Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Momijigari: Hunting for Autumn Colors

Date Published: Last Update:2014/12/09 Traditional Culture, Travel & View point , , , , ,

I have never been to any form of hunting trip till my friends and I head out to Kyoto this year to experience Momijigari which literally translates to maple leaf (momiji) hunting (gari). Just like Hanami (sakura viewing) in spring, Momijigari in autumn is well rooted in the Japanese culture and recently has also gained popularity among foreign visitors.

Our hunt for autumn colored leaves led us to the northwest part of Kyoto near the famous Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji). We first visited the Genko-an Temple famous for two windows found in its main hall – The Window of Enlightenment (Satori no Mado) which represent zen awakening (enlightenment) – symbolized by its round shaped window and The Window of Uncertainty (Mayoi no Mado) which represent human suffering – symbolized by its square shaped window. These two windows are best viewed in autumn where it perfectly frames the autumn scenery of the outside garden. Besides being famous for these two windows, the temple is also famous for its blood ceilings. Found on its main hall the wood used to be floor boards from Fushimi Momoyama Castle which were blood stained/soaked when a group of samurai soldiers who either fought and died or committed seppuku (suicide) during a battle which led to the fall of the castle in 1600. Apparently the blood stained floor boards where bought to several temples in order to console the spirits of the dead soldiers. So when you visit this temple don’t forget to look up and search for the famous footprint. Though pictures were strictly prohibited during my visit to the temple here are a few images from Flickr that I wish to share (visitors are only allowed to take pictures of the garden and of the windows when its off season).

Genko-an Temple The Window of Enlightenment – Satori no Mado (left side) and The Window of Uncertainty – Mayoi no Mado left side (Photo by Agustin Rafael Reyes on Flickr)

6451180637_c3fc2002d9_zGarden (Photo by かがみ~ on Flickr)

6451367887_56d5417107_oFoot Print (Photo by Motohiro Sunouchi)

Admission Tickets to Genko-an Temple usually sells for 400 yen per person but on peak season per ticket is 500 yen. If your wondering if I enjoyed my visit to Genko-an Temple and if it was worth a visit, no doubt it is one of those temples that you must see during momiji season just find a day and or time where there are less visitors because during my visit the temple guests really came in numbers like several bus tours and given the small space of the temple and the limited view of both windows you can’t enjoy them long. And since we did not have the luxury of spending more time to enjoy the garden inside the temple, we took time to enjoy the foliage surrounding it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After visiting the temple, we decided to hike around the neighboring hill side – this marked the start of our hunt for momiji leaves. We decided to head to the nearby Buddhist temple – Ginshoji. Along the way we stopped by a shop selling the best dango I ever tasted – it was not too sweet and its crust had a crunch to it, maybe because it was fresh off the grill. The long narrow slopes of the Kagamiishi Dori prove to be a best place to enjoy momijigari though watch out for the cars that frequent this narrow path.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But have you ever wondered why Kyoto is so famous for autumn leaves when it could be found anywhere in Japan? I often wondered about it during this trip and set out to find answers for myself and if you ask me only one thing comes to mind – Charisma. This city really has so much charisma that perfectly captures the heart of every visitor that has ever visited this place.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:


Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 3

Who is William Merrell Vories? William Merrell Vories was an american from Leavenworth, Kansas who at a young age of 24 left his country and moved to Japan to teach English at Hachiman Commercial High School and since his arrival at Omihachiman on February 2, 1905, he has called this place his new home. He quickly […]

Read Article


Seijin no Hi or Coming of Age Day

Coming of Age Day Today is Seijin no Hi (成人の日) or Coming of Age Day in Japan. It is a national holiday held every second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate all those who have newly entered adulthood or those who turned 20 years old in the past year and encourage […]

Read Article


Naoshima Art House Project – Part 2

In my first post I shared with you my experience when I visited Go’o Shrine and Kadoya. Now I will tell you about the other 4 houses – Gokaisho, Haisha, Ishibashi and Minamidera. Gokaisho designed by Yoshihiro Suda. Gokaisho litterally means a place to meet and play go – a traditional Japanese board game. But don’t expect […]

Read Article


Let’s Play “Go”! – How to Play the Board Game Go

The game Go is a quest to conquer territories. One of the two players uses black stones and the other white stones to mark out their respective territories. The player who has captured more territory at the end of the game is the winner. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts […]

Read Article


New Year Holidays in Japan: Hatsumoude

Happy New Year! Everything you do in the first days of the New Year can mean something or will affect the whole year. Hatsu or “first” of something are important according to Japanese culture: the first shrine visit, first dreams, and the first sunrise have impacts on how your year will turn out. The following […]

Read Article

Peeling mikan

New Year Holidays in Japan : Mikan

Mikan is one of the typical fruits in Japanese winter. When my siblings and I were ever-hungry children, my mother always bought a box with 15 kg (approx. 530 oz, 33 lb) of mikan in winter. We could easily eat up 15 mikan each at one sitting. I suppose the Engel’s coefficient of my family […]

Read Article


Keirou no Hi or Respect for the Aged Day

Today is a special day for the elderly in Japan. Special in the sense that the government really made a holiday to celebrate and pay homage to them. People across the country travel to their hometown to visit their parents and relatives. But what exactly is “Respect for the Aged Day”? The following two tabs […]

Read Article

Okayama Korakuen - special spot

Okayama Korakuen: From Structures to Creatures

If someone will ask me what to check out in Okayama, the first thing I would suggest would be to visit Okayama Korakuen. Aside from its easy access, its scenic spots will bring you relaxation and peace of mind away from a hectic life. The garden is surrounded by tall trees that being there would […]

Read Article


Visiting Hokuei – The Birthplace of Detective Conan

One of the longest running manga and anime today is Meitantei Conan (lit. Great Detective Conan) or known as Case Closed in the West. To date, the manga has more than 80 volumes and the anime has more than 700 episodes. For those who are not familiar with it, it is about highschool detective who […]

Read Article


The Princess Who Came From a Bamboo, Princess Kaguya

It was December last year when I had my first time in a Japanese movie theater. The movie we watched was Studio Ghibli’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari. Though my Japanese is limited, the movie never failed to amazed me somehow. From The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Kaguya-hime no Monogatari(かぐや姫の物語) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+