(Updated on 6/25/18)

Kyoto contains the highest concentration of cultural and historical treasures in Japan which has made it the go-to place for those wanting to experience old Japan. What tourists may not know, is that different areas of Japan are at their best at different seasons. Kyoto, while lovely all year round, is particularly magical during autumn.

The Japanese love their distinct seasons and take great care in curating lists of the best views for each time of the year. We’ve all heard of spring as cherry blossom season, but autumn gives way to ‘koyo’, the tradition of autumn leaf viewing. Japanese trees offer a particularly wide range of fiery hues resulting in spectacular scenes during fall.

If you’re planning to visit Kyoto, now is the time. The city is surrounded by forested mountains on three sides, the foliage of which give a beautiful autumn view from the city’s highest points and are easily accessible if you want to see them up close.

This year, Kiyomizudera is showing off its surrounding leafiness both day and night as illuminations will light up the area after dark. The temple is nestled on top of the wooded hills of Higashiyama and a trek up to the top will take you to the main hall and it’s wooden viewing platform. From there you can see the awesome foliage from above and the Koyasu Pagoda poking its head out, the city of Kyoto can also be seen in the distance for a well-rounded view. But as one of Kyoto’s most popular attraction, crowds are a given at any time of year.

The nearby district of Arashiyama is home to the famous bamboo forest and can offer gorgeously leafy rural views, especially around Togetsukyo Bridge. You can even take to the river to get a better view by boat. Animal lovers will also want to hike up to the nearby monkey park to catch them frolicking in the autumn scenes. You may feel like you're in the middle of nowhere countryside, but the Saga-Arashiyama station is only a 15 minute train ride from Kyoto station.

To be honest, you can't walk a few metres in Kyoto without hitting on a site of cultural significance or natural beauty. If you have any plans to go to Kyoto, do it in autumn. Trust us.

By - Jess.