Exploring the massive Daitokuji, the Rinzai-sect of Buddhism temple complex and some of its sub-temples, all famous for their kare-sansui, dry landscape rock gardens – Daisen-in, Zuihou-in and Kourin-in.
Though relatively newly reconstructed structures and inaccessible buildings (unlike favored Nijo Castle), the gardens at the Kyoto Gosho makes this a worthy visit thanks to its otherworldly views.
Catching bright autumn colors at the Shishiku no Niwa, a garden of Hogon-in, sub-temple of Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama.
Quiet stroll at Kyu Shiba Rikyu, one of the two surviving Edo garden in Tokyo, featuring a central pond with four small islands and various rock formations.
Visiting Meigetsu-in in Kamakura, famous as Ajisai-dera (Hydrangea Temple) during autumn to see the autumn foliage which was just turning color.
Autumn foliage at Engakuji, a Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism temple, built as a memorial to soldiers lost during the battles against the Mongolian invasion in Japan.
A relaxing stroll in the beautiful Genkyuen, the garden in the grounds of Hikone castle, featuring a central pond with multiple islands connected by bridges.
An unexpected enjoyable visit to Hikone Castle, one of the 12 original castles. Though the castle keep is small in size, especially in comparison to the likes of Himeji Castle, this hilltop castle offers a view of Hikone and features a number of intact buildings thus allowing visitors a more “complete” experience of a Japanese feudal castle.
A chance for a quiet prayer at Shōrin-in, an often overlooked Tendai sect. of Buddhism temple in Ohara, Kyoto.
A two-hour scenic ride through Hozugawa river from Kameoka to Arashiyama, learning about the history of the boat ride through the tales and jokes from the friendly boatmen.
Catching autumn colors at Hasedera, also known as Flower Temple and famous for its 7000 peonies which blooms from mid April to early May.