Autumn Color Blog 2008
by japan-guide.com

This is the official japan-guide.com 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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2008/11/20 - Kyoto Report (3/4)

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 went to see more of Arashiyama and visited the Shugakuin Area.

Arashiyama (Part 2)

Yesterday schauwecker reported on the northern temples of Arashiyama. Today I paid my own visit to the district but stuck to central area around Togetsukyo Bridge. My first stop was the Arashiyama Monkey Park in the mountains just south of the bridge. The walk up the hill was nice and there were a lot of the maples at various states of changing color. The monkeys seemed to dislike the maples and hung around mostly in different kinds of trees that seemed past their koyo peak.

Next I headed down to check out the Tenryuji temple complex. First I stopped by Hogonin, a subtemple of Tenryuji, to see the Garden of the Lion's Roar. The garden's maples were in various states of color and overall haven't reached their peak yet. Next I visited Kogenji, another subtemple of Tenryuji and the former location of Hogonin. While this small temple houses some nice painted screens and gardens, there wasn't much koyo and picture taking was prohibited.

Finally I headed to the main Tenryuji Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple's Sogenchi Garden is a beautiful landscape garden that is suprising large and with many different paths to choose from. Many of the trees were showing their vibrant fall colors, however the garden is overall before the peak like the rest of Arashiyama. Despite being a little early for prime koyo, Arashiyama's color was nonetheless impressive and definitely worth the visit today.

Shugakuin Area

Today I headed back out east, to three temples in the area around Shugakuin. When returning form Enryakuji a couple days ago I had passed right through the area. Today I took more time to look around.

The first temple I went to was Manshuin. It seemed to be quite a prestigious temple, as they had pictures on the wall of welcoming such illustrious guests as the Japanese Imperial Family and David Beckham. A garden was located at the back of the temple, and though it was quite nice, the few trees that had changed colour were already missing a lot of their leaves.

The second temple I went to was Enkoji, and it had the most impressive views of autumn colours that I have seen so far in Kyoto. Though they were not expansive like the views from Mount Hieizan down onto the city, Enkoji's leaves were full at their full peak and mixed well with the temple's garden. I spent quite a while admiring the leaves from the temple buildings.

The last temple I visited was Shisendo. It was the busiest of the three temples, though its leaves were not exceptionally coloured. The temple building was small, but a path extends out the back of the building to the trees.

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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