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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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2013/12/10 - Kyoto Report
by scott

Tofukuji Temple

Today I headed back out to Kyoto for this year's final autumn color (koyo) report from the Kansai Region. The season typically comes to a close around most of Kyoto's popular koyo spots in early December, so part of the aim of this trip was to check out some places that might have later colors for those that are unable to time their trips for the peak of the season.

My first stop this morning was to Daikakuji, an important Shingon Temple and former detached imperial palace in the northern part of Arashiyama. Unlike many of the other temples in Arashiyama, Daikakuji is not really known as a koyo spot. However, there are always some nice colors on the temple grounds, especially around Osawa Pond in the temple's garden next door.

Unfortunately, as expected this late in the season, most of the trees around Daikakuji have already dropped a significant percentage of their leaves and very few maples still had any foliage worth mentioning. Accordingly, the trees along the temple's maple tunnel have also dropped significant amounts of leaves which now make a nice red carpet along the path.

Daikakuji Temple's Osawa Pond
The trees around the pagoda were either had either evergreen leaves or bare branches
Around the pond
Dead lotus blossoms cover much of the pond
Some ducks lounging at the edge of the water
A nice carpet of leaves underneath Daikakuji's maple tunnel
Leaves littered the ground everywhere you looked
Every gust of wind would stir up leaf blizzards

Of course, how can you make a trip to Arashiyama without paying a visit to the Togetsukyo Bridge? Here it's mostly the various trees on the mountains behind the bridge that lend their autumn colors to the scene. Unfortunately, it was also at the end of the season in this part of Arashiyama and the colors up on the mountain slopes are gone for the most part.

Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge
These two had matching outfits
Someone on the forum asked about the Kimono Forest at Keifuku Arashiyama Station. Yes it is still there, and it looks permanent.

After leaving Arashiyama, I headed across town to the Higashiyama District to check out some reported late season colors around Shorenin. While there were some colors to be seen, the majority of the foliage is gone around the temple grounds. In addition, Shorenin's winter illuminations ended last weekend.

The trees near Shorenin's were still barely holding on to some of their leaves
Maples leaves and bamboo
The garden from one of the temple buildings
The temple from the garden
The colors were disappearing fast around Shorenin
Colorful maple leaves cover the ground
Not as colorful as last time
The ratio of maple leaves to moss is approaching infinity
Shorenin Temple
The temple buildings through the maple trees
A nice carpet of leaves below the trees

Finally, I closed this year's Kyoto reporting with a visit to Tofukuji, one of our favorite and most visited Kyoto koyo spots. The season typically ends at Tofukuji around late November, so as expected the visit was more of a post mortem report since as most of the leaves are now on the ground underneath the trees rather than on the branches where they belong.

Tofukuji's Togetsukyo Bridge (the second Togetsukyo Bridge of the day)
Some nice colors just outside the temple walls
Nice colors could still be seen outside the temple if you looked hard enough
A carpet of leaves covers the ground
Some of the other temple buildings can be seen from the Togetsukyo Bridge
I've never seen the bridge so devoid of people
Tsutenkyo Bridge
Some of the last colors around the temple

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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

Tours and Experiences