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Autumn Color Report 2009
by japan-guide.com

This are the official japan-guide.com autumn color reports for 2009 from our trips to various autumn leaf spots across Japan. Check our page on Autumn Leaves for general information.



A quarter of a year after the first autumn color report, we concluded this year's reporting with a final trip to Tokyo where the season is still in full swing. We started our tour of Tokyo at the Imperial East Gardens... read all


Among the last regions of Japan to see autumn colors are not only the southern tips of Japan's southern main islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, but also the greater Tokyo area. Today we visited Kamakura, one train hour south of Tokyo... read all


Today I took another trip to Tokyo to check out how the fall colors are progressing since our previous Tokyo koyo report trip on November 18, 2009. On today's itinerary were three gardens and two tree lined streets... read all


Many of Kyoto's popular autumn color spots are reaching their peak, and for my last day reporting from Kyoto I went to some of the most commonly visited attractions. The first spot I visited was the Imperial Palace... read all

Kyoto: Light Up

After a couple of days in Nara Prefecture doing research unrelated to autumn colors (koyo), this evening I returned to Kyoto to continue the search for fall foliage. I did not get back until about sunset, so I checked out a few more of the city's "light ups"... read all


After about a week of reporting from Kyoto, today I checked out the fall colours ("koyo") in Nara. I only had time to see a couple of Japanese gardens in the center of the city near Nara Park before leaving to investigate attractions not related to koyo elsewhere in Nara Prefecture... read all

Kyoto: Ohara

Today, I headed back to northern Kyoto in search of autumn colours ("koyo"). Having visited the rural town of Kurama for the November 16, 2009 Koyo Report, I went today to the nearby town of Ohara instead, which is also rural... read all


Today's autumn color report covers three popular koyo spots in Kyoto; Tofukuji Temple, Kinkauji Temple, and Daitokuji's Kotoin Temple. The first stop of the day was Tofukuji, which is located just one station east of Kyoto Station... read all

Kyoto: Arashiyama

After yesterday's report trip in eastern Kyoto, I continued this year's search for fall colours ("koyo") in the Arashiyama and Sagano districts of western Kyoto. I began the day at the area's most famous attraction, the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge.... read all


Tokyo may not be known as an autumn color destination like Kyoto, but the city does offer quite a few nice spots for fall foliage in its parks and gardens. Today we went to check out three of them. We started the day at the Former Furukawa Garden (Kyu-Furukawa Teien)... read all

Kyoto: Higashiyama

Today I continued my exploration of the fall colours ("koyo") of Kyoto, this time investigating the leaves in some temples in the eastern part of the city. First off was Kiyomizudera, one of the most popular temples in all of Japan.... read all

Kyoto: Kurama

Kurama is a rural town in northern Kyoto, and is one of the best places to see fall colours ("koyo") in the region at the moment. Today I did a loop around the area, checking out the colors in the neighbouring town of Kibune as well... read all

Mount Takao (Takaosan)

While trees in central Tokyo have only just started turning colors, the koyo season in the mountains west of Tokyo is already approaching its peak. One of the closest and most attractive mountains near central Tokyo ... read all


Two months after this year's first autumn leaf report, the seasonal colors are finally descending into lower elevations of central Japan. Today, I made a first visit to Kyoto from where we will be reporting... read all

Fuji Five Lakes

Around Tokyo, colors are currently best at altitudes of around 1000 meters, and that is where we headed today. For the second time this season, we paid a visit to Mount Fuji and the the Fuji Five Lakes... read all


Today we got an early start and headed to Hakone in pursuit of fall colours. We were hoping to capture pictures that included both Hakone's koyo and Mount Fuji and chose to leave today based on favourable weather forecasts... read all

Mount Fuji

Today we headed down to Mount Fuji to check out how the leaves are progressing around a few of the 5th Stations around the mountain and at Lake Kawaguchi. It has been our experience... read all


Today we returned to the Okunikko area of Nikko National Park, the Inner Nikko area in the mountains above the famous temples and shrines of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Our first stop of the day was at Konsei Pass... read all

Onuma Park

I concluded my 3-day autum leaf report through Southern Hokkaido with a visit to Onuma Quasi National Park just north of Hakodate. The park is easily accessible by train and is centered around two lakes... read all

Noboribetsu Onsen

I spent the second day of my 3-day autumn leaf report trip to Southern Hokkaido in Noboribetsu Onsen, one of Japan's best hot spring resorts. Noboribetsu is blessed with a beautiful jigokudani ("hell valley")... read all

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

After several reports from Japan's main island of Honshu, I returned once more to the northern island of Hokkaido to check on the autumn colors as they are gradually reaching lower elevations there... read all


Our report on the Tohoku Region's koyo (fall colors) continued today in Hachimantai. We began at Tamagawa Onsen, which is famous for its exteremly acidic hot spring water. There was a decent amount of color surrounding the onsen... read all

Mount Akita-Komagatake

Today our pursuit of fall colors lead us to the Tohoku Region, where we hiked up Mount Akita-Komagatake in Akita Prefecture. We took an early shinkansen to Morioka Station in Iwate where we picked up a rental car... read all


Today we checked out the Okunikko area of Nikko National Park in Tochigi Prefecture. While most people are familiar with the temples and shrines of Nikko, the national park... read all

Kusatsu Onsen

Today we drove along Japan's highest national route, Route 292, which connects Shiga Kogen in Nagano Prefecture with Kusatsu Onsen, one of the country's best hot spring resorts in Gunma Prefecture... read all


Today we went to Kamikochi to investigate the color of the leaves. Kamikochi is part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park in Nagano Prefecture, and is located about 1500 meters above sea level... read all

Oze National Park

The fall colors are beginning to appear in higher elevations of Honshu, such as Oze National Park. Oze is mostly located in the prefectures of Gunma and Fukushima, and is accesible by public transportation from Tokyo... read all

Tokachidake Onsen

We spent the last night of our 3-day Hokkaido report trip at the Ryounkaku mountain lodge in Tokachidake Onsen, a small hot spring resort in the southwest of Daisetsuzan National Park, not far from Furano... read all


Today I visited Ginsendai, another famous autumn color spot in Hokkaido's Daisetsu National Park. Reached via a 15 kilometer unpaved road and consisting of little more than a parking space and an information center, Ginsendai is a base in... read all

Mount Asahidake

Asahidake is Hokkaido's tallest mountain and the first place in Japan to see autumn colors each year. Therefore, we selected it as the first destination of our autumn color reports like in the previous year... read all