It was the second and final koyo trip in 2019. We visited Kinki area in 10 days in late to end Nov focusing on spots in Nara Prefecture in the beginning, before returning to Kyoto as in the last few years.
Overall itin – KIX > Nara Prefecture > Arima onsen > Kyoto
Upon landing in Osaka/KIX, picked up rental car and drove to Mt. Yoshino in Nara Prefecture. Arrived at historical ryokan Chikurinin Gunpoen (竹林院群芳園) in Naka Senbon after 4pm. No sightseeing as it was getting dark (sunset before 5pm). We stayed there for 2 nights.
On the next morning, visited the historical landscape garden in the ryokan which is famous for sakura, where Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉) had visited more than 400 years ago. Koyo was in peak.
Tanzan Jinja (談山神社)
Next, we drove downhill to Tanzan Jinja near Sakurai in less than 1 hour. It is famous for the unique 13-storey wooden pagoda in Japan. Besides, locals pray for love/marriage.
Gorgeous fall colours 🙂
Inside the Main Hall and Jinja ground
Next, drove to nearby historical Hasedera (長谷寺) of more than 1,000 years. Had brief lunch in the temple town downhill. Climbed nearly 400 stairs before arriving at the Hondo (Main Hall).
Hondo (Main Hall), 5-storey Pagoda
Outside the Hondo there is a large wooden deck with breathtaking views of the buildings below and the 5-storey Pagoda, surrounded by peak koyo.