Rurikoin Temple Kyoto : Picturesque Temple with Maple Leaves

Rurikoin Temple: One of the most beautiful temples in Kyoto which opens only twice a year

One of the most picturesque places to visit in Kyoto, Ruriko-in Temple is a true gem that open only twice a year for fresh green and warm colour maple leaves in spring and autumn.

Rurikoin Temple (瑠璃光院) is a beautiful and peaceful temple located in northern Kyoto near Mt Hiei. The temple is slightly distanced from the center, and the nearest train station is Yase-Hieizanguchi Station and it takes 5 mins on foot to the temple.

The large temple complex is surrounded by beautiful nature and includes several notable landmarks such as the beautiful entrance and approach, the Japanese-style gardens “Ruri no Niwa” and “Garyo no Niwa”, the drawing room “Shoin”, the teahouse “Kikaku-tei” and more.

Rurikoin Temple is one of the most attractive and hard-to-visit tourist sites in Kyoto as the temple is open for public only twice a year in spring and autumn. The main attraction of the temple is maple trees which display astonishing scenery collaborating with the historical buildings and traditional Japanese gardens at the temple. The fresh green maple leaves and moss can see in spring and tinted leaves can be enjoyed in autumn.

Kyoto is especially a famous destination for autumn leaves season, and Rurikoin Temple is a highly popular spot as a large number of visitors come to capture the spectacular autumn scenery only this time of the year. Maple trees at the temple displays various warm colours in gradation and the beautiful contrast with green moss can be enjoyed.

Rurikoin Temple is famous for the iconic scenery which can is found at the second floor of the Shoin building, displaying colourful autumn leaves from the open window. There is a large lacquered black table in the room which works as a mirror and reflects the autumn leaves scenery and creates a breathtaking scenery. This view of the reflected leaves is called “Yuka Momiji” (Yuka means floor and Momiji means maple (leaves) in Japanese), and this picturesque autumn scenery at Rurikoin Temple has become hugely famous across the world through the social media recently, and attracts even larger number of visitors every year.

For autumn leaves viewing, Rurikoin Temple is open from 1 October to 10 December (10:00~17:00), and the entrance fee is 2,000 yen. As I mentioned earlier, Rurikoin Temple is a very popular place for autumn leaves viewing in Kyoto, so if you wish to avoid crowds, it’s recommended to visit there off the peak season or get there early morning and queue up before the temple opens. The midday during the peak season (from mid to late November) could be the busiest period which you may need to wait up to 2 hours.

-Ruriko-in Temple (瑠璃光院)


Access: 5 mins walk from Yasehieizanguchi Station (Eizan Main Line) OR 7 mins walk from Yaseekimae Stop (Kyoto bus)

-Public Viewing

Date: 1 October to 10 December (Best viewing time: mid to late November)


Admission Fee: 2,000 yen


Thanks for reading! If you are into photography, Rurikoin Temple is definitely the place to visit in Kyoto! For more amazing places for photography in Kyoto, I’d recommend you to check out these articles, too!

10 Best Spots to Photograph in Kyoto 2019

Kyoto at Night: 5 Best Temples in Kyoto to Visit at Night

7 Best Instagram Worthy Temples and Shrines in Kyoto

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