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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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2015/11/27 - Nara Report
by schauwecker

After a promising start to the autumn color season in Hokkaido two and a half months ago, an unfavorable combination of above-average temperatures and below-average sunshine has led to a rather disappointing later stage of the season so far. Many of the maple trees in Japan's later coloring koyo spots have been either delayed or started dropping their leaves before ever turning vibrant. I hope that the recent drop in temperatures and the generally sunny and crisp weather forecast will still favorably impact the colors over the next few days.

Today I visited Nara for this year's only autumn color report from the city. While Nara's ginkgo trees have turned nicely golden and dropped a considerable number of their leaves already, most maple trees displayed only relatively matte colors today. Nevertheless, it was a joy to look for seasonal accents among the ancient capital's temples, gardens and deer today.

Free observation deck on the roof of the Nara Prefectural Office building
View of Kofukuji's five-storied pagoda
View of Todaiji's Daibutsuden Hall

I first visited the two Japanese gardens, Yoshikien and Isuien, west of Todaiji Temple. The colors at Yoshikien were rather subdued and did not look like they still had a lot of potential to improve. But the walk through the garden was still enjoyable and - for foreign visitors only - free of charge.

Subdued colors at Yoshikien
Sunshine helps to produce some of the day's most vibrant colors
No further comment
Hidden beauty in the back of the garden
A type of discrimination foreigners appreciate

Next door, Isuien Garden has recently increased its admission fee to 900 yen (for Japanese and non-Japanese visitors alike), but it offered some of the best colors of today. Although on the decline, the garden's trees and bushes still showed some very nice autumnal colors.

Grey clouds, autumn colors and a photographer
A different photographer zooms in onto a pocket of colors
My own attempt at zooming in
Autumn at Isuien

The rest of the day I spent exploring the northern half of Nara Park around Todaiji Temple (the southern half is less colorful). While neither too numerous nor too vibrant, the colorful trees around the park still made for some enjoyable leaf peeping. The ginkgo trees attracted photographers with their carpets of fallen leaves, while the maple trees showed potential for further improvement over the coming days if - hopefully - they do not shed their leaves prematurely.

View from Todaiji's Nigatsudo Hall
Photogenic approach to the Nigatsudo Hall
Gate below a ginkgo tree
Excavation works on Todaiji's former 7-storied eastern pagoda for an eventual future reconstruction
Carpet beneath a ginkgo tree
Walk in the park
The creek near the start of the main approach to Todaiji is lined by maple trees
Young deer in front of some of today's most vibrant maple trees

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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