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Autumn Color Report 2014
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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2014/11/14 - Himeji Report
by schauwecker

After five long years, the renovation of Himeji Castle will finally be completed in spring 2015. In the meantime, the large scaffolding structure has been removed, and the main keep has become visible again - seemingly whiter than ever before. Construction work will continue around the castle grounds until spring, as temporary structures required for the renovation are still being dismantled. Consequently, the interior and immediate surroundings of the main keep remain off-limit to the public until March 27, 2015.

A crane dismantles temporary structures that were needed for the renovation
Closer look at the freshly renovated main keep
An even closer look at the keep
The immediate surroundings and interior of the main keep remain off-limit

Autumn colors around Himeji Castle are provided mostly by the cherry trees that make the castle such a great hanami spot in spring. Cherry trees do not usually get as vibrant and beautiful as maple trees, but their appearance in today's sunny weather was very pleasant. The trees were still at their best, but will soon drop their remaining leaves. Cherry trees generally change colors about a week earlier than maple trees.

Cherry tree at the peak of its autumnal beauty
Cherry trees seen through one of the castle's many defensive loopholes
Its complex grounds are one reason why Himeji Castle is widely considered Japan's best castle

Not far from the castle, Kokoen Garden is another nice spot to see some seasonal vegetation in Himeji. Kokoen consists of nine separate gardens built in various styles, and many feature a few maple trees or other colorful trees and bushes. Although some trees looked already spectacular, the koyo season overall is still approaching its peak at Kokoen. The garden should remain nice for an autumn color visit through the month of November.

Road adjacent to Kokoen Garden
Kokoen Garden
Maple trees at a relatively early state at Kokoen Garden
Some of the best colors in the garden today
Kokoen Garden

Himeji Castle hasn't been the only building in central Himeji undergoing major renovation over recent years. JR Himeji Station, too, has been a construction site for quite a few years. Like the castle, the station has recently emerged from the scaffolding. It is now more pedestrian friendly and attractive than before.

The freshly renovated JR Himeji Station
The castle seen from JR Himeji Station - about one kilometer away

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List of Posts:
2014/12/05 - Tokyo Report
2014/12/04 - Kanazawa Report
2014/12/03 - Kyoto Report
2014/12/02 - Kamakura Report
2014/11/28 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/26 - Nara Report
2014/11/25 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/21 - Osaka Report
2014/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/19 - Korankei Report
2014/11/18 - Miyajima Report
2014/11/18 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/14 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/14 - Himeji Report
2014/11/13 - Fuji Report
2014/11/13 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/12 - Eiheiji Report
2014/11/11 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/07 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/07 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/06 - Yamadera Report
2014/11/04 - Fuji Report
2014/11/04 - Hakone Report
2014/10/31 - Karuizawa Report
2014/10/29 - Shima Onsen Report
2014/10/24 - Fuji Report
2014/10/21 - Bandai Report
2014/10/21 - Nikko Report
2014/10/20 - Towada Report
2014/10/16 - Tateyama Report
2014/10/15 - Kurikoma Report
2014/10/08 - Nasu Report
2014/10/07 - Nikko Report
2014/10/01 - Oze Report
2014/09/29 - Tateyama Report
2014/09/26 - Nikko Report
2014/09/19 - Tokachidake Report
2014/09/18 - Kurodake Report
2014/09/17 - Asahidake Report