In the Eastern part of Kyoto, where Kyoto Handicraft Center is located, the autumn leaves have reached their peak beauty! One of our staff members visited nearby temples and a shrine to see the autumn colors, so we would like to share with you the beautiful scenery! We hope this will make you feel like you are in Kyoto, even if you are overseas!
Heian Jingu Shrine
Heian Jingu Shrine is located in the neighborhood of our physical store, just a few minutes walk away. It is so close that you can actually see the iconic red Torii gate from the terrace of our store.
The shrine is famous for its Torii gate, but not only that, but the courtyard surrounding the main building is also lovely. Especially the garden inside the courtyard, called Shin-en Garden, is particularly beautiful and has a peaceful atmosphere. The maple leaves in the garden were as red as their Torii gate!
And this garden is also famous as the place where Sofia Coppola's “Lost in Translation” was filmed, and where Charlotte, played by Scarlett Johansson, visited in Kyoto. If you visit Heian Jingu Shrine in the autumn, be sure to check out the stepping stones in the pond in Shin-en Garden along with the autumn leaves.
Walking further East from Heian Jingu Shrine, Eikando Temple is about 10 minutes away. As people have said “To see the autumn in Kyoto, go to Eikando” since ancient times, this temple has long been one of the most famous places in Kyoto for viewing the autumn leaves.
The main hall, built along the slope of the mountain, and the five-story pagoda on top of the observatory are surrounded by layers and layers of autumn leaves, and the beauty of the gradation of leaves is so breathtaking. As you stroll through the precincts of Eikando, you will walk through a tunnel of colored leaves that goes on forever, which is so beautiful that you will think this temple was built just for colored leaves. It is definitely a must-go place in the autumn in Kyoto.
And near the exit of Eikando, there is a resting place where you can enjoy very delicious Japanese sweets with green tea. Our staff member also took a break to have some Mitarashi Dango dumplings!
A few minutes walk to the South of Eikando is a Zen temple called Nanzenji. Nanzenji Temple is also very famous for its autumn leaves, second to Eikando Temple, and the courtyard leading from the gate to the main hall is filled with Japanese maple leaves.
(This article is becoming more and more like a “Lost in Translation” appreciation post, but) in fact, this temple is also where the movie was filmed, and this is where Scarlett Johansson encounters a traditional Japanese wedding. As you can see in the movie, the temple has a calm atmosphere no matter what time of the day you visit.
And this temple has a very unique gate that you can climb up to the balcony-like area on the second floor. The stairs are very steep, so you have to climb slowly and carefully, but the view of the autumn leaves from the balcony is spectacular. When you visit the temple, please don't forget to climb up this gate with an observatory.
Walking West from Nanzenji Temple, you can come back to the Okazaki area where Kyoto Handicraft Center is located. In Okazaki, there is a very beautiful canal flowing from Lake Biwa in neighboring Shiga Prefecture, where many water birds live. Along the canal, Japanese maple trees, cherry trees and maple trees are planted, and in the autumn, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of colored leaves on the surface of the water. It is a great spot to stroll around and enjoy the autumn leaves, while avoiding crowds. When you visit our physical store, please check out the Okazaki Canal in our neighborhood as well.
So, how did you like the autumn leaves in Kyoto? We hope you felt like you were on a trip to Kyoto in the autumn with us!
Speaking of autumn… we are currently on Autumn Sale!!!
And last but not least, our online store is having a great Autumn Sale! It might be difficult for many of you to actually see the autumn leaves in Kyoto right now, but we have many items with Japanese maple leaves and the autumn leaves motifs on our online store!
There's only one day left for our Autumn Sale. And after that, we will have Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale, so stay tuned and don't miss the exclusive deals! Thank you very much for reading!