|Autumn Color Report 2015|
Official autumn color reports by japan-guide.com
2015/12/01 - Kamakura Report
After some great cool autumn weather the weekend past, I headed to Kamakura and Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture to check out how the autumn colors were faring. The weather was crisp and sunny all day which made for a very enjoyable day out. While the autumn colors developed slowly due to cloudy skies and warmer than average temperatures in November, I believe that the colors will only continue to improve from here on with the cooler temperatures forecast for the next few days. The autumn colors I saw today were approaching their peak and I expect this weekend to be great for some color chasing in the Kamakura area.
My first stop for the day was the Kamakura Daibutsu, a large bronze statue of Amida Buddha, in Kotokuin Temple. The maple trees in the temple grounds were midway towards peak, while the ginkgo trees were at their peak. The Great Buddha of Kamakura is about a five minute walk from Hase Station along the Enoden railway line, past Hase Temple which was my next stop.
The autumn colors at Hasedera were at a similar state to the ones at Kamakura Daibutsu, and approaching their peak. I walked around the temple grounds, and up a small hill to be rewarded with views of Kamakura city and beaches. There were maple trees trees along the pathway up to the Kannon-do Hall, creating a colored canopy of green, yellow and orange. There are evening illuminations at the temple until December 6, from sunset till about 18:30 (until 19:00 on weekends and national holidays).
Heading back to Hase Station, I took the train to Kita Kamakura to check out the nearby Engakuji Temple. The temple's entrance is a few meters from the east exit of Kita Kamakura Station. The colors at the entrance were almost at their peak, and many visitors (including me) were stuck at the entrance, captivated by the different hues and taking too many pictures. After drinking in my fill, I headed in to look for more fall notes. Inside, the maple trees were also approaching their peak, though there were a couple of trees that were still relatively green. One thing that surprised me about Engakuji was how far back the grounds seemed to go on for - the temple compound is huge with various buildings and gardens.
Exiting Engakuji Temple, I crossed to the other side of the tracks and headed for Jochiji Temple. It was here that I saw more people in hiking attire, and unsurprisingly so as the Daibutsu Hiking Trail starts next to the temple and leads to the Great Buddha where I was at the start of the day.
I ended the day in Yokohama at Sankeien Garden, a spacious Japanese style in garden with a number of historic buildings and a handful of tea houses. The colors here are mostly concentrated around two areas in the expansive garden and were midway towards peak in most places, while others were just starting to develop some color. Two of the important cultural buildings in the maple tree area were also open for public viewing. These buildings will remain open for viewing until December 13 from 9:00 to 16:30.