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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.

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2009/11/19 - Kyoto: Arashiyama


by francois

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. I arrived by train at 9:00 to pick up a rental bicycle, which I found to be a very pleasant way to travel between attractions. There were only a few people around the bridge when I went in the morning. When I passed back through the area in the afternoon the sidewalks were packed with sightseers, and I was happy not to have had to navigate through the crowds when I was there earlier.

The leaves on the mountainside behind the bridge were very colourful, and I spent quite a while admiring the scenery of the river, bridge and fall colours. The colours are not at their peak yet, and will get increasingly attractive over the next few days, but the atmosphere today was nonetheless very enjoyable. Unfortunately, in the morning the weather was overcast and the light conditions were not favourable for photographs.

Togetsukyo bridge and the leaves of a riverside Enoki tree
A few pedestrians walk across the bridge in the morning
The view from the bridge

From the bridge I headed north to a few small atmospheric temples in the woods. The first, Jojakkoji Temple, was by far the best. It is definitely at, or very near, its koyo peak at the moment. As a bonus, the temple had good views onto the city as well.

A gate at Jojakkoji surrounded by koyo attracted many photographers
More koyo along the paths
A temple bell surrounded by rich autumn colour

The next small temple I visited was the Gioji temple. This temple, unfortunately, was just starting to change colour, and offered little in terms of dramatic autumnal scenery. It seems as if it will be quite attractive when the colours do turn, which according to the staff is in about a week.

Tall trees that are still quite green
A bit of colour above the rooftops

I didn't have to wait long for more colours, as my next stop, Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple, was also at its peak. Though not as impressive as Jojakkoji Temple, it was also very attractive. The area used to be a graveyard hundreds of years, and there are now many rocks and graves on the temple grounds. The combination with red and yellow colours was quite attractive.

Koyo on the perimeter of Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple
A statue seen through colourful leaves

The last destination of the day was Daikakuji Temple. Unlike the other temples, Daikakuji was a large complex. One side of the temple grounds had the main buildings, while the other was centered around a large pond. There wasn't much for koyo on the side with the main temple buildings, though in some gardens the koyo added a bit of color. Most koyo could be found in the other half of the temple grounds, around the large pond. Many trees were at their peak, and it is a good time to visit. However, a tunnel of maple trees which would be a very attractive koyo spot was still fully green.

A bit of koyo around the main buildings
Autumn colours around Daikakuji Temple's pond
Fall colours and a pagoda reflected in the water

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List of Posts:
2009/12/08 - Tokyo
2009/12/02 - Kamakura

2009/11/27 - Tokyo
2009/11/26 - Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Kyoto: Light Up
2009/11/23 - Nara
2009/11/22 - Kyoto: Ohara
2009/11/21 - Kyoto
2009/11/19 - Kyoto: Arashiyama
2009/11/18 - Tokyo
2009/11/18 - Kyoto: Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Kyoto: Kurama
2009/11/16 - Mount Takao (Takaosan)
2009/11/12 - Kyoto
2009/11/09 - Fuji Five Lakes
2009/11/04 - Hakone

2009/10/28 - Mount Fuji
2009/10/19 - Nikko
2009/10/16 - Onuma Park
2009/10/15 - Noboribetsu Onsen
2009/10/14 - Shikotsu-Toya National Park
2009/10/07 - Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/10/05 - Nikko

2009/09/30 - Kusatsu Onsen
2009/09/28 - Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Oze National Park
2009/09/16 - Tokachidake Onsen
2009/09/15 - Ginsendai
2009/09/14 - Mount Asahidake

Tours and Experiences