|Schauwecker's Japan Travel Blog|
by Stefan Schauwecker, webmaster of japan-guide.com
This blog is intended to record some of my travel activities in Japan.
2010/12/09 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
Tokyo is among the last places in Japan to see autumn colors every year, with the peak of the season usually occurring around late November to early December. Tokyo is also the destination of our last autumn color report of this year, on which I visited Shinjuku Gyoen, the Icho Namiki, Koishikawa Korakuen and Rikugien.
Although barren trees dominated the scenery at Shinjuku Gyoen, there were still some pockets of colors to be found. The best place for autumn foliage was the park's Japanese garden where maple trees were generally on the decline, but a few exemplars still provided some vibrant colors that attracted photographers like magnets.
Another good spot for autumn colors in Shinjuku Gyoen was momijiyama or "maple mountain". The trees in the area were still at a surprisingly unadvanced state with lots of green and greenish yellow. I am not sure whether they will all eventually turn red. But if they do, they would likely be providing autumn colors into the second half of December.
Next I visited the Icho Namiki or "Ginkgo Avenue" near Aoyama-Icchome Station, where I confirmed the end of the autumn color season. Although some of the trees in the second row still carried some leaves, most of the foliage has dropped, and barren trees were in the majority.
Koishikawa Korakuen, on the other hand, was still worth an autumn color visit. The peak of the season has clearly passed already, but quite a few maple trees along the central pond's shores still provided some outstanding colors, especially in combination with today's fine weather and good light conditions. The colors should last a few more days.
I concluded this year's autumn color reporting with a visit to Rikugien, the highest rated Japanese garden in Tokyo, where I found a koyo situation similar to Koishikawa Korakuen's. Here too, the colors were generally on their decline, while scattered trees were still close to the peak of their seasonal beauty and continued to provide a good reason for an autumn color visit.