Francois' Japan Blog
by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2010/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto

Large crowds outside Eikando Temple as the fall colors reach their peak

As Scott predicted in his reporting from Kyoto last week, the peak of this year's autumn colors are beginning to arrive in the old capital this week. Continuing over the next few days, I will be reporting on the area as the season comes to a climax.

Today I went to Daigoji Temple, Nanzenji Temple and Eikando Temple, and at all three spots the crowds were very large, particularly at the last two. Kyoto's popular koyo destinations will likely remain very busy throughout the week and into the weekend.

Fallen leaves outside Daigoji's Sanboin
Daigoji's Bentendo surrounded by koyo
The bridge to the Bentendo

Daigoji Temple is well known as a cherry blossom spot, particularly since it was the site of a famous hanami party by the leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598. Nonetheless, the temple is also great during the autumn colors and is at its peak at the moment. A few red trees enhance the view of the already beautiful garden of the Sanboin, though it is prohibited to take pictures.

The highlight of the temple grounds is the koyo that surrounds the Bentendo, a small temple hall at the back of the Shimo-Daigo area. This year I did not have the time to do the hour hike up to the Kami-Daigoji area, so I can't personally comment on the leaves in that area.

Nanzenji's Sanmon Gate
The view from the Sanmon gate in the direction of the main Nanzenji building
Hojo Rock Garden
Nice trees at the end of the Hojo area
Nanzenin

Nanzenji is a Zen temple with many buildings in Kyoto's Higashiyama district. Today I visited the temple's Sanmon Gate, Hojo building and Nanzenin subtemple. This area is also around its peak, though its color may improve a bit over the next couple days. I found that the Nanzenin subtemle had a few particularly attractive trees while the colors in the Hojo building's rock garden were not as vibrant as on a previous trip. Again, within the Hojo the best colors were found at the very end of the building area accessible to guests.

The rock garden of Tenjuan Temple
People admiring the garden and its autumn colors

A personal favorite of mine from last year's koyo reporting was the Tenjuan subtemple which is located just beside the Sanmon gate. Today I also found it fantastic, and would have to place it high on the list of my personal favorite koyo spots in Kyoto.

A tunnel of koyo
Another tunnel of leaves

The day ended at Eikando temple, just north of Nanzenji. Here the colors were also fantastic and the crowds were just as plentiful as the leaves. Eikando is certainly at its peak, and the trails spreading across the temple grounds are almost all lined by vibrant colors.

Eikando's Tahoto Pagoda
The view from the Pagoda

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List of Posts:
2011/09/01 - Final Post
2011/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2011/05/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2011/04/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Aizu
2011/04/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2011/04/16 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2011/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2011/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2011/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2011/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2011/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2011/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/02/11 - Shiretoko Fantasia 2011
2011/02/11 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by night
2011/02/10 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by day
2011/02/09 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by night
2011/02/08 - Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi 2011
2011/02/07 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by day

2010/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2010
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/24 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2010/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2010/10/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2010/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kirishima
2010/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2010/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2010/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2010/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagasaki
2010/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2010/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2010/01/23 - Wakakusa Yamayaki

2009/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2009
2009/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Light Up
2009/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Nara
2009/11/22 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Ohara
2009/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Kurama
2009/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Hakone
2009/10/07 - Autumn Color Report: Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2009/06/18 - Biking the Shimanami Kaido
2009/06/01 - Gunkanjima
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2009/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2009/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nara
2009/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/01/19 - Bears in Hokkaido

2008/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kamakura
2008/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Lake Akan
2008/08/18 - Miyajima Trip
2008/06/09 - Post Towns
2008/05/08 - Baseball Game
2008/04/14 - ASIMO and Aoyama Cemetery
2008/04/08 - Ninja Restaurant