Last update: 2022/12/06
While visiting Japan at any time and date could be fun, there is no doubt that Spring season and Autumn season are the most popular.
After the summer, once the temperatures drop, the Autumn flowers and plants take the stage. Kinmokusei (Sweet osmanthus) with it’s lovely smell, red spider lilies, pampas grass, yellow ginkgo leaves and of course Momiji (maple) leaves that similar to a traffic light turn yellow and then red. Stop! and look at me (or even, eat me! In some places).
Below we have gathered a list of cafes with a view over autumn leaves or in the near vicinity of beautiful autumn leaf sights. Hope you enjoy!
Photos and locations are updated throughout the season.
Please note that many of these cafes are of course extremely popular to visit during the Autumn season so come early or expect some waiting times.
Located deep in Arashiyama, near Seiryo-ji temple is the lovely Momicafe.
Momicafe is spacious cafe run by a sweet elderly lady and is located along a road that runs between Seiryo-ji and Nison-In temples. The cafe is a little hard to find hidden by maple leaf trees. In front of the cafe is a parking area for at least two cars. A small path from the parking area will lead to the from of the cafe that has a large window that clearly shows the interior.
The interior of the cafe feels partially like a living room and part cozy restaurant with the large window and atrium letting in a lot of light from the outside.
A table near the window will give you a full view over the beautiful garden and in Autumn season the beautiful red maple leafs.
Located in the middle of Fushimi-Inari area on a 10 minute walk from Keihan Line – Fushimi Inari Station and JR Line’s Inari Station is Vermillion, a lovely café with a cozy atmosphere that has a large terrace with a view over Shin-Ike pond.
The café is located on a little incline surrounded by small shrines. The cafe has a simple white exterior with a red brick bench attached to the front so it cant be missed.
Inside you will be welcomed by an industrial style interior with a bare ceiling showing the corrugated plates and the steel beams, bare concrete walls and a dark brick wall behind the counter. This in combination with the dark wood furniture gives the café a cozy atmosphere. It’s main attraction however is it’s large terrace facing the pond in the back of the cafe. The furniture on the terrace consists of antique chairs and tables with one amazing rocking chair.
Coffee Base Nashinoki is located along the path that leads to Nashinoki shrine and has outdoor seating surrounded by maple leaf trees which makes for a great view in Autumn. Enjoy your drink while viewing the beautiful maple leaves makes this a top pick!
The UNIR coffee senses is located in the heart of Higashiyama area and has a lovely front garden and inner courtyard that can be viewed from up close or the 2nd floor cafe space if you want to see the autumn leaves this is a nice place..
Bread, Espresso and Arashiyama Garden is a large bakery/cafe located in the middle of Arashiyama area. It consists of two buildings, the bakery and the cafe that is situated in an old house that back in the day was owned by a Mayor. Between en surrounding the buildings is a beautiful Japanese garden that gives a lovely view from your seat while having breakfast or lunch.
Welcome to Minoo, famous for Minoh Beer, its waterfall and tempura momiji (fried maple leafs). Probably also a lot of other things too but I got too lazy to research.
Only available during the Autumn season, tempura momiji are maple leaves dipped in batter and then fried.
The fried maple leaves are quite hard so you need to have a good set of teeth but they are absolutely AMAZING and are a MUST if you are in the neighborhood.
The waterfall and the autumn view? Well, not bad either.
Below you can find the map to one of the shops that sells tempura-momiji, but you will find many more one your way to the Minoo waterfall so the choice is up to you.
Not food persee, unless you digest books for a living, is this peculiar library that can be found inside Kyoto Gyoen National Garden.
It’s a small wooden house that is filled with kids books. While you can make use of it throughout the year, the mini library and the surrounding area are especially nice to check out during the Autumn season. The large ginkgo trees and the fallen leaves around it can make for a beautiful sight.
Again, its not much, but I hope you enjoy our tips.