community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-bookmark-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-tours destinations-town interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter social-youtube ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-confirmed-outline ui-confirmed-solid ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-video-play ui-x user-avatar
Autumn Color Report 2009
by japan-guide.com

This are the official japan-guide.com autumn color reports for 2009 from our trips to various autumn leaf spots across Japan. Check our page on Autumn Leaves for general information.

previous post
list all posts
next post

2009/11/16 - Kyoto: Kurama


by francois

The view over Kurama-dera Temple and the surrounding valley

Kurama is a rural town in northern Kyoto, and is one of the best places to see fall colours ("koyo") in the region at the moment. Today I did a loop around the area, checking out the colors in the neighbouring town of Kibune as well.

About an hour north of central Kyoto, getting to Kurama and Kibune is usally most conveniently done along the Eizan Kurama Line from Demachi-Yanagi Station (detailed access information is available on the Kurama page). One of the best instances of koyo today was along the train line, in the section between Ichihara Station and Ninose Station known as the "koyo tunnel". Special panoramic trains with large windows allow travellers to really enjoy the scenery, and these special "Kirara" trains depart about once or twice an hour.

Riders enjoy the koyo tunnel in the panoramic Kirara train

I got off at Kibune-guchi Station, as my plan was to walk up to Kibune and then across to Kurama, allowing me to travel the area without retracing my steps. After being impressed by the koyo tunnel, I was happy to find plenty of examples of colorful koyo on my walk up to Kibune. Within the town itself, I was a little let down with some of the trees around the namesake shrine, as well as many of the trees alongside the river. Nonetheless, there was still quite a bit of colour to be found.

Some vibrant koyo on the way to Kibune
The leaves are rather sparse above the steps leading to Kibune Shrine
Some nice colour behind Kibune Shrine's main building

After exploring Kibune, I hiked across the mountain, which took about an hour. Though the hike was pleasant, there was almost no koyo to be found whatsoever.

The koyo situation improved greatly upon reaching Kurama-dera Temple. The temple complex is most impressive for the views that it gives onto the surrounding valley. The trees in front of the main temple building had lost most of their leaves, but many others were very colorful. The trees in general are nearing their peak, and I was told by the temple staff that their peak should come in about a week.

A few remaining leaves on the trees in front of Kurama-dera's main building
Admiring the colour in the valley
Stairs leading up to Kurama-dera

After descending from the temple I decided to end my day at the hot spring baths of Kurama Onsen, a ryokan whose baths are open to day visitors. Though a little pricey (1100 yen for the outdoor bath, 2500 yen for all facilities), it was a nice way to end the day, and I was treated to one last bit of koyo along the river outside the ryokan. Kurama Onsen provides a free shuttle bus to and from Kurama Station, from where I returned to downtown Kyoto.

Koyo outside Kurama Onsen, not quite at its peak

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2009/12/08 - Tokyo
2009/12/02 - Kamakura

2009/11/27 - Tokyo
2009/11/26 - Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Kyoto: Light Up
2009/11/23 - Nara
2009/11/22 - Kyoto: Ohara
2009/11/21 - Kyoto
2009/11/19 - Kyoto: Arashiyama
2009/11/18 - Tokyo
2009/11/18 - Kyoto: Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Kyoto: Kurama
2009/11/16 - Mount Takao (Takaosan)
2009/11/12 - Kyoto
2009/11/09 - Fuji Five Lakes
2009/11/04 - Hakone

2009/10/28 - Mount Fuji
2009/10/19 - Nikko
2009/10/16 - Onuma Park
2009/10/15 - Noboribetsu Onsen
2009/10/14 - Shikotsu-Toya National Park
2009/10/07 - Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/10/05 - Nikko

2009/09/30 - Kusatsu Onsen
2009/09/28 - Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Oze National Park
2009/09/16 - Tokachidake Onsen
2009/09/15 - Ginsendai
2009/09/14 - Mount Asahidake

Tours and Experiences