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Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto

Ginkakuji

Today I round up the week with another visit to Kyoto. It has been three days since my last visit to the old capital, and this time, I focused on the eastern side of Kyoto covering the area between Gingakuji (the Silver Pavilion) and Tofukuji Temple. The colors have improved a little since the last time and look set to welcome visitors over the coming long weekend. This year, the leaves are taking slightly longer to turn red and do not stay on the trees for very long, all these due to the warmer than usual temperatures over the past few weeks. It is forecast to remain warm in the Kansai Region over the long weekend before temperatures start to dip.

Over in Tokyo where Joe was yesterday, the autumn colors are approaching peak and look amazing. Lots of choices for autumn color viewing for those in the country this long weekend.

My first stop for today was Ginkakuji, a Zen temple. Despite arriving when it opened, there were already school groups and other tourists waiting to go in. However, the temple grounds were large enough to accomodate all of us comfortably, and there was not much jostling for picture spots. Ginkakuji is not known for its autumn colors, but there were still some maple trees to be seen in the compound. The colors here are not far from reaching peak colors and are likely to improve over the next few days. Walking along the Philosopher's Path, I stopped at Honen-in Temple briefly to check out the colors on the way to Eikando Temple. The colors at Honen-in were similar to Ginkakuji, midway towards approaching their peak.

Ginkakuji's garden
View from the top
Cherry trees losing their leaves
Colors at Honen-in Temple
Television crew monopolising the view at Honen-in Temple
Pretty green in some places

Over at Eikando, the trees have definitely taken on more color since the last time I was there. Many of the trees were showing more red hues than yellow and I cannot wait for them to reach their peak and be ablaze with color. The crowds also seem to have increased, and it looks like it is going to be a very busy weekend at Eikando. The grounds are illuminated in the evenings until December 3 from 17:30 to 21:00 (admission ends 30 minutes before closing). Entry during the evenings cost 600 yen.

Colors at Eikando
Looking down from the pagoda
Pond in the garden
Visitors having a rest and snacks
A bit more to go before peak
View of the entrance to Eikando

Nanzenji Temple is just a short five minute walk away from Eikando, and like before, I checked out the temple grounds as well as Tenjuan Temple. The autumn colors at Tenjuan, have improved since my last visit, and the trees around the Sanmon Gate, while developing in color intensity, also seem to be losing their leaves. There are evening illumations at Tenjuan Temple from November 15 till November 30 from 17:30 to 20:45.

Looking at the Sanmon gate at Nanzenji Temple
Autumn colors
Orange and yellow everywhere
School kids from Chiba Prefecture drawing a lot of attention
Tenjuan Temple
Garden in Tenjuan
Reflected colors
Autumn colors and chill

I moved on to Kiyomizudera where the colors have not changed much since my last visit. The ongoing construction at Kiyomizudera does not affect the view much. Evening illuminations are held until December 6 from 18:00 till 21:30 (entry until 21:00), and cost 400 yen to enter.

Kiyomizudera
Pagoda with a bit of construction behind it
More school kids on excursion

From Kiyomizudera, I took a bus to my final stop for the day, Tofukuji Temple. The colors have improved slightly since my last visit, and the crowds have definitely increased since then. The colors here should make for good viewing this coming long weekend and continue to develop more color intensity from here on.

For those in Kyoto over the long weekend, enjoy the fall colors, good weather, and be prepared to brave the crowds.

The view from Tsukenkyo Bridge at Tofukuji
I spied a bird's nest
Part of the bridge and colors
Flip phone selfie
Autumn is upon us

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List of Posts:
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report