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Autumn Color Report 2011
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com
Guide to Autumn Colors - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

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2011/11/29 - Kyoto Report
by scott

Maple leaves at Jojakkoji Temple

Today I headed over to Arashiyama on the outskirts of northwestern Kyoto to follow up on our autumn colors (koyo) reporting. It's been exactly a week since our last visit to Arashiyama and since then the koyo colors have reached their peak over the entire area.

The first thing I checked out this morning was the Sagano Romantic Train, a train for tourists that travels alongside the Hozu River between Arashiyama and nearby Kameoka City. While not necessarily a koyo spot, hundreds of maple trees have been planted along the entire length of the tracks and provided nice autumn foliage to enhance the "romance" of the nostalgic train. Most of the maple trees were right around their peak; however, the surrounding mountains didn't have much natural koyo along their slopes.

Sagano Romantic Train
It was pretty cold in the open car up near the locomotive
Maple trees planted along the tracks
The surrounding mountains had some koyo but nothing spectacular

After returning to Arashiyama, I rented a bicycle and headed over to the Togetsukyo Bridge near the center of town. The koyo on the surrounding mountains was right at the peak and provided a nice backdrop to the bridge.

Togetsukyo Bridge

Nearby the bridge is Tenryuji Temple, which is one of the koyo highlights of Arashiyama. Schauwecker visited the temple last week and saw the trees around the pond at their peak. Today it seemed that the foliage looked just as brilliant as in the pictures from last week. The maples in the surrounding gardens were also at peak today, and provided some nice tunnels of autumn colors to walk through.

Tenryuji's large pond and Main Hall
Tenryuji's pond viewed from the south
Along the hill behind the large pond
Heading toward the entrance gate
A lantern outside Tenryuji

After finishing up at Tenryuji I biked over to Jojakkoji in the northwest part of Arashiyama. Jojakkoji is surrounded by hundreds of maples planted along the moss covered hill that the temple is built on. The trees were especially brilliant today and the contrast between the orange leaves and the green moss was absolutely beautiful.

The entrance to Jojakkoji
Lots of people were visiting the temple today
Around the main hall
Jojakkoji's Bell
Heading down the hill towards the exit

Nearby Jojakkoji is Nisonin temple, another small hillside temple with lots of maple trees planted around the grounds. The maples at Nisonin are concentrated around the temple approach and were at the peak today.

The approach to Nisonin
Around the main hall
Photographers waiting for an end to the near constant stream of people coming through the gate
Along the approace

My final stop of the day was to Daikakuji, an important Shingon Temple and former detached imperial palace. Daikakuji is not really known as a koyo spot, but there were some nice colors around the temple buildings and the Osawa Pond next door. The temple will be illuminated evenings until December 4th (17:30 to 20:30, entry until 20:00, 500 yen).

Daikakuji
Daikakuji's Osawa Pond
Paths along the pond
Some ginkgoes at their peak
A maple lined path

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List of Posts:
2011/12/13 - Tokyo Report
2011/12/08 - Kamakura Report
2011/12/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/12/02 - Kyoto Report
2011/12/01 - Nara Report

2011/11/30 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/28 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/27 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/23 - Kanazawa Report
2011/11/22 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2011/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/15 - Tokyo Report
2011/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2011/11/12 - Unzen Report
2011/11/09 - Sakurayama Report
2011/11/08 - Fujigoko Report
2011/11/04 - Kurobe Report
2011/11/02 - Mitakesan Report

2011/10/27 - Nikko Report
2011/10/27 - Towadako Report
2011/10/26 - Hakkodasan Report
2011/10/21 - Fukushima Report
2011/10/20 - Zao Report
2011/10/19 - Naruko Report
2011/10/12 - Nikko Report
2011/10/12 - Oze Report
2011/10/07 - Nasu Report
2011/10/03 - Nikko Report

2011/09/27 - Norikura Report
2011/09/14 - Ginsendai Report
2011/09/13 - Asahidake Report

Tours and Experiences