Exploring Japan Our Slice of Tokyo

Koyo or Autumn Colors Viewing in Tokyo

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 in Tokyo
The Bright Yellow Ginko Leaves in Seishincho’s Shinsui Park


Autumn Colors in Seishincho, Edogawa


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.


The Forest-Like Path Going to Rikugien’s Main Garden from Someimon Gate


Rikugien’s main garden was amazing especially with the different colors of the leaves in harmony.


Admiring Autumn Colors at Rikugien Garden


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.


One of the Tea Houses at the Garden for People to Rest and Relax


It was a sunny Sunday when we went there. Hence, we were not surprised by the crowd of locals and foreigners enjoying the garden.


Locals and Foreigners Enjoying Koyo at Rikugien 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.


Rikugien Garden’s Centerpiece


Fall Illumination 


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.


Rikugien Garden’s Centerpiece at Night


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.


The Pine and Maple Trees at Night


It even gave some fancy illusions that makes usual trees catch more attention.


Illuminated Bamboo Trees at Rikugien Garden


To know more where you can go for Koyo viewing in Tokyo, please click here. And to read a similar article in German, please visit Christian’s blog.

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