autumn in kyoto

Japan is one of those places you can visit over and over, but never get sick of. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the country has such distinct seasons! Depending on what time of year you visit, the same old attractions can feel totally different. In any case, it’s no wonder that anyone who travels there just keeps going back.

While everyone’s all about the cherry blossoms right now, I think Japan during autumn is equally as beautiful. I honestly thought I’d miss out, but I actually made it in time to see some autumn leaves during my trip last year. Seeing all that red really was a new experience for me, considering the leaves don’t change much here in Australia.

If you’re in Kyoto you can’t miss Kiyomizudera (清水寺) one of the most important temples in Japan. Even though I’ve visited before,  I actually think I enjoyed it more this time around! Instead of the unbearable summer heat, there was a pleasant chill in the air. And of course, the autumn colours looked amazing. While I missed the leaves at their peak, there were still patches of red dotted around the place. 

Somehow we wandered all the way to Gion (祇園), most famously known as Kyoto’s geisha district. While we didn’t spot any geishas, we did come across this giant pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama! It was right outside the Forever Museum of Contemporary Art, which has sadly closed down since we visited. What are the chances?

Nothing better than stumbling across some random food stalls! I’m not sure what the occasion was, but vendors were selling everything from okonomiyaki to soft serve and chips on a stick. I also got to indulge in my favourite takoyaki, the perfect snack on a cold autumn day.

And of course, our trip wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社)! The dreary weather didn’t deter hordes of tourists from joining us on the mountain, so getting a decent photo was a challenge. We also met this stray kitty, and to this day I have no idea how it managed to climb all those stairs.


For some reason, I really enjoyed the pace of this last trip. Rather than feeling the need to document everything around me, I found myself putting down the camera and soaking up the moment more often. After all, I’ve been to Japan already and know that I’ll be back again before long. But as our lives get busier, the time I do spend with friends becomes more precious, and should be cherished as such.

Anyway! I still have a lot more photos to sort through, so definitely stay tuned for those posts soon. As if I didn’t have enough Japan content on here already, right? Until next time!