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Eikando 永観堂, Zenrinji in Kyoto: The best autumn leaves and night illumination

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Autumn leaves in Eikando/Zenrinji temple

Overview

永観堂の紅葉2016

 At Eikando, we can enjoy many colors. The peculiar thing is that we can see vivid and pale colors at the same time. We cannot admire autumn leaves in that way in any other places. In addition to it, the leaves in Eikando seem fresh as if they contained lots of water. I suppose that is the reason people say “Eikando is the best place to see autumn leaves,”

 At night, the garden is illuminated and we can enjoy one of the most amazing illumination in Kyoto.

永観堂紅葉・ライトアップ2018/Autumn leaves in Eikando

The colors of autumn leaves in Eikando

Green

永観堂の岩垣紅葉

 When leaves start to turning their colors, we can enjoy the way green leaves grow into vermilion or red ones. Around the 1st week of November is the best time to admire them.

ヒヒヒ
ヒヒヒ

I love them!

Pale colors

永観堂の紅葉2017

 Around 15th November, a couple of days earlier than the best time to visit Eikando, there are many leaves in pale colors.

Red

永観堂の紅葉

 I suppose you saw autumn leaves in very vivid red like this in books and websites. The truth is that it is not easy to find them any place you go. Eikando is one of the rare places to find them with ease.

Vermilion

 The most popular color of autumn leaves in Kyoto. In Eikando, it is so alive.

Yellow

永観堂の紅葉

 We have Japanese maple in yellow in Eikando but the most recommended is ginko in yellow. The photo is the most beautiful place in Eikando. We discuss where it is later.

Purple

永観堂の紅葉2016

  The purple is also alive and vivid in Eikando.

Mizukagami 水鏡

永観堂の紅葉永観堂のライトアップ2016

 Mizukagami is an art to admire scenery : To see the reflection of it instead of the scenery itself.

On moss

永観堂の紅葉2016

 Eikando has beautiful moss. You can enjoy the leaves fallen on them.

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Where to enjoy autumn leaves?

Overview

 In Eikando, we can admire many colors as you see. Now let us make sure the places we can enjoy them in the map. The vermilion line indicates the area we can be in. The octopus indicates the entrance. In daytime, we can enter the buildings like main hall. At night, we are allowed to enter only Amidado and Gasendo.

The red alien

永観堂の紅葉2016

 This is the best place in Eikando. At the time I take the photo, the ginko had fallen completely and maple leaves started to fall over them: The best time to adore the most amazing autumn leaves in the world. They are very, very extraordinary. They take your breath away.

永観堂の紅葉

 The last year, the ginko leaves fall but maple leaves still stayed on the trees, i.e. we didn’t have the best time. The photo was taken last year. It is beautiful though it was not taken in the best time. Extraordinary, anyway.

いちきしま ひめ
いちきしま ひめ

Don’t miss them! The best time is around 20th Nov.~

The purple alien

永観堂の紅葉2016

 We can enjoy many colors at the same time.

Along the red line

永観堂の紅葉

 We can admire pale colors there. The red line indicates the path and there are extraordinary mosses along it.

The grey alien

永観堂の岩垣紅葉

 Around the grey alien, there are maple tress on cliff edge. It is called “Iwagaki momiji” and very famous. We can reach there at night.

The yellow alien

永観堂のライトアップ2016

  There is a bridge around it. We have a good view of the pond there but it is prohibited to stay there. Don’t worry, we also have places with good view around the pond.

The green alien

永観堂のライトアップ2016

 At night, we have an extraordinary view of the pond and the pagoda.

げきすせん
げきすせん

Don’t miss it!

The kettle

永観堂の紅葉

 We have a tea house around there. Enjoy tea and wagashi with autumn leaves.

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Night Illumination of autumn leaves in Eikando

永観堂のライトアップ2016永観堂ライトアップ

 The illumination in Eikando is so popular that it is always crowded. The illumination usually starts at 17:30 (It is not officially announced yet). Visitors always wait in line. If you wanted to enter Eikando at 17:30, it would be better to be there around 16:30~17:00. At night, the path in Eikando is one-way. It takes at least 1 hour to stroll around the garden. It is not good idea to go other illumination event on the same day. If you could leave Eikando 19:50, you would join the illumination in Tenjuan temple.

 The last year, from 7th Nov. to 6th Dec., Eikando is illuminated. The entrance fee was 600 yen.

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The best time to visit Eikando

Evey year, the most of autumn leaves are in full bloom around 20th Nov. We can enjoy them from 15th to 25th.

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What is Eikando/Zenrinji?

永観堂の見返り阿弥陀像

 Eikando temple is the most famous autumn leaves site in Kyoto. “Eikando” is a de facto name of Syuju Raigozan Zenrinji (聖衆来迎山無量寿院禅林寺). It used be a villa of a court noble and became a Buddhist temple in 863. The name Eikando is named after a monk who brought prosperity to Zenrinji. His name was Yokan (written 永観 in kanji). Eikando is written 永観堂 in kanji. They are pronounced different but has the same letters. 永観 is read “Eikan” usually. So, it is called Eikando.

The temple has about 3,000 maple trees in the area and is sometimes referred as “Eikando, the autumn leaves.” In the main hall, “Turning-around Amidaba.”

 

永観堂の紅葉

At the vemilion alien, we can enjoy pale colors.

Night Illumination

永観堂のライトアップ2016

At night time, Eikando is illuminated. This year’s schedule was not yet announced.

The schedule in 2017:From November 7th to December 6th. From18:00~21:00

It would be better to be Eikando before 18:00 because people wait in line in front of the entrance.

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About Eikando temple

Name: Syujuu Raigozan Muryojyuin Zenrinji 聖衆来迎山無量寿院禅林寺  

De facto name: Eikando temple

Adress  Eikando cho 84, Sakyo ward, Kyoto city, 〒606-8445

Phone No. 075-761-0007

FAXNo. 075-771-4243

Website Eikando official

Usual Opeining hours 9:00~17:00(Etrance is closed at 16:00)

Entrance fee Adult 600 yen

Time required 1hour~

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How to get to Eikando temple?

From JR Kyoto station

 At subway Kyoto station, take Karasuma line to Karasuma Oike station. At Karasuma Oike station, change train to subway Tozai line to Keage station. It takes about 15 minutes from Keage station to Eikando.

Kyoto city bus

NO.5 Nanzenji Eikando michi bus stop.

No.32、93、100、102、203、204 Higashi temno cho bus stop.

Attention In the autumn leaves season, buses, mostly No.5、100、102 are often crowded. It would be better to go to Eikando by train. If you wanted more information, check the link below.

The ultimate guide of bus and train routes in Kyoto
This is the ultimate guide of bus and train routes. You can fiind route on landmark to landmark basis to avoid inconvenience lile crowded bus.
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