Kyoto: Beyond Peak

Kiyomizudera's famous stage filled with visitors

This year's autumn color front has washed down from the north and into the southern areas of Japan, bringing an array of colors great for viewing and capturing in the odd photograph. I've been in western Japan for the past eight days, and today I revisited some of the spots I investigated last week, to see how their colors have progressed. The season as a whole has been quick to progress in Kyoto, as the city has seen some unusually low temperatures in recent weeks. Considering this and the colorful experiences I had here last week, I was eager to get to my spots for the day to see how they were looking.

Arashiyama:
Beyond Peak

My first stop today was Arashiyama in western Kyoto. The area is very popular with autumn color chasers, particularly along the famous Togetsukyo Bridge and in Tenryuji Temple, the two spots that I focused on today. The crowds were nothing like when I visited last week, and I think that could be because the colors are really starting to die down here. While definitely still worth a visit with some blazing colors remaining in certain areas, I suspect the season will be pretty much over within around a week.

Togetsukyo bridge
Tenryuji Temple's garden is a popular spot for autumn color chasers
Still a fair amount of color around
Photographers were out in full force today
Looking out on the gardens from the temple's stages
Starting to look decidedly wintry in some parts of the temple grounds
A nice atmosphere around the place this morning

Eikando Temple:
Beyond Peak

My next stop today was at Eikando Temple in northeastern Kyoto. I came here eight days ago and back then, the grounds were truly splendid and alive with color. While the colors have become less intense, there is still a lot of nice foliage here, making a trip still worth it. In addition, it's worth noting the temple illuminations, which light up the foliage on a nightly basis from 17:30 to 21:00 until December 4. I expect that the scenery will stay autumnal here for another week or so before winter starts to take hold.

Eikando's gardens looking picturesque, if slightly past peak
In some areas, the foliage was still bright
Walking through the Temple's grounds
The bridge not looking quite as spectacular as this time last week
Floor foliage
Ample opportunity for some photo taking!
View from the pagoda
The temple's inner gardens, still very pretty

Kiyomizudera Temple:
Beyond Peak

Last on my list of spots to check out today was Kiyomizudera Temple. The temple is known for being packed around autumn, but it wasn't quite as busy today as it was when I came last week, and the colors weren't as present either. Still beautiful with some vivid reds and golds and definitely worth a visit for autumn color chasers, the season is definitely winding down here and will seemingly be over after another week or so.

The famous stage not as packed as last week
Foliage past peak but still worth a visit
Some bright reds about the place
Golds too
Down in the temple's lower grounds

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