Autumn Color Report 2010

This is the official 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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2010/10/27 - Nikko Report
by scott

Okunikko from Konsei Pass

Today I went on another follow up visit to the Okunikko region, following my previous visits on October 5, 2010 and October 14, 2010. As expected, the season is coming to a close in the higher elevations of Okkunikko a few weeks later than normal due to this years delayed autumn season.

A sudden cold snap brought bitter cold and a light dusting of snow to the top of Konsei Pass this morning, and nearly all the trees, except the late turning yellow larch, have already dropped their leaves.

Lake Yumoto
From the top of Yudaki Falls overlooking Okunikko

Lake Yumoto was also rather drab with only a few yellow and red trees left along its shore. A similar view could be seen looking out over the top of Yudaki Falls. The forest below had very prominent gray patches of dormant, leafless trees.

Senjogahara Marsh

At Senjogahara Marshland the marsh grasses have peaked and noticeably faded compared to previous trips. Again, the numerous gray leafless trees and late changing yellow larch signal that the end of the season is approaching.

Above Ryuzu Falls
Ryuzu Falls

Ryuzu Falls, one of the earliest developing areas in the Okunikko region, was also in significant decline compared to previous trips. Soon the only colors left to see will be green and grey.

Lake Chuzenji
Overlooking Lake Chuzenji
Overlooking Lake Chuzenji

On a brighter note, while everything above Lake Chuzenji is winding down for the season, the lake area is just around its peak. The shoreline is vibrant with color, and the road up the Chuzenji Skyline was glowing orange, and many people were out enjoying the views and taking photographs. Unfortunately, this also meant that the traffic around the lake was pretty heavy today (especially considering its a weekday) and nearly every parking lot was filled to capacity.

Akechidaira Plateau

The weather was pretty good today despite a uninspiring forecast, and I finally got some good weather up at the Akechidaira Plateau. The leaves under the ropeway are also around their peak and I would have liked to have checked out the view from the ropeway except that the waiting line was over 100 people long.

Kegon Falls

I also finally had good weather at Kegon Falls today, and the leaves around the waterfall are at the same state as the rest of the Lake Chuzenji area. The colors appear less brilliant than in past years, however, which is probably due to the record heat this past summer.

Along the Irohazaka Road
Along the Irohazaka Road
Along the Irohazaka Road

The last few pictures were taken along the downhill section of the Irohazaka Road. It was busy today, but there wasn't any traffic jams yet as it was still morning. The colors are just around their peak along the road, so I expect that its going to be a very busy weekend around Nikko and Lake Chuzenji.

The uphill section of the Irohazaka Road

I mentioned that it was pretty crowded today, but the picture showing the uphill section of the Irohazaka Road above might give a better idea of what I'm talking about. That's bumper to bumper traffic of slow moving cars as far as I can see... at 10:30 AM on a Wednesday. On weekends it becomes a virtual parking lot, so try to avoid most of the crowds and come on a weekday if possible.

Because of the difference in elevation, Okunikko has an advanced autumn colors (koyo) schedule compared to Nikko and you can expect the colors to gradually make their way down to the town area around the temples and shrines soon.

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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

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