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.
2010/11/24 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
Today I made a follow up to our November 16, 2010 visit to Tokyo to check out the state of the autumn colors (koyo) at a few parks and gardens that are known for their leaves. The first visit of the morning was to Yoyogi Park, which was sort of a mixed bag when it came to the autumn colors. Most of the trees around the park don't seem to have much of a colorful phase before the leaves turn brown and fall to the ground. Despite their relative lack of color, the trees are rather attractive right now and carpets of their leaves litter the ground underneath them.
The few maples that are scattered around the park were divided into two groups. About half seem to be early changing varieties that were nice shades red and orange today, while the rest are only beginning to color and are still predominantly green. Finally, there were a few stands of ginkgo trees which were pretty yellow with traces of green still left. Many of the ginkgos have shed a lot of their leaves already, leaving a nice carpet of yellow on the ground between them.
Next stop was to the nearby Itcho-namiki Ginkgo Avenue near the National Stadium in Aoyama. On francois' visit last week the ginkgo trees along this famous street were only just beginning to change color and were still mainly green. Today they were just the opposite and most of the trees were mainly yellow. Interestingly, the trees along the western side were further along and almost entirely yellow. The ginkgos on the eastern side of the street, however, were pretty much half yellow and half green.
Considering the view from straight down the street, I would guess that the ginkgos will reach an overall peak very soon, perhaps within the next few days. If you want to visit it, the street is a block from Aoyama-Itcho Station on the Hanzomon Subway Line.
Next I headed to Koishikawa Korakuen, one of Tokyo's oldest and best landscape gardens, found just behind Tokyo Dome stadium. Compared to all the ginkgos at my previous stops this morning, Koishikawa Korakuen was a change in that the coloring trees around the garden are mostly maple trees. Again, while some of the maples are very red already, the majority are just beginning to color and probably won't reach their peak for at least another week.
The final stop of the day was to Rikugien Korakuen, a large Japanese style gardens in Northern Tokyo. Compared to last week the trees are quite a bit more colorful today and many more of them have changed to some shade of orange or red. While the colors are attractive, I think the trees are mostly still in the early stages and will not yet begin to approach their peak for another few days.
Rikugien Korakuen will have a special autumn illumination from every evening from 17:00 to 20:30. The event runs until December 5, 2010 and admission costs 300 yen.