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Kyoto: Approaching Peak

Maple tree valley at Tofukuji Temple

We are now in the middle of the November and the autumn colors can now be seen in the major cities in the Kanto and Kansai regions. The colors are still on their way to their best and I expect the peak to start from the end of the month through to early December in the cities in the Kanto and Kansai regions.

I was in Kyoto today and found the colors across the city to be approaching their peak. The weather for this weekend is slightly unstable, but should not impact the progress of the color change negatively. The best viewing period for many spots in the city is predicted to start in about five days to a week from today.

Tofukuji Temple:
Approaching Peak

Tofukuji Temple is only one stop away on the JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station and can be reached in about a ten minute walk from Tofukuji Station. I found the colors here be quite colorful at the top, while it was relatively green under the canopy. Overall, the season seems to be just under the midway mark to its best and the peak is estimated to be from around the end of this month.

Looking at the Tsutenkyo Bridge
The early bird catches the empty bridge
Literally halfway there
Close up of the Tsutenkyo Bridge
Feels a little treehouse-y
Maple trese and moss on the grounds
Leaves catching the sunlight

Kiyomizudera Temple:
Approaching Peak

The maple trees at Kiyomizudera Temple had taken on a lot more color since the last time we were there in October. However, aside from the few trees that were more advanced, majority of the leaves here were still about halfway to their best. I expect the colors to reach their peak towards the end of this month. From November 17 until December 2, Kiyomizudera Temple will also be open in the evenings from 17:30 to 21:00, and the trees will also be illuminated during this period.

Kiyomizudera Temple
Some of the more advanced trees were near the main hall
The valley below looking a little light on reds and orange
Walking through the grounds
Colors by the pond near the exit
Koyasu Pagoda across the valley
Three-storied pagoda at Kiyomizudera

Kodaiji Temple:
Approaching Peak

Kodaiji Temple is a pretty Zen temple that is a short walk from Kiyomizudera Temple. I found the autumn colors here to be slightly subdued this year and hope that they would improve more over the coming week. Like the previous two places I visited, peak colors are predicted to be reached in about five days to a week from today. Until December 9, Kodaiji Temple will be open in the evenings from 17:00 to 22:00, and the trees will also be illuminated during this period.

Entrance to Kodaiji Temple
Almost peak at Kodaiji Temple
Walking paths that lead to the teahouses, that are cultural properties, at the top
Sitting pretty
View from the top looking down the temple
Green times at the stairs leading up to Kodaiji

Togetsukyo Bridge:
Starting to Change

Togetsukyo Bridge is an iconic landmark in the Arashiyama district just outside of central Kyoto. Today I found the mountain behind the bridge to have just started taking on some color and it is likely to be a week or so before the colors get more intense.

Mount Iwatayama looking a little colorful
Bridge and mountain
At the far end of the river

Tenryuji Temple:
Peak Color

Tenryuji Temple is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Arashiyama. I visited the beautiful garden at the back of the main building and found that maple trees there were almost at their best. There were lots of color to see and I expect them to improve even more over the coming days.

Things looking promising on the way in
Where the crowds were
Pretty colors
Right half
Left half
In the woods at the back of the garden
Looking down from a viewpoint
Not far from the exit that leads to the bamboo forest

Jojakkoji Temple:
Approaching Peak

Jojakkoji is a temple about a ten minute walk from Tenryuji Temple through the bamboo forest. The quiet temple tends to see few visitors until the autumn color season when the numerous maple trees change the temple's colorscape into shades of red, orange and gold. Today I found the colors to be approaching their best and predict that the peak would start from around the end of the month.

Just after the paying the entrance fee
Steps go up, steps go down
Looking down the main gate
Fallen leaves
Sketching in the temple
Such autumn, many color

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