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).
We have gathered a few (sadly not many) cafes that have a beautiful view over the autumn leaves.
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.
Vermillion Cafe, Fushimi Inari
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.
Bread, Espresso and Arashiyama Garden
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.
Spectacle consists of four floors. The basement that is mainly used for roasting coffee. The first floor is mainly the kitchen and the cashier and the third and fourth floor are the main areas where you can enjoy your drink or meal with a nice view over the river and the Tenma district.
Artistic is probably the best way we can describe this cafe as the interior has various styles of furniture. That in combination with the art on the walls, the metal stairs and the concrete interior of the building make it feel like a contemporary art piece.
Spectacle has a varied menu with lots of tasty dishes to choose from. Coconut curry, taco rice, tarte flambee is just a small sample. They even have sweets. But we really recommend their coconut curry. Spectacle’s coconut curry is probably one of the best in Osaka. We’d love to be proven different.
Minoo and it's edible momiji.
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.