Where can a humble leaf lover go if not Kyoto? Kyoto, the most famous of Japan’s cultural icons. Kyoto, where all the most beautiful gardens are. Kyoto!
But, when conservative estimates suggest roughly a billion people went to Kyoto the long weekend recently past, maybe another part of Japan might suffice?
Chikubu jima, a short ferry ride from Nagahama across Biwako, also has quite nice trees, excellent shrines, and, due to being a tiny island, a natural limit on the number of tourists who can visit.
Similar to Kyoto, there are pagodas, shrines, and history! At Tsukubusuma shrine, visitors can throw clay plates for luck, which actually, I’ve never seen in Kyoto. Winning!
While in Shiga, why not visit some other gorgeous autumn leaf spots? Kyoto is not going anywhere… and neither will you, if you attempt to go to Kyoto.