The season for autumn colors in Japan is about at its mid-point with leaves starting to change in Kyoto, at their peak at Koyasan, and as Raina reported today even Tokyo is now seeing some color. Today I was back in the Fuji Five Lakes region to check on the state of the season here. I made a report from the Fuji area ten days ago, and the progress between then and now is significant. In general the season is at its peak, and at some higher elevations leaves are already sparse. Anyone hoping to visit Fuji during autumn should come in the next week.
Many of Lake Yamanakako's best autumn color spots are found along the string of public parks which line its southern shore. Currently the trees in these parks are the best they are likely to become this season. Some trees are already starting to lose leaves, so I expect the conditions will decline rapidly in the coming week. Also, there is an evening illumination event everyday from 16:30 to 21:00 between October 27 and November 12.
I'm always surprised how few people make it up to the Koyodai observation deck since it has one of the best views of the Fuji Five Lakes region. Today, despite the large crowds elsewhere, there was only about a half dozen other Fuji viewers with me. The conditions here are still picturesque, however the trees are starting to lose their leaves. I suspect that in less than a week the season will be over at Koyodai.
At Lake Kawaguchi the crowds were exceptionally dense and parking spots scarce. The Maple Corridor near the Kubota Itchku Museum is at its peak and is the epicenter for the congestion. Along the lake shores, the sakura trees have dropped almost all their leaves. Also, currently the autumn festival is going on from November 1 until 23. One of the highlights of the festival is the tree illumination each evening until 22:00.