Kyoto: Peak Colors

Beautiful Scenes at Yoshiminedera Temple

This year's autumn color front has slowly leaked down from north to south and highlands to lowlands, with more southern cities now beginning to enter their autumnal peak. In continuing my coverage of this stunning season in western Japan, today I returned to Kyoto to see how the autumn colors were coming along at a couple of spots that are usually very popular at this time of year.

The past few weeks have brought relatively low temperatures to Kyoto and have a resulted in an autumn color season that has progressed more rapidly than usual. With this in mind, I was eager to see how the foliage would be at today's two locations, Yoshiminedera Temple and Arashiyama.

Yoshiminedera Temple:
Peak Color

My first stop today was at Yoshiminedera, a Buddhist temple built on the slopes of Kyoto's western mountains and a very popular spot for autumn color viewing. This morning the colors were still in their peak but only just. Despite the presence of some beautifully vibrant reds, yellows and golds, some of the trees were beginning to shed their leaves rather rapidly with a lot of foliage strewn over the the floor. I'd say that although Yoshiminedera is still worthwhile to see the colors, it is changing fast, and looks as though it will be beyond peak within a couple of days.

Autumnal wonder on the mid levels of Yoshiminedera Temple
Still some vibrant yellows and oranges around
Photographers (and their wives) taking in the colors
A pond adorned with foliage
Visitors make their way around the temple's grounds
Some of the foliage was really glowing this morning
Looking down on Kyoto from the upper levels
The hills that surround the temple are still colorful
Pond and foliage
Yoshiminedera's Main Hall

Arashiyama:
Peak Color

My next and final stop today was in the wildly popular Arashiyama district in the western outskirts of the city, known for its great natural views that are taken in by visitors in especially large numbers during the autumn color and cherry blossom seasons.

I visited Tenruyji Temple and can report that the colors here were in peak with some vibrant reds and oranges, but it looks as though the peak will be over after the next few days. The hills surrounding the famous Togetsukyo Bridge were slightly less advanced, leaving me to feel that they will stay in peak for the best part of a week.

Crowds gathered around Tenryuji's famous pond
An abundance of visitors flocked to Arashiyama this morning
View from the bridge
Taking photos around Tenryuji's picturesque grounds
The gardens were pretty busy today
Wonderful colors around Tenryuji's garden
An autumnal stroll in Tenryuji's gardens
The gardens were showing some radiant colors
Arashiyama's famous Togetsukyo Bridge with the hills in the background
Photographers with the right idea

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