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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2010/12/06 - Kamakura Report
by schauwecker


Almost three months after this year's first autumn color report, the season is finally approaching its end. Today I visited Kamakura, one of the last places in Japan to see the leaves change colors. The season does not usually peak here before early December.

Weather conditions have been quite favorable for koyo over the last few weeks thanks to many nights with low temperatures enhancing the colors. As a result, the trees have made up the delay witnessed earlier this season. On a less positive note, strong winds and rain have taken down quite a few leaves prematurely last week.

I started reporting at Hasedera, where the maple trees were near their peak today, although some of the trees have started to decline. The colors around the pond in the lower garden of the temple grounds were particularly pretty.

Colors in and around the pond of Hasedera's garden

Next I paid a quick visit to the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha). There are only a few colorful trees on the grounds around the beautiful bronze statue, however, these are currently near the beauty of their autumnal beauty.

Kamakura Daibutsu

Via the Daibutsu hiking trail I continued to the Genjiyama Park, a mountaintop park with a statue of Minamoto Yoritomo, the shogun who founded the military government of Kamakura 818 years ago. The trees around the park are already beyond their peak. I suspect that many leaves fell victim to last week's strong winds.

Minamoto Yoritomo statue and many rather barren trees in Genjiyama Park

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine lost its magnificent, centuries old ginkgo tree during a winter storm earlier this year. Despite cracking at its base and falling over, the tree did not entirely die. Many young branches have since started to grow from the roots of the old tree and from a part of the trunk which the shrine has placed next to the tree's former location. These branches were providing some modest autumn colors today in their first year of existence.

Young branches grow on the former location and on a part of the trunk of the shrine's great ginkgo tree
Young branches grow on the former location and on a part of the trunk of the shrine's great ginkgo tree

With a bag of roasted ginkgo nuts I made my way to Kenchoji Temple, a ten minute walk north of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Kenchoji does not have an overwhelming number of colorful trees, but the few maple trees on its grounds were at their peak today.

Garden behind Kenchoji's Hojo building
Roasted ginkgo nuts

A pleasant surprise was my visit to Meigetsuin, a temple most famous for its hydrangea flowers (ajisai), which bloom in June and July. Not expecting much, I quickly realized that the pretty temple grounds are worth a visit also in autumn.

Garden behind Meigetsuin's main hall
Round window in Meigetsuin's main hall
A Christmas tree at Meigetsuin Temple

My last stop in Kamakura was Engakuji Temple, which was quite busy today for a good reason: the colors around the temple buildings were at their peak.

Colorful entrance to Engakuji Temple
On the grounds of Engakuji Temple

On my way home, I made a detour via Sankeien, a beautiful garden in Yokohama. Autumn colors were modest around the pond, but there were some spectacular pockets of vibrant maple leaves in the forested areas, especially around the Yokobuean tea hut.

Modest colors around the pond of Sankeien
Vibrant maple leaves around Sankeien's Yokobuean tea hut

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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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