I’ve visited Ohara, about an hour North by bus from Kyoto station, over a dozen times but have always headed straight for the extremely beautiful and peaceful Sanzen-in. My mother was in town one November and for a change I thought we’d check out Jakko-in on the opposite side of the main road to Sanzen-in and down the hill.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect so was delighted with the extremely pleasant stroll to the temple and stoked when I discovered that Jakko-in is an incredible vantage spot for Autumn leaf viewing. Its small and can get a little crowded but go early and you should be OK.
If you are in Kyoto in Autumn and feel like getting out of town to see a little country life I highly recommend a trip to Jakko-in and definitely Sanzen-in if you haven’t been before. Its easy to spend the whole day doing both (with lunch in between). These images follow my walk from the bus station to the temple and back. It can be a little confusing so do keep an eye out for any signage you can find – or ask if you get lost – it’s probably about a 20 minute walk – if you don’t go off track! And finding a track is the hard bit….
The closer we grew to Jakko-in the more impressive were the colours…
Check out this fabulous foot spa cafe – natural hot springs – a fabulous way to rest weary feet and up your caffeine intake. You will find it, nestled between a couple of other shops, on the street that leads up to Jakko-in.
The stairway to Jakko-in
Preserved mushrooms, including the highly perfumed matsutake
We stopped for lunch at one of the few restaurants in the area and having dined at a couple I can recommend this one – its just on your left as you cross over from the bus terminal and start to head up towards Sanzen-in. There is a cafe above which does half decent coffee. There really isn’t a lot of choice in the area. I previously ate Tempura at one of the restaurants closer to Sanzen in and it was seriously worrying. This was very good and they had a variety of dishes including steamy bowls of soba – so my advice is to stick to lower ground!. Having said that, I do recommend trying the tofu restaurant just outside Sanzen-in – their speciality was yudofu – tofu simmered in broth. Keep an eye out if you don’t fancy tempura.
This is the cute cafe above – lovely view with your hot beverages…