Jojakko-ji temple (常寂光寺) is a popular place to watch autumn colours in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto. It is in fact so popular that it may be impossible to visit it during the high season: the queue to get it is just too damn long!
The temple is located at the foot of the hills, with different parts located at various heights. The lower level is where the entrance is, followed by a short path to a first inner gate. After the gate stairs climb up to the main temple buildings. The stairs covered by maple foliage; this is the most popular part of the temple in autumn. Behind the main hall (hondo - 本堂) is a very small and steep zen garden, but it's so small and "messy" that I wouldn't really call it zen. Anyway.
Further up is a nice pagoda, also surrounded by maple trees. Climb a bit more and you will reach a few other minor buildings, and at the top of the path you will have a nice view of Kyoto. On the way down you can use the "women's path" that starts at the far end (north) of the hondo level, thereby bypassing the main stairs. This path is quite nice in early spring (new green leaves - 青紅葉), and will join the main path just after the gate, at the foot of the main stairs. If you keep going east a bit you will find a small flower garden.
Jojakko-ji is one of the numerous temples that line up at the foot of Arashiyama hills. The nearby streets have interesting art and handicraft shops, some of them being very old. South of Jojakoji is Tenryu-ji (天龍時), the Bamboo Alley (嵯峨竹林) and the Okochi Sanso villa (大河内山荘). Further north you will find the Rakushisha hermitage (落柿舎), Nison-in (二尊院) and Giyou-ji (祇王寺).
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Nearby: Furoan フロアン (130m), Rakushisha 落柿舎 (200m), Nison-in 二尊院 (210m), Okochi Sansō villa 大河内山荘 (320m), Shōkaku-ji 正覚寺 (320m), Enri-an 厭離庵 (410m), Senkō-ji 千光寺 (420m), Bamboo alley 嵯峨竹林 (420m), Takiguchi-dera 滝口寺 (430m), Giyō-ji 祇王寺 (460m),...
External links: Website, ウィキペディア, Kyoto Navi, Trip Advisor, Kyoto Design, 京都風光, Inside Kyoto, Marutake, そうだ京都, Satellite view, Map
Keywords: Japan, 日本, Japon, Kyoto, 京都, 嵐山, arashiyama, 常寂光寺, Jojako-ji, temple, 寺院, 仏閣