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Autumn Color Report 2012
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com

Where to see autumn leaves? - When do trees turn colors? - What trees turn colors?
Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report

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2012/10/26 - Minakami Report
by sean

Gunma Prefecture is a great place for beautiful nature and quality onsen. Today I headed to Minakami in Gunma to check out its autumn colors. First, I took the Tanigawadake Ropeway to Tenjindaira of Mount Tanigawa. Then I made a trip to Ichinokurosawa - the famous spot for taking postcard-worthy pictures, before ending the day at Takaragawa Onsen. For those interested to experience a hot spring with mixed gender open air baths, Takaragawa Onsen is one of the closest, and in my opinion the nicest, that can be accessed in a day trip from Tokyo.

Autumn colors are currently at their best around the top station of Tanigawadake Ropeway, where Tenjindaira is situated. A chair lift from here takes visitors to the observation deck above, which offers gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Today, I found trees to have already shedded many leaves at the higher elevations of the observation deck, but views and colors were still excellent.

Colors near the bottom station of Tanigawadake Ropeway
Looking down at a waterfall from above on board the ropeway
Colors got more intense approaching the upper station
Scorching colors
Chair lift
View from Tenjindaira
Taking the chair lift
Reaching the top of the chair lift
Tanigawadake Peak
Views from the observation deck
Views from the observation deck 2
Shrine at the observation deck
Coins used to pray for luck at the shrine
Circular rubber pieces for traction on the steep path downhill
These chair lifts will be in use when the ski season starts
Walking down back to the ropeways's top station
Peak colors close to the top station of Tanigawadake Ropeway

As the road which leads to Ichinokurosawa from the parking lot at the bottom station of Tanigawadake Ropeway is closed till November 4, I took a leisurely 45 minute walk to it. There is also the option of taking a taxi or a shuttle bus which costs 500 yen per person. However, the shuttle departs only every half an hour and is only able to transport nine people at a time.

The trees lining the path towards Ichinokurosawa were still pretty green, but the colors on the slopes of the surrounding mountains were already at their peak. Autumn leaves at Ichinokurosawa itself were not yet at their best but approaching soon.

Walking towards Ichinokurosawa
Colors along the path were still greenish
Surrounding mountains were already full of colors
The dog
The fly
The sign
The bench
The dead tree
Ichinokurosawa
Close up of some colors
Ichinokurosawa 2

Colors at Takaragawa Onsen were still more cool than warm, and might probably take some time before they reach their peak. The bath though, was more than warm, and is a gem within the beautiful forested nature.

Stopping on the way to Takaragawa Onsen
At the doorstep of Takaragawa Onsen
Walking to the bath of Takaragawa Onsen
Takaragawa Onsen's famous open-air bath in the backdrop
River running along Takaragawa Onsen

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List of Posts:
2012/12/11 - Tokyo Report
2012/12/07 - Tokyo Report
2012/12/05 - Kamakura Report
2012/12/02 - Kyoto Report
2012/12/01 - Tokyo Report

2012/11/29 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/29 - Himeji Report
2012/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/26 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/25 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/23 - Miyajima Report
2012/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/21 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/21 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/19 - Takaosan Report
2012/11/16 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/15 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/11/15 - Shosenkyo Report
2012/11/14 - Hakone Report
2012/11/13 - Tokyo Report
2012/11/09 - Sakurayama Report
2012/11/08 - Koyasan Report
2012/11/07 - Kyoto Report
2012/11/07 - Nikko Report
2012/11/07 - Yamadera Report
2012/11/06 - Naruko Report
2012/11/05 - Hiraizumi Report
2012/11/05 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/11/01 - Kuju Report

2012/10/31 - Towada Report
2012/10/30 - Bandai Report
2012/10/26 - Minakami Report
2012/10/24 - Nikko Report
2012/10/22 - Alpine Route Report
2012/10/18 - Noboribetsu Report
2012/10/18 - Sounkyo Report
2012/10/17 - Shiretoko Report
2012/10/16 - Norikura Report
2012/10/16 - Nikko Report
2012/10/15 - Kamikochi Report
2012/10/12 - Oze Report
2012/10/11 - Hachimantai Report
2012/10/10 - Bandai Report
2012/10/09 - Nikko Report
2012/10/05 - Route 292 Report
2012/10/04 - Alpine Route Report

2012/09/28 - Kurodake Report
2012/09/27 - Kogen Onsen Report
2012/09/26 - Asahidake Report
2012/09/21 - Asahidake Report
2012/09/20 - Kurodake Report
2012/09/18 - Asahidake Report

Tours and Experiences