Marking Recommended Foliage Places to Visit in Japan Using Google Maps

Autumn foliage

A few days ago I’ve learned how to set up a custom map using Google Maps (Your Places → Maps). The reason I did it is to be able to put custom markers on the map with my own choice of icons, colors, description, and images.

I’ll be located in Osaka, so my main places to visit are mostly in Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara which are close by. Of course, there are other places in the Kensai region outside Osaka city that I included as well.

Foliage Top Spots in Kyoto

Here is the list of places that I plan to visit in Kyoto to see beautiful sights of Autumn Foliage. The list is in no particular order.

  • Kifune Shrine
  • Sanzen-in Temple
  • Jisso-in Temple (Jisso-in Monzeki)
  • Ruriko-in Temple (Rank 5)
  • Shugakuin Imperial Villa
  • Enkoji Temple (Rank 2)
  • Higashiyama Jisho-ji
  • Hōnen-in Temple
  • Shinnyodo Temple Hondo
  • Heian Shrine
  • Eikando Temple (Rank 4)
  • Nanzenji Temple (Rank 7)
  • Tenju-an Temple
  • Kōdaiji Temple (Rank 6)
  • Kiyomizu-dera (Rank 1)
  • Tofukuji Temple (Rank 1)
  • Daigoji
  • Daitoku-ji
  • Kitano Tenmangū Shrine
  • Takaosan Jingoji Temple
  • Giouji Temple
  • Enrian Temple (Rank 3)
  • Jōjakkōji Temple (Rank 9)
  • Okochi Sanso Garden (High rank)
  • Hogonin Temple
  • Arashiyama (Rank 1)
  • Yoshimine-dera Temple

I also ranked the top of them based on what I’ve read and seen. So those ranked 1 are the most recommended places to visit in autumn for foliage viewing. The other ones that were mentioned I put as well.

I also marked the Top places in a different icon and color so I can easily recognize it. This way, I’ll aim to get to that area and continue from there to other locations The good thing is that many of those places are in easy Kyoto and the others are located near Arashiyama.

This except Tofukuji Temple, which is the number 1 most recommended places to view Autumn foliage in Kyoto and it is located closer to the center, but not far from the other places in the east side of Kyoto.

I plan to get to Kyoto several times of course, because time flies so fast and I won’t be able to view it all. It takes time to get from place to place, and I can tell that from experience. Even with Google Maps, I can get stuck looking for the right bus station. It happened to me a lot. Google wasn’t my best friend when I was in Kyoto. Although in all other places it worked fine.

Foliage Top Spots in Osaka (and its outskirts)

In Osaka (and outer regions) is a bit more spread out than in Kyoto.

  • Mino Falls (Rank 1)
  • Settsukyo Park
  • Katsuō-ji
  • Minoo Park (Rank 1)
  • Expo Memorial Park
  • Osaka Castle Park
  • Mido-suji
  • Daisen Park
  • Ushitakisan Daiitoku-ji

Nara Top Foliage Viewing Places

In Nara I have those places mark:

  • Kasuga-taisha
  • Yoshiki-en
  • 依水園
  • Kasuga-taisha
  • Tanzan-Jinja Shrine

Kobe Foliage Top Viewing Areas

Kobe is also on my list with the following places that I want to visit to see the foliage:

  • Zuihoji Park
  • Nene Bridge and Statue of Nene
  • Tsuzumigataki Park
  • Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden
  • Kobe City Arboretum
  • Nunobiki Herb Garden
  • Suma Rikyu Park

A Lot of Places to Visit

So yes, plenty of places to see. Of course, I won’t be able to see them all, but at least I get a good idea about the top places and a rough idea of where the other recommended spots are for viewing autumn foliage.

There are plenty of articles on the web with recommended places and incredible photos showing the beautiful autumn foliage. Even as I write this article, I’ve added like two more places to the map. For example, I’ve added Houkyō-in Temple, which is another top location to see the brilliant autumn leaves. There is a beautiful garden there. It’s a very tourist place, but I guess it’s well worth it. I might come very early, what I do most of the time to avoid the heavy crowd.

TIP: I recommend making your own Custom Google Maps and putting some or all of those places that I mentioned, so you can visit them as well if you are in Japan in autumn.

Thanks for reading.

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