Saimyo-ji is the smallest of the three temples located in Takao, a mountainous region in the northwestern edge of Kyoto. It is only an hour away from central Kyoto and is an attractive destination, mainly during the fall.
This Buddhist temple of the Tendai Sect is located in the northern part of Kyoto. It’s one of the most amazing places around Kyoto when comes the peak of the fall season. Indeed, its garden, designed by Ishikawa Jozan is small, but it is incredibly beautiful with autumn leaves covering the moss around.
Takao is a thinly populated, mountainous area with three historic temples along its forested valley, a one-hour bus ride north of central Kyoto, and a perfect day trip outside the city. Worth a visit at any time of the year, Takao becomes most popular during the autumn leaf season, which usually peaks around mid-November.
Quite a number of temples illuminate and open their garden to the public in the evening during the Fall and the Spring. The time is usually limited to a few weeks, and the dates are different for each place. These “Light Ups” are very popular and for good reason.
Uji (宇治) is a small city situated between Kyoto and Nara, two of Japan’s most famous historical and cultural centers. Its proximity to these two former capitals resulted in Uji’s early development as a cultural center in its own right. The city features two Unesco World Heritage Sites, the magnificent Byodo-In Temple and Ujigami Shrine!
This is definitely one of my favorite temples in Kyoto. Honen-in, is small, only fully opens twice a year for a short one-week period, but it is a very special place for its atmosphere and its calm beauty. Its entrance gate is quite spectacular especially during the autumn leaf season and is worth a visit by itself.