Nikko Report

Autumn Color Report 2011
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com
Guide to Autumn Colors - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

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2011/10/12 - Nikko Report
by schauwecker

Lake Chuzenjiko from the Hangetsuyama observation deck

Nine days after my first visit, I returned to Nikko today to find the season to have progressed remarkably thanks to recent cold nights. The colors are now at their peak around Ryuzu Waterfall and Yumoto Onsen, and trees have started to color around Lake Chuzenjiko.

As usual, I visited Nikko in the opposite direction than most other tourists, entering the national park through the very back of Okunikko from Gunma Prefecture. The first stop along the way, the hot spring town of Yumoto Onsen next to Lake Yunoko, seemed to just have reached the peak of the season. I think the colors will remain nice here for at least another week.

Yumoto Onsen

Lake Yunoko at Yumoto Onsen

Photographers around Lake Yunoko

View down Yudaki Waterfall

Senjogahara Marshland

The season was also peaking around Ryuzu Waterfall, the most crowded place in Nikko today. The waterfall's popularity resulted in a traffic jam due to a shortage of parking spaces; but for a good reason: the colors along the waterfall were absolutely spectacular today.

The lower part of Ryuzu Waterfall

The middle part of Ryuzu Waterfall

The upper part of Ryuzu Waterfall

Spectacular colors along Ryuzu Waterfall

The waterfall's popularity is causing traffic problems

Leaves have also started to color along the shores of Lake Chuzenjiko, however, the peak of their seasonal beauty is still several days ahead. For a bird's eye view of the entire lake area, I hiked to the Hangetsuyama observation deck (20 minutes from the Hangetsuyama parking lot, which unfortunately does not enjoy access by public transportation). The bright red leaves around the observation deck in combination with the commanding view over the lake (see photo at the top of the page) made the second highlight of today's visit to Nikko.

Hangetsuyama observation deck

The Hatchodejima Peninsula seen from the Hangetsuyama observation deck

Not surprisingly, the season is also still in its warm up phase around Kegon Waterfall and the Irohazaka winding road. The colors in these areas should peak in the second half of October.

Kegon Waterfall

Irohazaka winding road

Down in the town of Nikko I paid a visit to Shoyoen, the Japanese style garden next to Rinnoji Temple. Some of the garden's maple trees have further progressed and carry now even a few red leaves on some of their branches. However, green is still the predominant color overall, and the peak of the season here will probably not take place until around early November.

Shoyoen Garden

Shoyoen Garden

Green is still the predominant color at Shoyoen Garden

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List of Posts:
2011/12/13 - Tokyo Report
2011/12/08 - Kamakura Report
2011/12/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/12/02 - Kyoto Report
2011/12/01 - Nara Report

2011/11/30 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/28 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/27 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/23 - Kanazawa Report
2011/11/22 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2011/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/15 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/12 - Unzen Report
2011/11/09 - Sakurayama Report
2011/11/08 - Fujigoko Report
2011/11/04 - Kurobe Report
2011/11/02 - Mitakesan Report

2011/10/27 - Nikko Report
2011/10/27 - Towadako Report
2011/10/26 - Hakkodasan Report
2011/10/21 - Fukushima Report
2011/10/20 - Zao Report
2011/10/19 - Naruko Report
2011/10/12 - Nikko Report
2011/10/12 - Oze Report
2011/10/07 - Nasu Report
2011/10/03 - Nikko Report

2011/09/27 - Norikura Report
2011/09/14 - Ginsendai Report
2011/09/13 - Asahidake Report

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