Autumn colours in Kyoto

Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, tea houses where geisha and maiko welcome customers, beautiful Japanese gardens, kaiseki cuisine, and respect of tradition and for culture heritage are just a few of the attractions of the city of Kyoto. Check out our photo gallery and discover the quintessence of Japanese beauty.

Recently the readers of U.S. magazine Conde Nast Traveler name Kyoto the best Asian city, ahead of Bangkok and Hong Kong in a survey whose result pays tribute to the time-honoured cultural wealth of the the city and to the efforts to maintain the beauty of the cityscape and sustain the traditional culture in the twenty-first century. There are fifteen cities in Kyoto prefecture, of which Kyoto is the capital. Now, in autumn, when the former imperial capital of Japan is flushed with the reds and russet hues of the changing season Kyoto shows one of its most attractive sides to visitors. 

Use the left and right arrow keys to view the images

Yatadera temple, Kyoto
Home to the most famous Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces and gardens in Japan, Kyoto is considered the cultural centre of the country. In the picture, the Yatadera temple / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Kiyomizu-dera temple, Kyoto
A World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu-dera – the temple of pure water – takes its name from the waterfall within the complex; the vast wooden verandah offers stunning views from the hill on which the temple is built / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Maiko; kyo-yuzen silk painting, Kyoto
Two icons of traditional culture in Kyoto: on the left, a maiko, or apprentice geisha; on the right, the kyo-yuzen silk dyeing technique used for decorating kimonos / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Matsuo Taisha Shrine, Kyoto
Maiko at the Matsuo Taisha Shrine, one of the oldest in Japan, which is dedicated to the water deity / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Daigoji temple, Kyoto
The bright autumn colours of maple trees, such as those seen here around the Daigoji temple provide an additional motive to visit the beautiful city/ © Japanese Tourist Board 

Nishiki Tenmangu temple, Kyoto
The Nishiki Tenmangu temple is set among the shopping streets of Kyoto; the shrine is dedicated to the god of the brain, of learning and good business / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Ninna-ji temple, Kyoto
Garden of the Ninna-ji Buddhist temple, founded in 888 by the Emperor Uda and now part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site/ © Japanese Tourist Board 

Jidai Matsuri, Kyoto - festival of the ages
The Jidai Matsuri or Festival of the Ages, held in October, is one of the most famous of Kyoto's festivals; participants dress take part in a historical re-enactment parade dressed in traditional costumes from different periods of Japanese history / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Katsura River, Kyoto
The Katsura River feeds the pond in the strolling garden of the Katsura Imperial Palace, one of Japan's most important cultural treasures  / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Fukuchiyama Castle, Kyoto
The city of Fukuchiyama grew up around the castle of the same name, which is now a museum / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Pagoda; rickshaw; Kyoto
Pagodas and rickshaws are two iconic images of traditional Asian culture / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Ninna-ji temple, Kyoto
Ninna-ji is is the main temple of the Omuro school of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism and for many centuries the head of the temple was of imperial lineage / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Nishiki Ichiba, Kyoto
Nishiki Ichiba market is known as 'Kyoto's kitchen'. Around 130 stores sell all kinds of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, side dishes, teas and pickles / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Shorin-in temple, Ohara, Kyoto
The Shorin-in temple, founded in 1013, is located in the village of Ohara, in the mountains of northern Kyoto / © Japanese Tourist Board 

Autumn colours, Enjoki temple, Kyoto
While in spring the city is dressed in white and pale pink cherry blossom, the autumn brings much stronger, richer colours to parks and gardens, such as the Enjoki temple in the left hand image / © Japanese Tourist Board