Perhaps Kyoto’s most famous (and most crowded) autumn-foliage destination, Eikan-dō is a superb temple just a short walk south of the famous Path of Philosophy. Eikan-dō is made interesting by its varied architecture, its gardens and its works of art. It was founded as Zenrin-ji in 855 by the priest Shinshō, but the name was changed to Eikan-dō in the 11th century to honour the philanthropic priest Eikan.
In the Amida-dō hall at the southern end of the complex is a famous statue of Mikaeri Amida Buddha glancing backwards.
From Amida-dō, head north to the end of the curving covered garyūrō (walkway). Change into the sandals provided, then climb the steep steps up the mountainside to the Tahō-tō pagoda, from where there’s a fine view across the city.
For most of November, when the autumn leaves are at their best, the admission fee increases to ¥1000 during the day, and the temple stays open to 9pm for the nighttime illumination (¥600).