Autumn Color Report 2014
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Where to see autumn leaves? - When do trees turn colors? - What trees turn colors?
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2014/09/19 - Tokachidake Report
by schauwecker

The weather remained unstable and wet on my last day in Hokkaido. I visited Tokachidake Onsen, a small collection of hot spring lodgings halfway up the slopes of Mount Tokachidake. Located about 30 kilometers south of the Daisetsuzan Mountains, Mount Tokachidake is still part of Daisetsuzan National Park.

An onion field along the road to Tokachidake Onsen
Onions about to be harvested

Unfortunately, Mount Tokachidake was wrapped in thick clouds today, and I was not able to see many autumn colors (or anything else). According to a local source, the colors around Tokachidake Onsen were at their 50% mark today and should further improve over the coming days. I made a quick hike to the nearby Ansei Crater, a volcanically active valley, less than an hour from Tokachidake Onsen (sturdy shoes required). Visibility was limited to about 100 meters, and I could only see a few promisingly colorful nanakamado bushes along the trail.

A nice nanakamado bush along the hiking trail to the Ansei Crater
Close-up of some nanakamado leaves
Some colors in the mist
Volcanically active valley at the Ansei Crater
Colorful traces of volcanic activity

After the hike, I visited the hot spring baths of the Ryounkaku, one of the lodgings at Tokachidake Onsen. Ryounkaku's baths are outstanding for their reddish colored water and for the fantastic views onto the Tokachidake Mountains that can usually be enjoyed from its outdoor pools. Today's poor visibility, however, reduced the views to nothing but a wall of white. The bathing experience was wonderful, nevertheless.

The men's outdoor bath at the Ryounkaku

In order to add a few more colors to today's autumn color report, I then visited nearby Aoiike, a man-made, yet naturally blue colored pond (which is part of the infrastructure aimed at protecting the town of Biei from future eruptions of Mount Tokachidake) and the flower fields of Farm Tomita.

Aoiike Pond
Aoiike Pond
Farm Tomita
Autumnal flowers at Farm Tomita
Farm Tomita

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List of Posts:
2014/12/05 - Tokyo Report
2014/12/04 - Kanazawa Report
2014/12/03 - Kyoto Report
2014/12/02 - Kamakura Report
2014/11/28 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/26 - Nara Report
2014/11/25 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/21 - Osaka Report
2014/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/19 - Korankei Report
2014/11/18 - Miyajima Report
2014/11/18 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/14 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/14 - Himeji Report
2014/11/13 - Fuji Report
2014/11/13 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/12 - Eiheiji Report
2014/11/11 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/07 - Tokyo Report
2014/11/07 - Kyoto Report
2014/11/06 - Yamadera Report
2014/11/04 - Fuji Report
2014/11/04 - Hakone Report
2014/10/31 - Karuizawa Report
2014/10/29 - Shima Onsen Report
2014/10/24 - Fuji Report
2014/10/21 - Bandai Report
2014/10/21 - Nikko Report
2014/10/20 - Towada Report
2014/10/16 - Tateyama Report
2014/10/15 - Kurikoma Report
2014/10/08 - Nasu Report
2014/10/07 - Nikko Report
2014/10/01 - Oze Report
2014/09/29 - Tateyama Report
2014/09/26 - Nikko Report
2014/09/19 - Tokachidake Report
2014/09/18 - Kurodake Report
2014/09/17 - Asahidake Report

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