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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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2015/11/06 - Fujigoko Report
by scott

Cherry trees along the north shore of Lake Kawaguchiko

Today I drove down to the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) region at the base of Mount Fuji to check on the autumn colors (koyo) around the mountain. The Fuji Five Lakes lie at around 1000 meters above sea level, resulting in colors that peak earlier than those in Tokyo, usually lasting from around the end of October to mid November. So after a relatively green Tokyo trip Wednesday, I had my hopes up to see some vibrant fall colors.

As usual, I started the day bright and early at the Chureito Pagoda so that I could get a good shot of the pagoda in combination with Mount Fuji before the clouds rolled in. The cherry trees planted around the pagoda that create the sea of cherry blossoms effect in spring are a little less showy in autumn, and usually turn a dull shade of orange versus the brilliant tones of the maple leaves. The cherries also tend to change relatively early in the season, and by this morning most of the trees around the pagoda had already dropped their leaves.

The cherry trees below the pagoda have already lost most of their leaves

Instead it was the maple trees along the stairs and the slopes around the pagoda that provided the majority of color today. Still, they remained in the early stages of changing and won't be at their peak for another week or so.

Maple trees along the slope just starting to show some nice color
Mount Fuji is best viewed with company

Moving on, my next destination was the Koyo Tunnel on the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko. The rows of maple trees along the road looked similar to those near the Chureito Pagoda and will probably need another week or so to reach their peak.

Koyo Tunnel
Photographers photographing
Pampas grass along the shore of Lake Kawaguchiko

Heading back east I stopped by Oishi Park to see the fire-red kokia bushes that are planted along the shore. The bushes, which resemble tumbleweed, are relatively early changers and by now most of them have lost their fiery glow and have faded to a dull reddish brown.

Some of the last red kokia bushes at Oishi Park
Mount Fuji towers over the park

Next stop was the Maple Corridor, a maple lined canal between the Kubota Itchiku Kimono Museum and the main road. Again, it was a little early to see great colors along the maple corridor, although some of the more exposed trees around the bottom were showing some nice orange and red tones. I suppose it will be another few weeks before it really reaches the peak along the corridor. In the meantime, visitors can enjoy the local autumn festival which features food and craft vendors along the northern lakeshore. The festival runs through November 23rd, during which time the trees along the corridor will be illuminated in the evenings until 22:00.

Some of the best colors were around the bottom of the canal
Still pretty green inside the corridor
The bridge near the top of the corridor is a popular spot to take pictures from
Trails follow along the corridor on both sides of the canal

The popular cherry trees that line the lakeshore nearby also provide some nice colors in the beginning of the autumn season. The cherry trees were still pretty full with dull orange leaves and made for a nice pairing with the lake and Mount Fuji in the distance.

Cherry trees along the north shore of Lake Kawaguchiko
Found some maples and ginkgoes interspersed among the cherries

Next I headed about 30 minutes southwest to the lakeside Yuyake no Nagisa Park along the southern shore of Lake Yamanakako. The trees here are usually slightly ahead of those around Lake Kawaguchiko and the maples seem to be approaching or at their peak around the park. This is probably the best I've ever seen it and totally made the trip for me today. Yuyake no Nagisa Park also has an autumn festival that is usually held relatively early in the season. This year it runs from November 8th (Sunday!) with evening illuminations until 21:00.

One of the best spots in Yuyake no Nagisa Park today
Another photographer practicing his craft
Seriously some of the best colors I've ever seen here
Clear skies and views of Mount Fuji all day today
Yuyake no Nagisa Park

Since it was so clear still I headed further around the lake to the Panoramadai viewing point about 10 minutes away along route 730. Here you can see the pampas grass covered slopes in combination with Lake Yamanakako and the mountain.

Mount Fuji and Lake Yamanakako from the Panoramadai viewing point

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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