The Chion-in Temple in Kyoto Is the Perfect Place to See Autumn Leaves and Evening Lights

It's absolutely breathtaking!

Chion-in Temple

400, Rinkacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Contact: +81-75-531-2111
Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Gate closes at 4:30 p.m.)
How to get there: It's an 8-minute walk from Higashiyama Station

The colors of autumn are undoubtedly a sight to behold. Imagine leaves in rich shades of orange, brown, and red casting a lovely, warm glow around you, a medley of colors signaling change and harvest. In Japan, this is a much-awaited season, with people flocking to different temples and parks to experience the beauty of nature.

One place that is popular for its deep crimson autumn foliage is the Chion-in Temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto. A must-visit while in Japan, Chion-in is known as the place where Honen, the founder of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism, taught chanting in the name of Amida for salvation. While it has several important cultural properties, we’ll only list down the areas that will give you the best vantage points of the autumn foliage and evening lights.

Sanmon Gate

Built in 1621, Chion-in’s main entrance gate, Sanmon, is deemed as a national treasure and Japan’s largest wooden gate of double-entry doors.


Mieido is a hall that houses the image of Honen. To preserve its structure, Japan’s national treasure is currently under maintenance and is expected to finish in 2019.

Schedule of lighting ceremony: November 3 to December 3
Open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Last admission 9 p.m.)
Entrance fee: ¥800

Yuzen Garden
is best visited around 8:30 p.m. There, you’ll see the Kannon statue beautifully illuminated against the backdrop of bright orange maple leaves.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Kansai Walker™ (2017)

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