by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com
2009/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
The first spot I visited was the Imperial Palace. I did not enter the actual palace grounds, which requires a reservation, but rather explored the large park area around it. The Imperial Palace Park is not among the most famous koyo ("autumn colour") spots, but it does have a few colorful trees. A number of large ginko trees scattered around the park were particularly attractive.
The next two stops were Nanzenji Temple and Kiyomizudera Temple, both of which I visited previously for my November 18, 2009 Koyo Report. I took similar pictures this time so that readers could easily compare the progress of the colours after a week.
The Tourist Information center at Kyoto Station said that Nanzenji is at its peak, and there are indeed more colours than last time. However, it seemed to me that many of the leaves had fallen and that the peak may have just passed. There were a lot of good colours at places that were not very impressive last time, such as in the rock gardens of the main temple building. The gardens of Tenjuan, which had been the highlight last week, have already lost a lot of leaves, especially in the pond area.
Today's highlight was certainly Kiyomizudera Temple, which is at its fall colour peak. The difference between last week and today was enormous, and can easily be seen by looking at the pictures from the November 18, 2009 Koyo Report. For travelers presently in Kyoto, it is a great time to visit one of the city's landmark locations.
If you do make it out to Kiyomizudera while it is at its autumn colour peak, you can be sure that you will not be alone.