Koyo viewing is a must-try if you are in Japan around late October to early December. It is similar to Hanami in spring but instead of flowers people admire the colorful leaves in autumn. This year, the leaves changed colors a little later than expected. Maybe because of the changing climate. I did not have enough chance to visit several places for Koyo last month because of the exhibition. But I was lucky enough to catch a few before we experienced the rare snowfall in Tokyo two weeks ago.
I personally love the bright ginko leaves along Shinsui Park near our place. They blend well and at the same time standout from the different shades of green around them.
Koyo Viewing at Rikugien Garden
A week after my Ikebana exhibition, my husband and I went to Rikugien Garden in Komagome. This park is considered the most beautiful Japanese garden built in 1700s. We were welcomed by a long queue of people wanting to enter the garden that day. But it did not take us a long time before we can enter. After paying JPY 300 for our entrance fee, we followed the crowd going to the main garden. I liked the forest-like road going to the main garden. It felt like we were not in the middle of busy Tokyo.
Rikugien's main garden was amazing especially with the different colors of the leaves in harmony.
Inside the park are several tea houses or cha-ya for people to rest. They were also located at strategic areas so that people can have a scenic view of the garden from different angles.
It was a sunny Sunday when we went there. Hence, we were not surprised by the crowd of locals and foreigners enjoying the garden.
At the center of the garden is a big pond which its main attraction. There is a small island in the middle with a very pretty landscape.
We stayed at the garden and waited for the illumination. It was my first time to see fall illumination. Luckily it was already dark around 16:30 to 17:00. We did not need to wait for hours. It was a great experience to see the same spot change its beauty when illuminated.
The colors of the leaves became more beautiful and vivid in the dark. The illumination highlighted their colors and structures while eliminating the distractions around them.
It even gave some fancy illusions that makes usual trees catch more attention.