In the northern city of Maizuru, Kongoin and Nariai-ji Temples attract architecture enthu-siasts and spiritual sojourners alike. The monk Takaoka Shinno is believed to have founded Kongoin about 1,200 years ago. Its magnificent temple structures, including a three-story pagoda with persimmon-tree roof tiles, are nestled among thick pines and maples. The abundant beauty is ethereal year-round, but shines particularly in autumn when the leaves change to their kaleidoscopic fall colors. If the visual bliss inspires you, head over to nearby Nariai-ji Temple for a meditation class.