by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com
2009/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Nara
After about a week of reporting from Kyoto, today I checked out the fall colours ("koyo") in Nara. I only had time to see a couple of Japanese gardens in the center of the city near Nara Park before leaving to investigate attractions not related to koyo elsewhere in Nara Prefecture. I was pleasantly surprised at both locations by a fair amount of colour.
The first garden was the Yoshikien Garden, which is free to enter for foreigners. There was a pond area, tea house buildings, and some paths with red maples hanging overhead that are at their peak. The garden's main area is a moss garden that also has maple trees that are at their autumn colour peak.
Just a few steps away was the Isuien Garden, which unfortunately had an admission fee (650 yen). The garden was quite a bit bigger though, and had rock paths across the water and large hills. One of the gates of Todaiji Temple and the nearby Wakakusa Mountain are visible from the garden and are used as borrowed scenery. Isuien also had maple trees at full bloom, as well as bright red shrubs, which were starting to lose a lot of their leaves.