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Tokyo: Peak Colors

Looking at the Suwano teahouse at the Imperial East Garden

The last time Joe was in Tokyo, he reported that many of the trees in the places he visited, Mount Takao and Shinjuku Gyoen were at their peak. Today, I headed back into the city just four days after our previous Tokyo report to check on the progress of the colors. I found the colors at the places I visited to be at their peak, with the exception of the Aoyama Icho Namiki area which had leaves dropping.

Elsewhere in the country, Sam was in Kyoto today and reported that the colors there were beyond peak. It seems to be that this year's autumn colors are finishing about a week earlier compared to last year.

Aoyama Icho Namiki

Beyond Peak

My first stop for the day was the Aoyama Icho Namiki, a ginkgo tree lined avenue leading towards Meiji Jingu Gaien. Since my last visit about a week ago, the trees had reached their best colors and then started dropping their leaves, all within a span of eight days! I found that that half the leaves had fallen off, creating a yellow carpet on the ground which many visitors were sitting in and throwing for picture effect. It will not be long before all the leaves drop off as the temperature gets lower, putting us right into winter.

The Jingugaien Ginkgo Festival was supposed to have started on November 18, but the entire festival has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Yellow carpet, yellow corridor
The empty right side also peaked earlier
Almost empty on the one side
And it was all yellow
Ginkgo trees on the way to Shinanomachi Station
Ginkgo leaves

Rikugien Garden

Peak Color

The last time we were at Rikugien Garden was a week ago when the leaves were approaching peak. I found that the colors have developed nicely since then, and am pleased to report that they are at their peak. Evening illumination 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.

Lots of visitors today
Colors in the grove
Vibrant in the sunshine
So reflection, much contemplation
Teahouse surrounded by the autumn color spectrum
Balding trees
Maples by a stone lantern
Walking across Togetsukyo Bridge
Today's not so miniature garden
This both-arms-up pose seemed pretty popular with the visitors

Imperial East Garden

Peak Color

My last spot for the day was the Imperial East Garden where Joe visited about two weeks ago. Despite the colors being at their peak then, I found that the trees were still holding on to their colorful leaves. Some trees had already started shedding their leaves, but the maple trees were starting to look gorgeous in the spacious garden grounds. I also took the opportunity to get up close to the Fujimi-yagura and enter the Fujimi-tamon, which was recently opened to the public for the first time. It seems that the Fujimi-tamon was used for other purposes that just a storage place, but more work needs to be carried out to find out what its purpose was.

Fujimi-yagura where there are a few interesting design points
Peeping at the guard tower (yagura)
Entry into the Fujimi-tamon, shoes have to be removed
Inside the defence house, which was smaller than I expected
Looking down from the remains of the main tower. That's the Nippon Budokan with the onion top!
A picnic on the lawns would've been nice
Heading down the Shiomizaka Slope into the Ninomaru Grove
Autumn color cloud
Inside the Ninomaru Grove
Green, yellow and red
The Ninomaru Garden
Burnt yellow against blue
Pampas grass
Old and new, that's my favourite kind of Tokyo