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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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2010/11/24 - Kyoto Report
by francois

Koyo surrounds one of the gates of Nisonin in Arashiyama

For the second day in a row reporting from Kyoto, today I visited the Arashiyama district, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Myoshinji Temple. It seems once again that many spots within the city are at or very near their peak of this year's autumn colors.

A walkway surrounded by Koyo in Kitano Tenmangu Shrine's Odoi area
A bridge in the Odoi area
Although there are many red leaves, many are also still very green
Some nice ginko trees behind Kitano Tenmangu's main shrine building

The first destination of the day was Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. There are a few nice trees around the main shrine grounds, but the best spot for koyo is the paid Odio area that only has special opening during the fall and plum blossom seasons. There are many nice trees and viewpoints across a valley just beside the shrine, and although the trees haven't all reached their peak it is still a great time to visit. The full koyo peak should come this weekend. There is also a light up tomorrow night and the evenings of the next two Saturday and Sundays.

The garden of Daihoji temple, one of the subtemples of Myoshinji
Admiring Daihoji's garden from within the temple building
Some color in the garden of the Tanzoin subtemple
Koyo along one of the temple complex's many paths

My next stop was Myoshinji Temple, which is a large Zen temple complex a bit west of Kitano Tenmangu. The area was not spectacular for koyo, consisting mostly of a large building complex of temples and subtemples. However, in some of the subtemples the fall colors made the gardens more attractive. The Daihoji subtemple is only open temporarily for the month of November and I was told it is Myoshinji's most attractive spot for koyo. The garden was quite nice but pictures from previous years showed a fuller color than there was today.

The Togetsukyo Bridge
Today the area was packed with cars and sightseers

For my final stop of the day I went to the Arashiyama district. The area was very attractive and there was a lot of color on the mountainside. The place was packed with sightseers and cars and it was hard to get through the crowds, particularly in the area near the Togetsukyo Bridge.

Koyo outside Tenryuji Temple
Colors alongside the Sogenchi Pond Garden

Tenryuji Temple is a Zen temple located close to the Togetsukyo bridge. The walking path to Tenryuji Temple also had a lot of koyo and people. Within the temple the Sogenchi Pond garden in particular benefited from the added color of the season.

Fall colors beside the large pond of Daikakuji Temple
A bit of koyo beside Daikakuji's walkways

I also went to the northern area of the Arashiyama and Sagano district to see the current state of the leaves at Daikakuji Temple. Here as well the colors are around their peak, and there are a few trees that add to the view of the large pond beside the temple. There are also some trees beside the walkways that connect the buildings of the temple complex.

The walkway up to Nisonin
Sightseers enjoy a beautiful gate surrounded by color on the temple grounds
The view on the way to the temple's exit

Unable to visit last year because of a visit by the Emperor, today I was able to pass the front gates of Nisonin and see what was inside. I was happy to find some of the best koyo of the day, particularly around a gate just near the main temple building. For me, the small temples of Arashiyama can offer some of the best koyo opportunities in the area.

Photographers line the paths of Jojakkoji Temple during the koyo season
Fallen leaves on a moss hill
Fall colors serve as a background for the temple's bell
Koyo in front of one of the temple's gates

Last year the best koyo I found in Arashiyama was in Jojakkoji Temple, another of the area's small temples. Naturally I made a point of including it in today's itinerary. I was not disappointed as the colors were again fantastic, though I am between Nisonin or Jojakkoki which I enjoyed more. The colors at Jojakkoji are also at their peak and will likely continue to be very beautiful into the weekend.

A friendly traveler poses for a photo at Nisonin Temple

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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