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Autumn Color Report 2015
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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2015/10/05 - Route 292 Report
by raina

Today I went for a drive along national route 292, the stretch between Yamanouchi and Kusatsu. The route reaches one of the highest elevations of the national routes at 2172 meters and because of its relatively high altitudes, autumn color tend to develop earlier. The colors I saw today were undoubtedly beautiful, but I expect them to intensify a little more and reach their peak over the next few days.

Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side; it was cloudy when I started my journey, and the clouds turned into fog the higher up the mountains I went. The temperature never got above ten degrees Celsius when I was on the road, and the fog affected the views and the color of the leaves.

The road has two lanes and has a few sections where there are some crazy winding turns. I started from the Nagano Prefecture side and made the ascent towards the highest point, before descending into Kusatau. Along the way, I passed Mount Shirane but was not allowed to stop. There is currently a one kilometer no-entry zone from the crater and a portion of route 292 passes through it. That portion is open from 8:00 to 17:00 and cars are allowed to pass, but not stop or park.

There are a number of small parking areas along the way, and I stopped at several to take the opportunity to take pictures and enter some of the walking trails that dotted the area. I saw many people who were out there for the fall colors like I was, in cars and also on motorcycles. All in all, it was a beautiful drive with lots of gorgeous autumn colors which would be even more amazing when the weather is good.

Trees around Ichinuma Pond
Colors along the walking trail around Ichinuma Pond
I kept meeting some of these guys along the way
The road is just above the banks
Walking trails and colored leaves
Biwa Lake with very still waters
Hiking around the Tanohara marshland at 1610 meters
Fog getting progressively thicker
Birch trees everywhere
Photographers waiting for the perfect shot
Golden marshland grass, yellow birch trees
This is what I imagine the savannah would resemble
Silent hill anyone?
A little bit of sun changes how things look
View from about 2100 meters
A tunnel along route 292, and you could also go to the side to check out the view
Looking down the valley
Crossing prefectural lines, the building is split with Gunma on the left and Nagano on the right
Hello from the highest point marker at 2172 meters.
View from the top and you can see the volcano smoking a little
Colorful trees in the distance
Autumn drives should be like this, surrounded by gorgeous colors
Foggy times at Mononugunoike
Drops of water on a spider web
Sainokawara Rotemburo in Kusatsu
Looking at this picture reminds me of how warm it was by the yubatake in Kusatsu

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List of Posts:
2015/12/09 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/04 - Kyoto Report
2015/12/03 - Tokyo Report
2015/12/01 - Kamakura Report
2015/11/27 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/27 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/27 - Nara Report
2015/11/26 - Osaka Report
2015/11/25 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/24 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/20 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/19 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/19 - Kankakei Report
2015/11/18 - Mount Mitake Report
2015/11/18 - Korankei Report
2015/11/17 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/17 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/16 - Mount Takao Report
2015/11/13 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/12 - Tokyo Report
2015/11/11 - Hakone Report
2015/11/11 - Fukuroda Falls Report
2015/11/10 - Kyoto Report
2015/11/09 - Koyasan Report
2015/11/08 - Miyajima Report
2015/11/07 - Dazaifu Report
2015/11/06 - Fujigoko Report
2015/11/04 - Tokyo Report
2015/10/30 - Kyoto Report
2015/10/28 - Nikko Report
2015/10/26 - Bandai Report
2015/10/22 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/21 - Northern Alps Report
2015/10/20 - Mount Fuji Report
2015/10/15 - Hachimantai Report
2015/10/15 - Nikko Report
2015/10/14 - Alpine Route Report
2015/10/14 - Towada Report
2015/10/13 - Hakkoda Report
2015/10/08 - Nasu Report
2015/10/06 - Nikko Report
2015/10/05 - Route 292 Report
2015/09/28 - Oze Report
2015/09/24 - Alpine Route Report
2015/09/17 - Daisetsuzan Report
2015/09/16 - Daisetsuzan Report

Tours and Experiences