー, gift, 2011;

2 Responses

  1. chaicyy

    Woah! I love this place, Making a note to myself to visit it while in Japan. You look fabulous as usual 🙂

    xoxo
    Style.. A Pastiche!

    Reply

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