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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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2012/11/22 - Kyoto Report
by sean

Today I explored the Sagano, Arashiyama and Ohara districts of Kyoto and visited many of their temples. Sagano and Arashiyama lie side by side in the western outskirts of Kyoto and are often visited together. Main attractions include the central landmark of Togetsukyo Bridge and the Unesco World Heritage Site of Tenryuji Temple. Ohara is located in the relatively rural areas of northern Kyoto, and is best known for Sanzenin, a temple popular for its autumn colors around mid November.

My day started at the Sagano and Arashiyama temples. The autumn leaves are currently at their best at Nisonin, Jojakkoji, and Tenryuji temples. I was delighted to witness a myriad of beautiful autumn colors at and around the temples' compounds.

Gate of Nisonin
Umbrella at Nisonin
Wall of Nisonin
Stairs leading to the temple buildings of Jojakkoji
Maples and fallen ginkgo leaves
Temple bell at Jojakkoji
Pagoda at Jojakkoji
Walking towards Tenryuji
Bamboo Forest
Tenryuji
Garden at Tenryuji
This garden could only be viewed from the outside
Kannon Bodhisattva

Autumn leaves were less advanced around the Togetsukyo Bridge area, but have improved significantly since my last visit. I also made a trip to Monkey Park Iwatayama, about a 20 minute climb up a hill south of Togetsukyo Bridge. At the top, nice views of the city can be viewed, in addition to looking at those amusing monkeys. Colors at the monkey park and the bridge area should continue to get better, and peak over a few more days.

Activity around Arashiyama
Activity around Arashiyama 2
View from Togetsukyo Bridge
Arashiyama
Going up to the monkey park
Good view of the city from the park
Cute monkey
Monkey park at Arashiyama

I made a quick stop at the Kyoto Imperial Palace on the way to Ohara. The inner grounds of the palace are open to the public only with reservations, so I just checked out the park at the outer palace grounds. I liked the grandeur of the palace, with its wide promenades. Although the palace is not known for autumn colors because the majority of the trees are evergreens, colors of the relatively few deciduous trees there were at their peak today.

Bus stop in front of the Kyoto Imperial Palace
Some colors at the Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace
A crow at Kyoto Imperial Palace

Ohara is one of the earlier autumn color spots in Kyoto, and today I found that the season is almost over here. I visited Sanzenin, Jikkoin, Shorinin and Hosenin temples -which were a short walk from each other- and found that warm colors were fast fading. Sanzenin, the most famous of the four, had trees which were pretty barren-looking, and I'm afraid the season is over here. At the other three temples, colors were definitely past their best, but some pockets of colors could still be observed.

Shopping street close to Sanzenin
The season is over at Sanzenin
Enjoying a cup of tea at Jikkoin
Garden at Jikkoin
Variety of cherry blossoms that bloom at this time of the year
Shorinin
Leaves falling fast
Shorinin 2
Taste of autumn
Hosenin
Hosenin's garden
Savoring the final colors
Tranquility

My final stop of the day was to Jakkoin Temple, about a 25 minute walk across the river to the west of the other temples in Ohara. Surprisingly, I found considerably more colors here than at the other four temples. Autumn leaves here were at the final stages of being at their peak, so visitors who would like to visit should better hurry.

Along the way to Jakkoin
Jakkoin
Colors at Jakkoin

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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