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Autumn Color Report 2012
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com

Where to see autumn leaves? - When do trees turn colors? - What trees turn colors?
Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

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2012/10/12 - Oze Report
by sean

The peak of Mount Hiuchigatake obscured by clouds

Today I travelled to Oze to check out the autumn colors there. Quick introduction: Oze National Park is located between Gunma, Fukushima, Niigata and Tochigi prefectures, occupies a total area of 37,200 hectares, and has several famous beautiful spots such as Ozegahara Marshland, Mount Hiuchigatake and Ozenuma Pond. The unspoiled landscape at the national park offers attractive hiking that can be enjoyed in a one day or overnight trip from Tokyo.

My goal for the day was Ozegahara. As I drove up higher elevations towards it, I was encouraged by some warm colors that decorated the slopes of the forested woods that surrounded the road. Parking my car at Hatomachi Pass, I asked the nice senior parking attendant if it was peak season already. He answered that it somewhat was, but due to the warm temperatures this year, colors are pretty but not exceptionally spectacular.

Parking at Hatomachi Pass costs 2500 yen

It was cold; I was glad I brought some extra clothing. If temperatures had sooner been like it was this morning, perhaps at this time autumn colors would have been more intense.

An hour's hike through the woods led me to the trailhead of Ozegahara Marshland. Along the way, lime green and yellowish orange were the main colors, blotched by the brown of dried up parts of leaves. The warm temperatures this year have indeed taken a toll on the foliage, as the brown made overall colors muddy instead of fresh-looking. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the walk, with the company of sweetly chirping birds and rustling trees in the wind.

Trail leading to Ozegahara Marshland
Morning hikers
General state of leaves
General state of leaves 2
Bell to warn bears off
Fallen leaves
These maples looked like they burnt themselves trying to turn red
Rest house at the trailhead of Ozegahara Marshland

A sea of golden brown from the grass greeted me as soon as I entered the marshland. Well, so did the many other visitors walking in the oncoming direction. "Good day!" ("konnichiwa" in Japanese) I said to each person that walked by - but I soon realized that I had to exercise konnichiwa rationing least I should get konnichiwa fatigue: the hike across Ozegahara Marshland was quite popular indeed.

I looked around at the various peaks that surrounded the marshland and found the colors on their slopes with room for improvement. Perhaps if the leaves see more sunshine when the clouds that filled the skies today disperse, and the temperatures remain conducive, the autumn scene can get even more beautiful here over the next few days.

Interesting instruments count the number of visitors
Taking advantage of fleeting moments of sunlight to take pictures
Wooden trails looking like railway tracks
Colors at a distance
Surrounding peaks
Section of trail undergoing renewal

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List of Posts:
2012/12/11 - Tokyo Report
2012/12/07 - Tokyo Report
2012/12/05 - Kamakura Report
2012/12/02 - Kyoto Report
2012/12/01 - Tokyo Report

2012/11/29 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/29 - Himeji Report
2012/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/26 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/25 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/23 - Miyajima Report
2012/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/21 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/21 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/19 - Takaosan Report
2012/11/16 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/15 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/11/15 - Shosenkyo Report
2012/11/14 - Hakone Report
2012/11/13 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/09 - Sakurayama Report
2012/11/08 - Koyasan Report
2012/11/07 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/07 - Nikko Report
2012/11/07 - Yamadera Report
2012/11/06 - Naruko Report
2012/11/05 - Hiraizumi Report
2012/11/05 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/11/01 - Kuju Report

2012/10/31 - Towada Report
2012/10/30 - Bandai Report
2012/10/26 - Minakami Report
2012/10/24 - Nikko Report
2012/10/22 - Alpine Route Report
2012/10/18 - Noboribetsu Report
2012/10/18 - Sounkyo Report
2012/10/17 - Shiretoko Report
2012/10/16 - Norikura Report
2012/10/16 - Nikko Report
2012/10/15 - Kamikochi Report
2012/10/12 - Oze Report
2012/10/11 - Hachimantai Report
2012/10/10 - Bandai Report
2012/10/09 - Nikko Report
2012/10/05 - Route 292 Report
2012/10/04 - Alpine Route Report

2012/09/28 - Kurodake Report
2012/09/27 - Kogen Onsen Report
2012/09/26 - Asahidake Report
2012/09/21 - Asahidake Report
2012/09/20 - Kurodake Report
2012/09/18 - Asahidake Report

Tours and Experiences