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Autumn Color Report 2012
Official autumn color reports by

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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2012/12/05 - Kamakura Report
by scott

Train in front of Engakuji

Almost three months after our first autumn report, the colors have finally begun to change around Kamakura. Typically one of the latest places in Japan where the leaves change, the season doesn't usually peak here before early December.

My first stop this morning was to Hasedera, a Jodo Sect Buddhist temple that houses a nine meter high statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Hasedera has several maple trees planted along its staircases and around its main lower pond. Most of the trees were still approaching the peak today, and were particularly nice along the staircases. However, as we have seen in previous years, the foliage around the lower pond was looked dry and burned.

Three Jizo
Brownish leaves around the lower pond
A close up of the leaves of some of the nicer

A short walk away is the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), a large bronze statue of Buddha that is probably one of the most iconic images of Kamakura. There are not many trees planted around the statue, but the maples that were there looked to be approaching their peak.

One of the nicer spots around the Great Buddha

Kamakura's hiking trails begin just a little ways down the road from the Daibutsu. Though there weren't many trees that change colors along the trails, they eventually lead to Genjiyama Park, a public park that is built on the site of the former government buildings of the Kamakura Bafuku. A statue of Minamoto Yoritomo, the shogun who founded the military government in Kamakura at the start of the Kamakura Period, can be seen at the center of the park.

Probably due to the higher elevations of the park, the autumn foliage around Genjiyama was much closer to the peak than the rest of Kamakura today. Many of the maples were showing nice colors, while a few trees were already starting to drop their leaves.

Genjiyama Park - statue of Minamoto Yoritomo
Genjiyama Park
Genjiyama Park
Genjiyama Park

From Genjiyama the trails lead down the mountains to Jochiji Temple, the fourth of Kamakura's five great Zen Temples. Several maple and ginkgo trees are scattered around the temple grounds, and while the ginkgoes looked close to peak, the maples appear to be a bit later than the other places that I visited today. Many of the trees were only just beginning to change colors.

Jochiji Temple
Ginkgo trees
Many of the maples were still very green

Afterwards I headed over to Meigetsuin, which is best known for its summer hydrangeas but also has lots of nice autumn colors. The maples around Meigetsuin looked to be just before the peak and were some of the best of the day. Make sure to check out the gardens behind the main hall, which had some of the nicest colors around the temple. It is well worth the additional 500 yen entrance fee.


Finally, I ended the day at Engakuji which tends to be one of the busiest sights in Kamakura during the koyo season. However, it looked as if it was still early in the season at Engakuji as the maple trees around the temple grounds appeared to still be approaching their peak.


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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