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.
2013/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Fujigoko
Today I headed back down to the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) region to check up on the autumn colors (koyo) around the base of Mount Fuji. In my last report I observed that the koyo would soon reach the peak around the Fuji Five Lakes, so I was very curious to see just how the timing turned out.
The first stop of the day was at the Chureito Pagoda. Last time I said that the cherry trees around the base of the pagoda were already pretty brown and that the maples seemed to be around the peak, so today it wasn't much of a surprise to find the cherry trees almost completely barren and the overall state along the slope to be a little past the peak and starting to decline. A few of the maples along the stairs still looked nice, but were really beginning to lose their leaves. In addition, the Larch trees are starting to change to their characteristic yellow, which is another indicator that the season will soon be coming to an end. Nevertheless, there were still enough leaves to get some nice shots in combination with the beautiful, clear weather that lasted all day.
After visiting the Chureito Pagoda I drove over to the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko to check out the area that we usually visit during our cherry blossom reporting. The rows of cherry trees that line the shore were again pretty bare, but the maple trees were still around their peak.
The trees along the nearby Maple Corridor were also very nice this morning. While some of the maples trees remain relatively green, especially those found along the more heavily sheltered bank, most of the trees that were nice last time have zoomed past their peak and have already lost a fair number of leaves. Today the best colors were found around the entrance to the corridor and around the Kubota Itchiku Kimono Museum just up the hill.
The area is still very much worth a visit, and autumn festival food stalls and handicraft pavilions will remain through the end of November. The trees along the Maple Corridor will also continue to be illuminated evenings in November until 22:00.
Next I continued making my way around the lake until I got to the Koyo Tunnel, where the maples tend to peak a little bit later than the other parts of Lake Kawaguchiko. The situation has really improved since last week. The colors were just around the peak this morning and should remain a nice spot to visit for perhaps another week.
Finally I paid a quick visit to Yuyake no Nagisa Park along the southern shore of Lake Yamanakako. The koyo around the park is pretty much finished and most of the trees pretty bare. There were only a few maples left scattered around the park that still had any leaves, and even the late season larch trees were starting to thin out.