Autumn colors in Japan (2011)

It’s slowly getting chilly here and that although I live in the southern part of Japan!
October is usually the month with the most pleasant temperature. In November it’s getting cooler rather quickly and leaves change their colors.
However, as Japan is quite a long and thin shaped country (I like to call it “banana” smilie), the climate differs quite a bit from the northern part (Hokkaido) down to the southern part (Kyushu).
That’s why you can’t enjoy autumn colors in Japan everywhere at the same time!

When will I be able to see autumn colors in Japan?

Actually there’s even a “autumn color forecast“, so people can check online when to expect beautiful autumn colors in Japan in their area.
It’s also great to know for when you plan your trip! smilie

There are various “kouyou” (紅葉, autumn colors) forecast websites out there (all in Japanese as far as I know).
I usually use Yahoo Japan’s forecast. (*orange means it’s the best time to view autumn colors)

Anyways, the autumn colors in Japan this year (2011) seem to be quite late – just like the cherry blossoms earlier this year. There seem to be 2 theories about this.
1) It has to do with Fukushima’s nuclear crisis.
2) It has to do with the global warming and general climate change (not only in Japan).

I do and want to believe the latter. How about you?

Also, it’s a fact that the colors of some trees look “dirty”.
That’s because they begin to wither before the leaves can even change colors this year.
It IS a little bit scary indeed. autumn colors in Japan

Nonetheless I took some photos earlier this week before I went to work.
It’s not (yet?) as beautiful as usually, but still quite nice! Enjoy!~smilie

autumn colors in Japan

The colors are somehow “dirty” this year.

autumn colors in Japan

This photo was taken at the same place exactly one year earlier (2010). Can you see the difference?

autumn colors in Japan

Yet there are some trees that still turned into very nice and bright colors.

autumn colors in Japan

Autumn colors in Japan look especially nice when you have a temple or shrine to go with the trees.

autumn colors in Japan

The leaves are “on fire”!

autumn colors in Japan


autumn colors in Japan

Autumn leaves in Japan are such a beautiful sight, don’t you think?

autumn colors in Japan

Very colorful. Actually the trees that are in the middle of changing colors are my favorites! You get green, red, yellow and orange all together!

autumn colors in Japan autumn colors in Japan

What I like the most about autumn colors in Japan is that you’ll have a variety of colors at the same time on ONE tree!

autumn colors in Japan

A lot of orange looks pretty, too!

autumn colors in Japan

People are enjoying the autumn leaves in Japan.

autumn colors in Japan

Cats do, too! And they’re wondering what this crazy gaijin girl with her pink camera is doing there anyways!

cherry blossoms in autumn

Did you know that autumn leaves aren’t the only thing you can enjoy during this season?

cherry blossoms in autumn

There are also “winter cherry blossoms” and there are some places where you can enjoy the pink cherry blossom trees and the Japanese maple trees (among others) next to each other, creating a strange mix of orange, yellow, red, brown and … pink!
One of those places is Sakurayama Park in Gunma Prefecture. One day I want to go and see it with my own eyes!

Do you know of any other places like that?

autumn colors in Japan

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