Yesterday I decided to take a half day off work and go to see the beautiful scenery of Kyoto while the leaves are still in the midst of the Fall color change. It seems that I picked the perfect day to do so because yesterday was an unusually warm and sunny day. I first took the train up to Arashiyama which is in western Kyoto City. Arashiyama is full of gorgeous parks, temples, shrines and has a beautiful river that flowers right through. I thought I could avoid the crowds of people by going on a Wednesday afternoon, but it was still jam packed even on a weekday! I shudder to think how crowded it must be on the weekends. Around Arashiyama the colors where amazing; the reds, yellows and oranges of the tree leaves were so vibrant that I felt as if I was in a dream or possibly that I had died and gone to heaven.
Later in the evening I took the train back towards eastern Kyoto City to see the “light-up” at Kiomizudera temple. I have been there before in the day time but it is so much different to be there at night with all the fall colors illuminated by lights. It is such a peaceful and ethereal experience to see the fall colors lite-up to a stark black night backdrop. One of the things that I love must about Japan is the sharp contrast of the 4 seasons. Coming from California where the weather is pretty moderate year round it is great to experience a real Fall with all its glorious colors.