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Autumn Foliage Forecast 2006
famous viewing spots and color changing forecast
- Mid to Late November -
 
Tokyo Prefecture
 
Hibiya Park | Chiyoda-ku

The autumn highlight of Hibiya Park is the golden ginko leaves filling the 160,000 square meter wide park made in the middle of Tokyo’s concrete forest. Alongside of the ginko promenade, there are also 81 dogwood trees which turn into vivid red in the season. The entire park is a nice metropolitan oasis where you can relax or take a slow walk, but especially recommended is the course cutting through the park from Sakura Gate (east) to Kasumi Gate (north). Besides the ginko and dogwood trees, there is an area imitating a Japanese Garden and here you can see also maple leaves in red. Hibiya Park is abundant in flowers all through the year and flower viewing is another pleasure of this park.

 
 
Meiji Jingu Gaien (Outer Garden of Meiji Shrine) | Shinjuku-ku
 
The row of ginko trees is known across the country for it is used in a number of TV dramas. The 300-meter-long golden arch is grand and romantic, and you can either drive through the arch or walk and rest on the benches on the sidewalks. Recommended spot for the best view is the water fountain in front of the Kaigakan (art gallery). The ginko stretch becomes a pedestrian paradise (car-free) on Sundays and Holidays from 9am to 4pm. The area is also a sports and culture complex where a rugby stadium, tennis courts, baseball park, etc. and museums are located.
Jingu
 
 
Inokashira Park | Musashino City
 
Inokashira

This huge park with the Inokashira pond in the center has more than 5,000 deciduous trees of 90 different kinds including 635 Japanese maples, 540 Ironwoods and 330 zelkovas. Also, this park is one of the very few places in Tokyo where you can enjoy colored leaves of Japanese Judas trees. The autumn leaves season is quite early beginning from late October. Although it is a park, the trees are planted and taken care of at the minimum level to maintain the naturalness of the nature, and the park is a very nice and quite place to spend a relaxing time even on weekdays.
 
Kanagawa Prefecture
 
Tsuruoka Hachiman Shrine | Kamakura City

Tsuruoka Hachiman Shrine is one of the most popular tourists spots of Kamakura which boasts an endless line of visitors all year round. On the side of the 60-step staircase leading to the main shrine is the gigantic ginko tree which is said to be more that 1,000 years old. This ginko tree with about 30 meters height and the 7 meters long trunk circumference creates an impressive scene of gold along the stairs to the shrine. Tsuruoka Hashiman Shrine was originally founded to pray the victory of Genji in 11C, and is the guardian shrine for the Genji family since then.

>> Kanagawa Prefectural Guide
 
Kyoto Prefecture
 
Kibune Area | Kyoto City - Kibune Kurama

A 250-meter-long tunnel of maple stretches between Ichihara Station to Ninose Station, and during the autumn foliage season the trains drops its speed so that the passengers can appreciate the breathtaking crimson beauty longer. Additionally, the very tunnel is illuminated at nighttime during the Kibune Momiji Lantern Season (Nov.10 – 26, sunset – 21:00) and the view you can get from inside the train – with the lights turned off – is almost ethereal and otherworldly. It is only a couple of stations train ride to the quiet and beautiful resort of Kurama Hot Springs where you can appreciate the many blessings of the nature of Kyoto.

>> Kyoto Prefectural Guide
 
Yamaguchi Prefecture
 
Kintaikyo Bridge and Momijidani Park | Iwakuni City
kintaikyo
Photo (c) Kouji Matsumoto / Website: Four Seasons of Kintaikyo Bridge
Momijidani Park is named after its beautiful autumn leaves (=momiji) and is connected to the neighboring park Kikko Koen which is also a pleasant place to visit. Kikko Koen was built in remembrance of the Kikkawa Family, the Feudal Lord of Iwakuni Domain during Edo Period, and although the buildings are not there anymore the site of their residence alongside their cemetery (Kikkawa-Bosho) are preserved within the park. Both parks are famous for the scenic beauty known as “Kamakura of the West” (Kamakura is a historical site in Kanagawa Prefecture). The changing of the leaves' colors start in mid November in the parks, but the best time to view the leaves along the waterfront in the Kintaikyo Bridge area is early to mid December. The view of the magnificent bridge built without a single nail, together with the water and the leaves can be enjoyed from various angles all freely showing gracious beauty.

>> Yamaguchi Prefectural Guide
 
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