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Autumn Color Report 2010
by japan-guide.com

This is the official japan-guide.com autumn color report for 2010. Please visit also our guide to autumn leaves for more general information and our schedule of upcoming reports.

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2010/09/15 - Kurodake Report
by schauwecker

Mount Kurodake

On the second and final day of my initial autumn color trip of the season, I climbed Mount Kurodake, another peak of the Daisetsuzan mountain range.

Ascent to the summit of Mount Kurodake

Mount Kurodake is the most easily accessible of Daisetsuzan's major peaks. From Sounkyo Onsen, a touristy hot spring resort in the north of the national park, there is a ropeway followed by a chair lift that get tourists to just within an hour's hike of Kurodake's summit. Note, however, that it is a steep ascent that requires proper hiking shoes.

Leaves along the chair lift have just started to change colors

Down in the valley around the town of Sounkyo the trees are still green. It will take several more weeks for the colors to descend into the valley, where they will attract bus loads of tourists, especially around the two waterfalls near the town. The peak of the season there is usually taking place in the first half of October.

Leaves down in the valley have not started to change colors yet

Over a kilometer above the valley floor, the summit of Mount Kurodake (1984 meters above sea level), however, is already colored in spectacular yellow and orange colors, which should fade into darker orange and red within the next few days and become even more spectacular.

One of the more advanced Nanakamado shrubs along the ascent

According to a television crew, that I met along the ascent, the leaves are about one week behind their average schedule, and the colors seem to be somewhat less brilliant than in the usual year due to damage by the exceptionally hot past summer. I myself have troubles recognizing the leaves' apparently reduced brilliance, as the colors looked outstanding to me.

Not only japan-guide.com reported about the colors of Mount Kurodake today

From the summit of Mount Kurodake I had once more the pleasure to view the interior landscape of the Daisetsuzan mountains - this time from the north. The awesome sight also included lots of patches of autumn colors spread across the slopes of the volcanic mountain range.

Daisetsuzan Mountains

If you want to see autumn leaves in Japan now or over the next few days, the high elevations of Daisetsuzan National Park are the place to be. The colors around the peak of Mount Kurodake should remain spectacular for two weeks or so and will also gradually move down the mountain's slope. However, the coming days also come with a chance of first snow, which might affect hiking plans and cover up the colors in higher elevations.

Mount Kurodake

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List of Posts:
2010/12/09 - Tokyo Report
2010/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2010/12/01 - Kyoto Report

2010/11/30 - Tokyo Report
2010/11/26 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/26 - Osaka Report
2010/11/25 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/24 - Tokyo Report
2010/11/24 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/23 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/19 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/19 - Sakurayama Report
2010/11/18 - Nara Report
2010/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/17 - Ise Report
2010/11/16 - Tokyo Report
2010/11/16 - Koyasan Report
2010/11/15 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/10 - Kyoto Report
2010/11/09 - Fujigoko Report
2010/11/05 - Yamadera Report
2010/11/04 - Daisen Report

2010/10/27 - Kuju Report
2010/10/27 - Nikko Report
2010/10/26 - Kirishima Report
2010/10/19 - Noboribetsu Report
2010/10/15 - Akita Report
2010/10/14 - Nikko Report
2010/10/14 - Akita Report
2010/10/05 - Nikko Report

2010/09/29 - Oze Report
2010/09/15 - Kurodake Report
2010/09/14 - Asahidake Report

Tours and Experiences