Autumn Foliage Illumintion in Kyoto and Shiga

I’m not good at cold or hot, and these days, I often stay home all day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

My favorite season was spring before I started getting hay fever about 30 years ago; therefore, I inevitably love fall better than any other season.

I posted an article about autumn foliage named “Seasonal Maple Hunters” last November, and I actually enjoyed seeing maple trees in the middle of the month.

I stayed in Kyoto and its neighboring prefecture Shiga for three days, and on the second day, I ate lunch at a traditional restaurant in the center of Kyoto City with MASA, a member of our partnership who lives in Osaka, another neighboring prefecture of Kyoto.

He took me to Shiga by his car after lunch.
Of course, Kyoto is extremely popular in any season, but in Shiga, you might be able to enjoy more vivid red.

Masa has been to Koto Sanzan, a trio of large Tendai Sect temples, which are famous for autumn leaves on the east side of Lake Biwa in Shiga, and we visited two of them.

In addition, we enjoyed illuminated autumn foliage at Eigen-ji Temple, a large Rinzai Zen temple, also located in eastern Shiga.
Masa also visited the temple for the first time, and we took many pictures of autumn leaves at its precinct.

On the previous day, I enjoyed illuminated autumn leaves at two Buddhist temples in Kyoto City.

First, I visited Kodai-ji Temple in the evening. It is located north east of Yasaka Hokan-ji Temple.

The temple was established in early 17th century by Nene in memory of her late husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was a powerful warlord and unified the country in 1590. She later became a priestess.

Then, I moved to Daigo-ji Temple by subway. It is located south east of Kyoto City and is one of World Heritage sites in Kyoto.
The temple is also known as the place where Hideyoshi held the “Daigo Sakura Viewing” party.

This is my first visit to the temple, so I’ve never seen cherry blossom or sakura viewings there in spring. But Hideyoshi is said to have planned the “Daigo Maple Hunting” party. If the party had been held, Daigo-ji Temple would have been more famous for autumn foliage.

The pandemic is really good-for-nothing, but for the rest of my life, I may not see fewer tourists who enjoy autumn foliage in Kyoto than last year.

I recommend you will visit Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines in Kyoto and Shiga to see beautiful autumn leaves after things get back to normal. But you should enjoy maple hunting together with so many tourists…

YUKI Takano, a member of iTWS japan LLP

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