Kyoto Momiji Walk

Kyoto lies in a basin surrounded by mountains and natural woodlands. The area is interspersed with hundreds of temples and shrines. Many of them have extensive gardens that are painstakingly kept to provide an impressive experience in autumn. The strongest mark on the color palette is left by the Japanese maple (momiji) – all the more apparent for visitors from Europe where this species went extinct during the ice ages.

 

Intensity and progress of the colors varies from year to year, depending on the weather. If you go in the second half of November you should see some brilliant autumn colors for sure. When planning your trip just take advantage of resources like the autumn color reports from japan-guide.com. Other sources provide you with detailed information for individual locations (Japanese-only, use Google Translator).

Kyoto is a bicycle city. Many places of interest are within a radius of less than 10km. Streets are laid out on a grid pattern; negotiating your way around is easy. Lots of bicycle rental stores will get you on wheels quickly. Alternatively, there is also an extensive network of local buses. Given the traffic congestion on the city’s main thoroughfares, taking the bus, however, is not the most time-efficient choice.

 

Better use one of the local rail operators or Japan Rail. A good deal for accessing the city’s eastern districts is the one-day pass from Keihan Railways (¥500). Hankyu Railway, which network stretches as far as Osaka, is offering another attractive one-day ticket (¥800).