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Autumn Color Report 2013
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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2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
by sean

Four days after my last visit, today I returned to Kyoto to see some of its other famous autumn color spots. The skies were clear and there was a joyous atmosphere at the city.

I arrived at Arashiyama slightly before 8:00, as the early morning sun lit up the famous Togetsukyo Bridge and the mountains to its west. There were already some nice colors here, but I think they require a few more days of crisp temperatures before they reach their best.

Arriving at Arashiyama
Togetsukyo Bridge

About ten minutes' walk away was Tenryuji Temple where the best viewing period had already begun. Within minutes of the temple opening its doors, its grounds were filled with visitors eager to witness the fantastic views offered by its highly popular landscape garden.

Main Hall Entrance Building under renovation till March next year
Garden at Tenryuji
Scenery at Tenryuji
More scenery at Tenryuji

Over at Nisonin, the season has similarly peaked. Different hues of fresh red, orange and yellow decorated the temple surroundings. Visitors here should be able to observe great autumn colors for another week at least.

Nisonin Temple
Nisonin's well-known gate
Pretty maples

Next, I made my way to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, whose maple tree garden (Momiji-an) is open to public every autumn from around early November to mid December. Today, the fall colors at the garden were insanely gorgeous. Not only did the maples shine, there were other trees that provided vivid colors as well, such as ginkgo and zelkova trees.

Surprisingly, as good as the views already were, I think in general colors had only advanced to the three-quarter mark, which means they will improve and visitors this coming weekend will have a feast for their eyes.

This huge zelkova tree was an absolute beauty
Many photogenic spots
Great strolling destination
Shrine buildings

A taxi followed by a train ride took me to Kurama Station, from where I hiked uphill to Kurama Temple. The forest along the way up comprised mostly of cedar trees punctuated by few deciduous trees, and it wasn't until at higher elevations close to the main hall that I found much warm colors. Many maple trees around the temple buildings close to the main hall have reached their best, rewarding those who made their way up with some pleasant views.

I continued through the woods to Kibune, where I found some, but not great, fall colors. The best autumn leaf views in the area were spotted around Kibune Shrine.

Approaching the main hall
Nice colors
Visitors enjoy the colors
Nice views
Hiking to Kibune
At Kibune Shrine

My final stop of the day was at Tofukuji, one of the most visited temples for fall colors in Kyoto. The season has also reached its peak here, and I was lucky to be able to see some really intense fall colors accompanying the temple's famous Tsutenkyo Bridge. Autumn leaf scenery should remain pleasant here for another week or so.

With that I sign off on my Kyoto report. Please tune in for more reports from Kyoto by Scott next week.

Tofukuji's famous Tsutenkyo Bridge

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List of Posts:
2013/12/11 - Tokyo Report
2013/12/10 - Kyoto Report
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/12/03 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/29 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/28 - Kanazawa Report
2013/11/27 - Osaka Report
2013/11/26 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/20 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/18 - Fujigoko Report
2013/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/12 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/11/06 - Fujigoko Report
2013/10/30 - Towada Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/29 - Yamadera Report
2013/10/28 - Urabandai Report
2013/10/22 - Gunma Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Fujisan Report
2013/10/12 - Hakkodasan Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/10/08 - Nikko Report
2013/09/27 - Tateyama Report
2013/09/21 - Kurodake Report
2013/09/20 - Asahidake Report

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