Autumn Leaves of Ankoku-ji, Tajima

Scarlet autumn captured in a picture frame

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 2 min read

Located in the northern part of Hyogo prefecture, Ankokuzenji Temple is very famous for its brilliant autumn leaves of Doudan-tsutsuji (Japanese enkianthus).

However, only a few people know about the temple itself. Truth be told, I was one of many people who didn't know about it, and my first visit was only three years ago when I was finally blessed with an opportunity. The temple gave me the impression that it was compact in size, which was a far cry from so-called Grand Head Temples that include many small temples on the premises. It looked like a simple mountain temple at a glance, but with a further look, I could tell the depth and layers of history this temple had embraced. This is what I call "THE old temple"!

The view from the wooden terrace of the main hall of this "old temple" was so spectacular! It took my breath away for a moment or two! Except for maples, I had never seen autumn leaves like this before. They were so vivid that the colors jumped into my eyes. I hope you can enjoy their brilliance with my photos.

The entrance fee is 300 yen per person (adult), and it's open from 8 A.M. to 7 P.M. (last admission at 6:30 P.M.).

※Note to the readers: Ankoku-ji Temple is usually open to the public in every autumn for autumn leaves viewing, but due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it's temporarily closed for this year(2020). For further information, please refer to the official site.

Getting there

By train, take a bus from JR Toyooka station and alight at Odani bus stop. The temple is 15-minute on foot from there.

By car, it's a 40-minute drive from Fukuchiyama IC on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway. The temple has a parking lot that can accommodate about 60 cars, but using public transport is recommended as the parking often gets full on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose