by Scott, staff writer of japan-guide.com
This journal is a log of my travels within Japan. Here you'll find my personal opinions on the places I've been and the things I've seen. Also expect to see the occasional review and editorial. Thanks for reading.
2010/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
Today Schauwecker and I continued the autumn leaf season reporting from the Kansai Region with a follow up trip to Kyoto. This time we visited Jingoji Temple in Takao, a mountainous region in the north of the city.
Takao is at a higher elevation than the the city center and consequently has a slightly earlier koyo season. The hot summer doesn't seem to have significantly delayed the season around Takao and many of the maple trees along the steps to Jingoji Temple are quickly reaching their peak. The continued cool nights that are forecast should help the colors around Takao progress and I would guess that they will be at their best around this weekend.
In central Kyoto we also made a visit to Daitokuji, the head temple of the Daitokuji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. Daitokuji is surrounded by a collection of small subtemples, and Kotoin, one of the subtemples that are opened to the public, is particularly noted for its fall colors.
Kotoin's gardens are featured on some of Japan Railway's past promotional posters for the autumn season in Kyoto which show brilliant red maple trees standing over a carpet of their fallen leaves. However, it is still quite early in the season in central Kyoto compared to Takao, and the maples that are part of the scenes depicted on those iconic posters are only beginning to change. It will probably take another week or two of continued cool weather to coax these trees to their peak.