Five Recommended Spots in Kyoto with Beautiful Green Maple Trees that will Heal You
Kyoto is famous for the foliage in the autumn, but the fresh verdure during the early summer is also lovely. Here are five recommended spots where you can enjoy beautifully verdant and translucent Aomomiji (green maple) trees.
1. Tadasu-no-mori (Shimogamo Shrine)
This shrine is a major Kyoto tourist destination. Tadasu-no-mori is a large virgin forest within the grounds of Shimogamo Shrine. It is a mystic forest with vegetation that remains the same from about the 3rd century BC, and is registered as a World Heritage. This is a place with nature that changes by the season, where in the early summer, you can enjoy the green maple trees. Listening to the brooks and birds surrounded by the fresh verdure will refresh both your body and soul. You can immerse yourself in a forest enveloped by the mystic atmosphere of the shrine.
Tofukuji is a Zen temple popular for its beautiful Japanese rock garden and the huge Buddha temple with a solemn atmosphere. The ground that spans 198,000 square meters is full of fresh verdure in the early summer, so much so that the whole area seems to be painted in green. There are many ways to enjoy the green maple trees here, such as by looking down on them from the Tsuten Bridge between the buildings or looking up at them from below.
Tsuten Bridge entrance fee: 400 JPY/adult, 300 JPY/child
Enkouji is located in Sakyo Ward. It is a temple that started as a school founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1601, and educated many scholarly priests and artists, thus playing an important role in the development of Japanese culture.
There is a garden called Jyugyu no Niwa famous for the beauty of its autumn foliage and moss which is best seen from the temple. It is called a "gakubuchi teien" (frame garden) because it looks as if it is one complete painting. You can enjoy "a world of greenery" created by green maple leaves and hair moss shimmering in the light while feeling the fresh wind passing through.
Entrance fee: 500 JPY/adult; 400 JPY/high school, junior high school; 300 JPY/child
4. Kifune Shrine
Kifune Shrine is dedicated to the deity that controls water sources. In the early summer, you can enjoy the beautiful contrast between the scarlet lanterns on the 80 steps leading up to the shrine and the green maple trees. The view from Ryusenkaku, a rest area in the main shrine grounds, is also recommended. You can enjoy a beautiful view of a valley filled with fresh verdure. The sound of Kifune River that flows nearby is also very refreshing.
Eikando is a historic temple that was built more than 1,100 years ago. It has been extolled as "Momiji no Eikando" (Eikando of the maple trees) for the beauty of its fall foliage, considered to be one of the best in Kyoto. In the early summer, you can see approximately 3,000 maple trees with beautiful green leaves. In particular, the view from Gairyuro, a corridor built along the mountain slope, is spectacular. Your perspective changes as you climb the stairs so that you are able to enjoy the many faceted expressions of the green maple trees. If the weather is good, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the verdant city of Kyoto from the pagoda (a type of Buddhist tower) up in the hills.
Entrance fee: 600 JPY/general, 400 JPY/high school, junior high school, elementary school
The sight of fresh green leaves can be healing. Please go out and walk among the ao-momiji to refresh yourselves.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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