Warmer temperatures were recorded over the last few months across Japan, and that contributed to the slow start and slight delay to the autumn color season, while the typhoon and heavy rains in the last month caused damage to the trees and leaves in certain areas. Temperature lows for this week are forecast to be a few degree Celsius lower compared to the average year, and this should provide the trees that turn colors a good push towards developing their attractive autumn hues.
I spent the day in Kyoto to bring you our first Kyoto autumn color report of 2019. There are many autumn color spots in Kyoto, and I visited some of the popular ones. I am pleased to report that the colors have just started showing in the city. Given the good weather forecast for the rest of this week, I expect the best viewing period in Kyoto to be in the second half of November, in about two weeks from now.
I started my day at the popular autumn color spot Tofukuji Temple. The temple sees large crowds at the peak of the season, but was refreshingly empty today when I was there due to the lack of autumn colors. The maple trees in the temple garden had just taken on a touch of color, and I expect them to develop more intensity over the next week or two. The best viewing period is expected to start from around the second half of November. The temple garden is open from 8:30 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00) until December 8, and admission costs 400 yen.
Eikando Temple is another popular autumn color spot in Kyoto. Today, I found that the autumn colors have begun at the temple, and the hues were more intense near the pond than elsewhere. I expect more colors to develop over the next week or two, especially around the main hall, and the best viewing period to start in the second half of November.
From November 6 to December 4, Eikando Temple will be illuminated in the evenings from 17:30 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30) and entry during the illumination event costs 600 yen. Daytime entry is between 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00) and costs 1000 yen. Note that the daytime ticket does not allow for admission during the illumination period, and a separate ticket will have to be purchased.
Arashiyama is a popular tourist destination in the outskirts of Kyoto. Today, I took a walk near the popular Togetsukyo Bridge to see how the colors were faring. I am pleased to report that the trees have taken on some autumn hues, and I expect the best viewing period to start from the later half of November.
My last stop for the day was Jojakkoji Temple, a popular autumn color spot in Kyoto and one of my favourite spots as well. Today, the maple trees on the temple grounds were still mostly green with a smattering of orange and yellow hues. It should not be long before the leaves take on more colors, and I expect the best viewing period to start from the second half of November.