Today, we bring you our last autumn color report for 2018, almost 11 weeks after our first report from Daisetsuzan in Hokkaido. Visitors to some of the later coloring spots in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka should still be able to see some color over the next few days before the leaves start falling in larger numbers to make way for winter.
I went to a number of autumn color spots in Tokyo today and found the colors where I visited to be colorful and attractive though nearing the end of their peak. Tomorrow would be one of the last few days to chase some autumn colors as rain is forecast in the city for Thursday, and that may have a negative impact on the remaining leaves. The weather for this coming weekend looks to be sunny and beautiful, and I expect it to be the one of the last weekends, if not the last, to see autumn colors in Tokyo.
The ginkgo trees at Meiji Jingu Gaien in Aoyama are definitely past their peak but there are still enough colored leaves on one side of the sidewalk for pretty pictures. However, now is also the best time to see one of the highlights, a ground of yellow, thanks to the fallen leaves. I do not expect the leaves to hold on much longer after the forecast rain and the coming weekend.
The Chinzanso Garden at Hotel Chinzanso which is in central Tokyo, is open to both staying guests as well as walk-in visitors. The garden offers visitors a variety of landscape scenery that changes with the seasons, and there are teahouses and restaurants as well on the grounds of the garden. I found the colors here to be a couple days shy of approaching their best and expect the good colors to continue through to this coming weekend at the Hotel Chinzanso.
The best way to access the garden for those who prefer not to enter through the hotel is to use the Kabuki-mon Gate (open from 10:00 to 21:30), which is conveniently located along the Kanda River. Admission into the garden is free.
Over at Rikugien Garden, one of Tokyo's most beautiful Japanese landscape gardens, I found the maple trees at the northwestern end of the garden to be at their peak, and the Tsutsuji Chaya teahouse was beautifully framed with lots of colors. I expect the autumn colors here to remain attractive through to this coming weekend. Until December 9, Rikugien Garden will be illuminated in the evenings from sunset to 21:00 (entry until 20:30), and the Somei-mon Gate which is a stone's throw from Komagome Station will also be open till then.
Happoen is an event venue with a beautiful garden in central Tokyo. The small garden is perfect for strolling, and the colors were at their peak with some room to get even better when I was there today. There is a bonsai section not far from the entrance where I saw some splendidly old bonsai, some over 300 years old! I expect the colors here to remain good to see through to the coming weekend.
Happoen is a short walk from Shirokanedai Station and admission to the garden is free.
Thank you following our 2018 Autumn Color Reports! For those who want a recap of our coverage this season, all 42 reports can read here. Only three more months till our next seasonal cherry blossom reports. Till then, keep warm this winter and happy travels from all of us here at japan-guide.com.