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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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2011/11/22 - Tokyo Report
by scott

Rikugien

I took another trip down to Tokyo today to continue our reporting on the autumn colors (koyo) in eastern Japan. A little progress has been made since my trip last week, however it is still very early in the season and the leaves have only just begun to change.

The first stop of the day was Rikugien, a beautiful Edo Period strolling garden that has a large network of walking paths leading to several teahouses and 88 scenes from famous poems recreated in miniature around the garden's large central pond. The trees around Rikugien are just beginning to change, with only a handful of early maples and a few other species beginning to turn red. The garden is normally at its best from late November to early December, so it will still be a little while before it reaches its peak. Rikugien is illuminated in the evenings until 21:00 from November 18 to December 15.

Rikugien
Rikugien
The view over Rikugien from Fujishiro Toge
Rikugien

The next stop of the day was Koishikawa Korakuen, another Edo Period landscape garden that is one of Tokyo's oldest and best. Koishikawa Korakuen's large central pond is surrounded with dozens of maple trees that peak from late November to mid December. Accordingly, most of the maples were only just starting to color, and the more exposed trees along the water's edge were the furthest along. Another week or so and they should reach their peak.

Near the entrance of Koishikawa Korakuen
The white roof of Tokyo Dome peaking over the tree tops
Yellowish green maples
The cherry trees have almost lost all of their leaves while the maples along the water are beginning to color
Green and red
The garden's ginkgoes are also still green

After visiting Koishikawa Korakuen I made a return visit to the Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Street) near the National Stadium in Aoyama, where I was a little disappointed to see that there had been little progress since my visit last week. Around the same time last year the leaves were quite a bit yellower, and, maybe it was a trick of the light, but the leaves seemed drab and muddied today. I'm starting to have some serious doubts on how the quality of this year's Icho Namiki will stack up against previous years' experiences.

Icho Namiki
Icho Namiki

The last stop of the day was to Kyu Shiba Rikyu, a former feudal lord's residence and imperial villa which has been transformed into a beautiful strolling garden amidst the high rises of Hamamatsucho. While not a spectacular koyo spot, the garden does have its share of maples and other autumn foliage spread around its walking paths. Today the main koyo colors came from a stand of cherry trees toward the rear of the garden. There were also a few other early changing trees, such as a large zelkovia (keyaki), and a few early changing maples that contributed some color to the mostly green garden. However, the majority of the maple trees, including a large stand along the garden's eastern side, were predominantly green and may remain so for a while longer.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu
Tokyo Tower can be seen behind a stand of cherry trees
Admiring the view at Kyu Shiba Rikyu
Kyu Shiba Rikyu
Green maples

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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