The days are getting shorter and colder and it is clear that autumn is coming to an end. Trees are shedding their leaves and the bright colours of the past month are becoming more and more difficult to find. I always have regrets this time of year, wishing that I had gone out more to enjoy the fall colours. But, it can't be helped, really. I don't think one ever goes out enough when enjoying nature is involved!
These photos were taken at a local park last week. Ah, those colours!
Next to my workplace is a lovely park with a pond and a small court where the locals play tennis or do outdoor exercises. I rarely have the chance to visit it but I always look at it wistfully through the bus window as we pass by. Today, as I left to return home, the sun was golden and so I decided that today was the day! Surely I could find 20 minutes in my schedule to go and enjoy the park. And so I did. This was what was waiting for me... (If you look carefully, you can see someone walking along the path. Hope that gives you some sense of scale.) (I didn't have my camera with me so took a chance with my mini iPad. Pretty happy with the results.)
On a cold, windy morning this week we visited a local park to enjoy the fall colours. There are various paths throughout the park but the route we took was called "Maple Valley". It did not disappoint! As we walked along we enjoyed comparing the varying stages of the maple trees. Several had already lost all of their leaves while a few others were only just starting to change. However, the majority were in glorious yellows and reds. Ah, so beautiful in the morning sun!
(Both of these were taken in "Maple Valley". )
A few days ago, after a busy morning of errands, my husband suggested we drive to Yoshimine Temple to enjoy the fall colours. I jumped at the chance! The temple grounds cover a large area on the hills to the east of Kyoto and provide fantastic views of the Kyoto basin. Whenever we visit there is always something to enjoy: cherry blossoms in the spring, hydrangea in the early summer, and maple trees in the fall. This year, as usual, the fall colours were spectacular and we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon strolling through the temples grounds. Ah, fall in Japan, you put on quite a show!
This one of my two favorite trees at Yoshimine Temple. Behind it is the entrance gate to the temple grounds. (Actually, I took this standing in the parking lot.) By the way, if you scroll down the menu on the right to "Yoshimine Temple", you can see 2 more photographs of fall that I took at this location.
Click here for more information about Yoshimine Temple.
Kyoto holds its Hanatouro Festival twice a year. "Hanatouro" means "path with flower and light" and the streets are filled with lanterns, illuminated installations, and huge ikebana arrangements. Oh, and lots of people, of course!
We have enjoyed the one held in March on the eastern side of Kyoto many times. However, we had never been to one held in December in Arashiyama, the opposite side of Kyoto. Not until last weekend, that is. To be honest, my expectations weren't all that high. My favorite part of Arashiyama is the temples but most of them would be closed in the evening so...
Well, I should have known better. It was fantastic! We had to be creative to avoid the worst of the crowds but it was certainly worth the effort. The bamboo forest was much more dramatic than I expected and the various illumination installations and ikebana arrangements along the route were quite beautiful.
Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was visiting Hogonin Temple. The temple grounds were lit up and the the fall foliage was spectacular. I have wandered through this area multiple times but had no idea the temple was even there. I will most certainly be back.
You are always full of surprises.
Arashiyama Hantouro Illumination Homepage: http://www.hanatouro.jp/e/arashiyama/
Top Photo: Hogonin Temple grounds
Bottom Photo: An ikebana arrangement on the way to the temple
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.