My favourite season in both Japan and the UK is Autumn. I love the colours, I love the scents I love sweater weather. The fact that it’s no longer too hot to go outside without my whole face melting off makes me ecstatic! So, I want to share with you all, my top 5 places to spend Autumn time in Japan. It’s not all Tokyo based either so rejoice those of you not living in the capital. I’m an equal opportunity nature lover.
5. Koishikawa Park 小石川公園
This park is smack bang in the middle of Tokyo, right next to Tokyo Dome. However it has beautiful traditional Japanese gardens even if there is a roller coaster in the background. The trees here turn a gorgeous shade of golden brown when the seasons change and it is never too crowded when I go. At only 300 yen it’s not expensive either. This park is full of similar/smaller versions of sights you might see in Kyoto or elsewhere. It was basically a convenient place for Tokugawa family to go when they couldn’t be bothered trekking across half the country. Honestly I treat this place the same way. All the beauty, none of the crowds of selfie stick baring tourists bashing into you. They have guided tours too if you are into that but I prefer to wander by myself.
4. Kiyomizu Temple
Some might be surprised that the famed Kiyomizu temple is only at my number 4 spot. Grated, the temple and the scenery are beautiful, but as one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist spots it’s hard to enjoy with all those people around. Some of my favourite autumn pictures I took here. If you have never been before, it is worth a trip but try for a weekday so you can thin out the crowd a little bit.
3. Mount Takao
Another Kanto spot at No.3. This one is suited to you if you like hiking and don’t mind the exercise. Mount Takao isn’t as tall or as famous as Mount Fuji but it’s a great spot to enjoy some beautiful autumn leaves. The height allows great views over the scenery. Not only is there hiking, there’s an onsen, monkey park and museum. Takao is only 50 minutes away from Shinjuku but it’s a totally different feel from the city. Because of it’s location, if you want to see the autumn leaves and are able to, go on a weekday. The weekends are insanely crowded.
While probably not that well known outside of Japan, Arashiyama is really beautiful in spring and autumn. Located in western Kyoto, I find it hard to choose the best sport to enjoy the nature here. The most popular spot is the bridge, a great spot for a selfie with all the autumn colours in the background. If you want to escape the crowds though, the temples to the north are quieter and really scenic. While Tenryuiji is the biggest, I personally love Jojakkoji Temple. Though I’ve never taken it myself, the railway also offers great awesome views if the pictures are to be believed.
1. Enkouji Temple
By far my favourite spot in Kyoto. Enkouji Temple is smaller than the more famous temples in Kyoto and mercifully less busy. I say mercifully because the best part of this spot is to be able to just sit in the quiet and enjoy looking at the scenery. This might even be my favourite spot in all Japan, baring my own bed. There’s nothing like being able to empty your head of all your worries and just enjoy something pretty and fleeting, and all the more pretty for being fleeting. There’s a water feature that if you listen to it sounds like it’s singing and the gardens are amazing.