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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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2011/11/02 - Mitakesan Report
by schauwecker

Autumn colors are not expected to descend into central Tokyo until the second half of November; however, they do have started to appear in Tokyo's mountains. Today, we visited one of Tokyo's mountains, the nearly 1000 meter high Mount Mitake (御岳山, Mitakesan), whose base can be reached from Shinjuku by train in less than 90 minutes.

A cable car lifts visitors to within a 30 minute walk of the summit

Mount Mitake has been a place of mountain worship since ancient days, and a popular shrine, Mitake Shrine, stands on its summit. Along the steep approach to the shrine lies a small town of lodgings, shops and restaurants that has been catering to worshipers for many centuries.

Along the path from the cable car station to the town
The town on Mount Mitake surrounded by some slightly colored trees shortly before sunset

Thanks to its natural beauty and attractive network of hiking trails, Mount Mitake has more recently also become a popular outdoor destination and offers a decent - although not overwhelming - amount of autumn colors. It is a nice, calmer alternative to nearby Mount Takao (Takaosan), although Mount Mitake, too, can become rather busy especially on weekends.

Mount Mitake can easily be visited in a daytrip, but today we opted to overnight on the mountain. We arrived shortly before sunset, spent the night at one of the many pilgrim lodgings near the summit and did some hiking and autumn color reporting on the next day.

We were the only guests at the atmospheric Mitakesanso, one of the pilgrim lodgings on Mitakesan
A relaxing bath before dinner
One of the dishes of the wonderful dinner included in the 8400 yen/person overnight stay
An autumn leaf on a lacquer table

The following day, we followed the popular circular hiking course through the forests of Mount Mitake to the "Rock Garden" where a pretty mountain stream is lined by moss covered rocks. The trees around Mount Mitake have started to change colors, but the peak of the season won't be reached for probably another week or two. Most beautiful today were a few maple trees around the town and summit of the mountain, while colors along the hiking trails were mostly green.

Mitake Shrine seen from behind
The shrine is nicknamed Dog Shrine, and the entire mountain is very pet friendly
A few colorful trees near an observation deck not far from the shrine
Overall, the mountains were still mainly green
Nanayo Waterfall along the hiking trail
Trees started to change colors around the Tengu Rock
Green was the predominant color in the Rock Garden
Some of the best colors were found around the upper cablecar station

See our Mount Mitake page for access details.

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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

Tours and Experiences