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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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2015/12/01 - Kamakura Report
by raina

Scene at Sankeien Garden

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.

Red leaves at Kotokuin Temple
Looks like the Buddha is looking at the moon
Colors at the temple grounds

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).

View of Hasedera from the outside
Garden view
Changing colors
Maple canopy
Great weather, great colors
Spotted a plane
Looking at the entrance gate

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.

Engakuji entrance
Can't wait for the leaves on that tree to turn red
Temple grounds go into the hills beyond that building in the back
This birdy was a little jumpy
Maple tree and gate

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.

Entrance to Engakuji from across the tracks
Slightly subdued entrance to Jochiji Temple
Ginkgo tree at its peak
Near the paid entrance of Jochiji Temple
The colors were so vibrant, they were hard to ignore
Right outside Kita Kamakura Station

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.

Saw about three couples getting their wedding pictures taken
I wish I could draw or paint
Part of what the above artist was looking at
Other flowers in bloom at the garden
A mini maple tree valley
Orange and red
Photo of the photographers taking photos of autumn leaves
Inside maple tree lined ravine path at the back of the garden. The maples here are still green
Humans roosting in the afternoon
Ginkgo tree

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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