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Autumn Color Blog 2008

This is the official autumn color blog for 2008 about our reporting trips to various autumn leaf spots across Japan. Check our page on Autumn Leaves for general information.

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2008/11/19 - Kyoto Report (2/4)

With the autumn leaf season kicking off in Kyoto, we are spending four days (November 18-21) reporting from famous koyo spots across the city.

Today we visted Daigoji, Yoshiminedera and Arashiyama.

Daigoji Temple


Today I visited Daigoji a temple complex in the mountains southeast of the Kyoto city center. Most of the maples in the area seemed to be at their peak, and the gardens of Sanboin were especially spectacular. Unfortunately, picture taking from inside the residence was not allowed, but there was still a lot to see and photograph up at Shimo-Daigo, the main temple area.

Bell in Shimo-Daigo
Shinnyo Sanmayado Hall

Bentendo was beautifuly surrounded by red maples, and with such good weather it wasn't hard to get nice pictures. The only setback today was that I was unable to hike up the mountain to Kami-Daigo, the upper temple that has views over Kyoto and Osaka. Unfortunately one of the buildings caught fire last August, and the area is temporarily closed.


Yoshiminedera Temple

Yoshiminedera, with Kyoto to the east

Having travelled yesterday to Enryakuji, located in the mountains east of Kyoto, today I chose to head in the opposite direction and see the fall colours of a temple in the mountains to Kyoto's west. Today I went to see the changing leaves of Yoshiminedera Temple.

The Shaka Temple, one of Yoshiminedera's numerous buildings

Like Enryakuji, Yoshiminedera is a Buddhist temple with a long history. It is, however, much more accesible than Enryakuji, and its temples are fewer and more closely situated. I took a bus to Yoshiminedera this morning, and was able to see the entire temple in less than two hours.

Some spectacular fall colours along the temple's paths
The Gomado nestled in a mass of red leaves

The colours at Yoshiminedera were excellent, even better than at Enryakuji. The area was quite busy with people taking pictures and admiring the leaves. Moreover, the sky was not covered like yesterday, so it was good for taking photographs. Now must surely be about the peak for koyo at Yoshiminedera.

A nice view down onto the city


Togetsukyo Bridge

Autumn colors in Arashiyama have not quite reached their peak yet, but are already quite spectacular.

Crowded Jojakkoji Temple

Central Arashiyama was bursting with tourists as usual, and car traffic was close to a standstill. In my opinion, the district would be better off with a ban on non-residential, individual car traffic on weekends and during the peak of the autumn leaf and cherry blossom seasons.

Today, I visited several of the small temples located north of central Arashiyama along the wooded slopes of the mountains, which make up the northwestern boundary of Kyoto City. I used a rental bicycle, the recommended means to get around the area most efficiently.

Jojakkoji Temple - colors spectacular, approaching peak
Nisonin Temple - colors nice, approaching peak
Gioji Temple - trees only just starting to change colors
Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple - colors spectacular, approaching peak
Jikishian Temple - trees only just starting to change colors

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List of Posts:
2008/12/03 - Kamakura Report
2008/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2008/11/21 - Kyoto Report (4/4)
2008/11/20 - Kyoto Report (3/4)
2008/11/20 - Miyajima
2008/11/19 - Kyoto Report (2/4)
2008/11/18 - Kyoto Report (1/4)
2008/11/18 - Mino Park
2008/11/12 - Fuji Five Lakes
2008/11/05 - Nikko (2)
2008/10/29 - Lake Towada
2008/10/28 - Shirakami Sanchi (2)
2008/10/27 - Shirakami Sanchi
2008/10/21 - Nishizawa Valley
2008/10/16 - Nikko
2008/10/10 - Akagiyama
2008/10/08 - Shiretoko Peninsula
2008/10/07 - Lake Mashu and Kussharo
2008/10/06 - Lake Akan
2008/10/03 - Tateyama Alpen Route
2008/09/26 - Sounkyo Onsen
2008/09/25 - Daisetsu Kogen Onsen
2008/09/24 - Mount Asahidake