Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Jobs
Friends
Shopping
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Food
-
Budget Travel
-
Shopping
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Essentials - Autumn Colors - Autumn Color Report 2012
Tokyo Report

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

previous post
index
next post

2012/11/13 - Tokyo Report
by scott

Showa Kinen Koen

Today I made our highly anticipated first autumn color report trip to Tokyo. As it is still relatively early in the season, the trees around Tokyo were understandably pretty green. However, some of the earlier changing trees were starting to peak. The cherry trees, for example, were around their peak and comprised the bulk of the autumn foliage that was on display.

I started the day at Shinjuku Gyoen, a large public park in Tokyo's famed Shinjuku District. Shinjuku Gyoen has a longish koyo season that lasts from mid November to mid December, and there are several areas around the park that display nice autumn foliage. However, today the best colors were found around the Japanese garden and maple mountain.

The Japanese garden was slightly ahead of the other areas of the park and its maple trees were just starting to turn red. However, it will probably be several days to a week before the colors begin to peak. Maple mountain was even further behind and the leaves were still green.

In other news, the renovations to Shinjuku Gyoen's greenhouse were almost complete and an opening date has finally been set for November 20, 2012. Look for an update one of our future Tokyo autumn reports.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Around the Japanese Garden

Lantern in front of maple trees

A cherry tree dropping its leaves

A special chrysanthemum fair is currently being held in the park

The leaves around maple mountain were still green

Maple canal

French Garden

Cherry trees around the park were nearing their peak

Cherry trees were dropping their leaves

The Shinjuku Garden Greenhouse is set to reopen later this month

About a fifteen minute walk from Shinjuku Gyoen is the Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Street) near the National Stadium in Aoyama, about one block from Aoyama-Itchome Station on the Hanzomon and Oedo Subway Lines. This wide avenue is lined by double rows of tall ginkgo trees that turn an amazing golden yellow at their peak. Unfortunately, the trees were mostly still green as it was still very early in the season (it is usually best from late November to early December). They should continue to improve over the next few weeks.

Icho Namiki

The leaves are still very green, but the yellow is starting to show

Half green half yellow ginkgoes

Next I headed over to Rikugien, a beautiful Edo Period strolling garden that is one of the best places to see autumn colors and one of my favorite gardens in Tokyo. Rikugien has a large network of walking trails that lead around it to several tea houses and viewing spots from which to view the autumn foliage.

As with the previous sites, the season hasn't really begun yet at Rikugien, and there were only a few early changing trees that were showing their autumn colors. Most of the trees around its large central pond, and the maple tree lined canal near the Tsutsuji Chaya were still very green. Rikugien will also open for special evening illuminations beginning November 22, 2012.

Rikugien Garden. I believe that the red trees are Japanese lacquer trees

The maples along the canal around Tsutsuji Chaya

Rikugien Garden

My last stop of the day was at Showa Kinen Koen, a huge city park built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Showa. The park is located about a 20 minute walk from Tachikawa Station (30 minutes from Shinjuku along the JR Chuo Line). Showa Kinen Koen is extremely large and is made up of several different areas, includes sports fields, barbeque pits, a boating pond, and several gardens.

The season around Showa Kinen Koen begins earlier than the rest of Tokyo, and the colors usually start to appear around late October and peak from early to late November. Overall it seemed like it was still slightly before the peak colors around the park today. There was some very nice foliage on display, however, especially the gingko trees around the Tachikawa Guchi entrance and the maples in the Japanese garden.

The more than 100 ginkgo trees that line the fountain and canals around the Tachikawa entrance gate looked to be most of the way to the peak, with some trees a nice golden yellow, some very green, and most somewhere in between. I would expect them to reach their peak soon, if not within the next week or two. Several other stands of ginkgo trees could be found along the trails throughout the park, and some of these trees have already reached their peak.

Showa Kinen Koen

Showa Kinen Koen's icho namiki

The entire park is connected by a beautiful network of cycling trails, which are kept separate from the park's walking trails. Rental bikes are available, but even with a bicycle it takes a good 15 to 20 minutes to ride from one end of the park to the other.

Along the bike trails

Toward the back of the park is Showa Kinen Koen's Japanese garden, featuring a large central pond garden crossed by several bridges. A few dozen maple trees surround the pond, and their colors ranged from completely green to bright red. The maples around the tea house at the west end of the pond were mostly around their peak, but the majority of the trees in the garden may not reach the peak for another week or two.

While Showa Kinen Koen holds several autumn events, they do not offer an evening illumination. Instead they have a Winter Vista Illumination after the koyo season commences. This year the lit up areas of the park can be seen from 17:00-21:00 on December 18-25, 2012.

Showa Kinen Koen's Japanese Garden

Tea house on the far side of the pond

Tea house on the far side of the pond

Maples tree in the Japanese Garden

previous post
index
next post

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

Advertisement

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages
Travel
Essentials
Sightseeing

Autumn Color Report 2012
Autumn Color Report 2011
Autumn Color Report 2010
Autumn Color Report 2009
Autumn Color Report 2008

Autumn Leaves
Where to see autumn leaves?
When do trees turn colors?
What trees turn colors?

Schauwecker's Japan Travel Blog
Scott's Japan Travel Journal
Sean's Japan Travel Journal

Tokyo
Rikugien
Shinjuku Gyoen

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising