|Autumn Color Report 2015|
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com
2015/11/27 - Tokyo Report
Today, I headed to Tokyo to check out the state of the autumn colors, while Schauwecker and Scott are in the Kansai Region covering Nara and Kyoto respectively. As reported by Schauwecker and Scott, the colors at Nara and Kyoto are at their peak and perfect for those who are in the area this weekend. Over in Tokyo where I was, the ginkgo trees are at their peak while the maple trees still need more time to develop their colors.
The autumn colors this year were slightly affected by the cloudy and warmer than average temperatures an over the last couple of weeks. The higher temperatures and lack of sunshine meant that the leaves took longer to change color or were not as vibrant before they dropped off. It is forecast to be colder and relatively sunny over the next few days, so hopefully that will be enough for the trees to develop intense autumn colors.
I started my day early at Yoyogi Koen, checking out the autumn colors there. The park is a short walk from Harajuku Station and located beside Meiji Shrine, and across from the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The park gates are officially open from 5:00 till 17:00 from mid October till end April, and until 20:00 the rest of the year. I saw many people exercising and walking their dogs, which is always a nice sight to see in a busy city like Tokyo. The few maple trees in the park were almost at their peak but there were some that had mostly green leaves. However, the colors at the ginkgo tree forest was at their peak and the morning dew was making the leaves shine bright like diamonds. The cherry trees in the park had lost most of their leaves.
From Yoyogi Koen, I took a short walk to the Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Avenue) in Meiji-Jingu Gaien Park. For those who prefer not to walk, Gaien-mae or Aoyama-ichome subway stations are the closest to the Ginkgo Avenue. The icho trees were at their peak and some trees could stand to improve a little more. However, they were beautiful to see and the other tourists around me would concur. There is a Jingu Gaien Gingko Festival that is held at the end of the avenue near the water fountain until December 6 from 10:00 till 16:30, with many food and drink stalls set up. If you are in Tokyo tomorrow, the 2015 Classic Car Festival in Jingu Gaien will held near the festival grounds on November 28 from 10:00 till 15:30, combining autumn color viewing with classic car spotting.
From the Ginkgo Avenue, I headed to Shinjuku Gyoen on foot. The cherry trees have lost almost all of their leaves while the maples dotted around the park need more time to for their colors to improve. Still, there were many visitors to the park enjoying the beautiful autumn weather and sunshine, as I was.
My final stop for the day was Rikugien, a stone's throw from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line. The Somei gate which is closest to the station is only open for a limited period during the autumn and spring seasons. This autumn, the Somei gate will be open until December 6 from 9:00 till 21:00 (entry until 20:30), which is also when the evening illuminations will be held. When Joe was here the last time, the colors were just starting, and now two weeks later, I'm pleased to report that the colors are getting better with still room for improvement.