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

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2010/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto

Koyo at Kiyomizudera

Today was my third consecutive day reporting from Kyoto and the last day for this season. Schauwecker is scheduled to report from the city one last time early next week. Over the last three days I have been able to see a lot of very good color, despite early indications in the season at other locations that a hot summer may have a negative effect on the leaves. Although there have been a few spots were the autumn colors weren't as good in previous years, for the most part it seems that a rapid drop in temperature has caused this year's koyo to be particularly attractive.

Like the last two days, today I was able to visit a number of spots at or near their peak. Kyoto should remain a great spot for koyo into the weekend, although the season will begin to taper off in most spots into next week.

Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine
A bit of koyo above the shrine's stone statues
A bit of koyo near Fushimi Inari's lookout point

The first destination of the day was Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is well known for the hiking paths behind the main shrine buildings that are covered by hundreds of torii gates. Although I enjoyed the hike very much, there was not much in terms of koyo. The forest behind the shrine is mostly made up of cedars, so shows very little color. There were a few red trees here and there that allowed for some nice photos.

Tofukuji Temple's Tsutenkyo Bridge and the top of the Hojo building
The view from Tsutenkyo onto the valley below
Another view of the Tsutenkyo Bridge and the top of the Hojo building
Sightseers snap pictures from the Tsutenkyo Bridge

Just north of Fushimi Inari is Tofukuji Temple, one of the city's most famous koyo spots which we visited last week and two weeks ago. Since our last visit the colors have reached their peak and the leaves have begun to fall. Although the colors are very full, there are also many bare branches. Staff at the temple said that the very best colors were last weekend. The colors should continue to be very attractive over the weekend, but thereafter I think the views will become much less impressive.

Koyo beside Kenninji's Sanmon Gate
Koyo outside Kenninji's Hatto building
Koyo inside the temple's paid area

Kenninji Temple, located in eastern Kyoto, is one of the oldest Zen temples in the country. Like at Fushimi Inari, there was a bit of fall color here and there that added to the visit, but there were no views that were particularly dramatic.

Many people were at Kiyomizudera today to see the colors
Crowds of sightseers enjoy the autumn colors from Kiyomizudera's balcony
The lower area of Kiyomizudera still has a lot of green

I remember my report from Kiyomizudera Temple from last year very well, and the colors were fantastic. Although the reds weren't quite as vibrant today, it seems that the leaves are still a couple days off their peak. I suspect that this weekend Kiyomizudera will be one of the best spots in the city for fall colors. Hopefully the leaves will retain their sheen into early next week for our final Kyoto report for the year.

The same view of Kiyomizudera as on our November 10, 2010 Autumn Color Report

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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