Kyoto Report

Autumn Color Report 2012
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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


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


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


Leaves falling fast

Shorinin 2

Taste of autumn


Hosenin's garden

Savoring the final colors


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


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

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