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Tokyo: Approaching Peak

And it was all yellow

The last time Joe was in Tokyo, he reported that many of the trees in the places he visited were either at their peak or approaching their best. Today, I headed back into the city six days after our previous Tokyo report to check on the progress of the colors. I found the colors at a couple of the gardens I visited to be not far from peak, while the other places were already showing their best colors.

Elsewhere in the country, Sam was in Kyoto today and reported that the colors there were at their peak. Stay tuned as we will be having a few more reports from western Japan over the next few days.

Aoyama Icho Namiki

Peak Color

My first stop for the day was the Aoyama Icho Namiki, a ginkgo tree lined avenue leading towards Meiji Jingu Gaien. The trees have definitely taken on more color and were two yellow walls lining the street. Some of the trees in the shade were still slightly green, but it's definitely peak colors at Aoyama Icho Namiki.

The Jingugaien Ginkgo Festival was supposed to have started on November 18, but the entire festival has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Nevertheless, the ginkgo tree avenue is still pleasant to walk through and attracts lots of visitors and photography enthusiasts.

Walking down the avenue
Autumn graduation
One of these things is not like the other
Always nice in season

Rikugien Garden

Approaching Peak

The last time we were at Rikugien Garden was a month ago when the leaves were still green. Today, the leaves were much more colorful and a touch shy of their peak. Evening illumination started yesterday and will continue through to December 7. During the illumination period, the garden is open till 21:00 (entry until 20:30), and the Somei Gate, which is a two minute walk from Komagome Station is also open. I expect the garden to be crowded with visitors on the upcoming public holiday and over the coming weekend.

The stream near the Somei Gate is lined with maple trees
Very wabi, much sabi
In the clearing
Masterclass in pastel watercolors
Miniature garden
Not long before they are turn red
The ground was covered with leaves from this tree
Togetsukyo Bridge more colorful today

Koishikawa Korakuen

Approaching Peak

Moving on to Koishikawa Korakuen, the garden had more red and orange tones today, compared to just less than three weeks ago when the leaves were still green. The canopy and leaves that get a lot of sunlight were the sported the best colors while the interior was still slightly green.

Blast of color near the lantern
Koishikawa Korakuen, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Dome City rollercoaster tracks
Maple tree clearing
The Togetsukyo Bridge at Korakuen
Colors by the waterfall
Intense coloring here, kinda like candy
The temporary walkway past the waterfall
Colors by the garden
At the back
Ginkgo tree shedding leaves freely
Maple tree grove near the entrance
I took my cue from an old man frame this shot with his hands

Hama Rikyu

Peak Color

My last stop for the day was Hama Rikyu, a spacious landscape garden in central Tokyo. The garden is not a major fall foliage spot but there was enough color for an attractive autumn color stroll. I found most of the trees with leaves that changed colors to be at their best, and the copper leaves of the cherry trees were already falling off.

Autumn at Hama Rikyu
Red leaves everywhere
Someone tell the security that sweeping leaves here is an exercise in futility
Watching someone watching someone paint
Cherry trees
See you all in the new year
Trees given the yukizuri treatment to protect them in heavy snowfall
Resting under a massive keyaki tree
Bridge, teahouse and Tokyo tower