|Autumn Color Report 2012|
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com
2012/11/07 - Kyoto Report
Even though the peak of Kyoto's fall foliage season is still about two weeks ahead, I visited the city for an early first autumn color report today. We plan to continue reporting from Japan's koyo capital at least once per week until the season approaches its end in about a month from now.
Unlike Eastern and Northern Japan where the summer was an exceptionally hot one, Kyoto experienced only a somewhat hotter summer than usual, while temperatures during the past month were average or even below average. Accordingly, the pace of the colors in Kyoto is only moderately delayed. Comparing today's colors with past years, it seems to me that this year's pace is more like the pace in 2010 rather than in the more heavily delayed 2011.
I started the day with a visit to Arashiyama, at the northwestern outskirts of the city. The trees in the district have noticeably started to color, but were generally still at a rather early stage of the season. A few exceptionally advanced trees delighted tourists here and there.
Next I headed to Takao, a small town in a forested valley just north of the city center. Jingoji Temple is a spectacular autumn color spot, known to peak a week or so ahead of the city center. Consequently, it is a recommended destination for early koyo hunters. While still not at the peak of its autumnal beauty, Jingoji offered already some quite spectacular colors. Illuminations around Jingoji Temple are held every evening through the month of November from 17:00 to 20:00.
After returning into central Kyoto, I next visited Eikando, another prime destination among Kyoto's autumn color spots. However, colors were still at an early state at the temple, which still charged the 600 yen admission fee instead of the 1000 yen it requests during the peak of the season. Seasonal illuminations will be held daily from November 11 to December 5 from 17:30 to 20:30.
Kiyomizudera is one of the later autumn color spots in Kyoto, not usually peaking until late November. Nevertheless, I paid a visit to the popular landmark to confirm that Kiyomizudera's temple grounds are still predominantly green. Illuminations will be held daily from November 10 to December 2 from 18:30 to 21:30.
I concluded the day with a visit to Tofukuji, one of Japan's most outstanding koyo spots. Tofukuji is among the earlier places in central Kyoto to start coloring, but was also still at a rather early stage of the season. A few more cool nights will soon turn it much more busy.