The most beautiful autumn illuminations in Kyoto in 2016   2016年京都紅葉ライトアップ

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View from the Kiyomizudera temple

View of Kiyomizudera temple

Momiji Garden

Momiji Garden, open only in fall, in Kitano Tenmangu

Light up in Chionin temple

Illuminations at Chion-in temple

Around Jingo-ji temple, in Mount Takao

Momiji around Jingo-ji temple, in Mount Takao

Momiji Tunnel, from inside the Eizan Dentetsu train

The Momiji Tunnel, from inside the Eizan Dentetsu train

Light up in bamboo forest of Kôdai-ji temple

The bamboo forest of Kôdai-ji temple illuminated

Koyo in the spotlight

If you're visiting Kyoto this fall, know that you are in the right place at the right time! From the end of October until early December, the former imperial capital lights up to reveal its most beautiful red and gold hues.

Koyo (red leaves) and its illuminations are a key event of this fall 2016 in Japan, including in Kyoto. From Kiyomizudera to Mount Takao via the Eizan Dentetsu train, here is our selection of lighting displays to best admire the momiji (maple) colors.


This iconic temple in Kyoto lights up from Saturday November 12 to Sunday, December 4, like a beacon on the slopes of Higashiyama. If you're not afraid of the crowds, come and contemplate the thousands of bright red maples from the enclosure on the wooden platforms. From 18:00 to 21:00; 400 yen entry.

Kitano Tenmangu

From Monday November 14 to Tuesday, December 6, from sunset until 20:00, come and see the famous Shinto shrine, which has been revered for over a millennium in honor of the god of literature and the arts. Take the opportunity to visit the maple garden, open especially for the fall. Garden admission: 700 yen.


Up the steps of a great stone staircase leading to the mausoleum of this Buddhist temple, admire the panorama of the city and the illuminated foliage, from Thursday November 3 to Sunday, December 4th, from 17:30 to 21:30. The yuzen garden also offers a resplendent view.

Mount Takao

Moving a few kilometers northwest of the city, discover Mount Takao. Due to the higher altitude, it's here that the leaves first turn red in the region, towards the latter half of October. There are maples aplenty, particularly at Shigetsu Takao and bridges. Also admire the carpet of red leaves scattered on the path to Jingo-ji Temple, which is illuminated from Saturday 5 to Sunday 20 November, from 17:00 to 19:00. 800 yen entry.

The Tunnel Momiji line Eizan Dentetsu

Would you like to enjoy the autumn illuminations from the train? Between the stations of Ichihara and Ninose, north of Kyoto, there is an impressive line of momiji (maple trees), and from Saturday 5 to Sunday, November 27th, from sunset until 21:00, the train driver along this route slows down on purpose near this scarlet "tunnel" and turns off the lights of the train, offering passengers the opportunity to enjoy the illuminated trees through the windows. At Demachiyanagi station, northeast of the Imperial Palace, take the Eizan Dentetsu train towards Kurama. One way: 25 min, 380 yen.


We end our momijigari (hunt for autumn colors) with the famous temple of Gion, illuminated from Sunday 23 October to Tuesday 13 December, at dusk. Don't miss the bamboo forest and the panorama of maple trees reflected in the waters of the Garyûchi basin. 600 yen entry.

Discover yet more places of contemplation for Koyo in Kyoto.

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