Monday, December 2, 2013

Japan's Fabulous Fall, Awesome Autumn Photos

It's time to indulge!  After 8 years in the tropics, we are blessed to live in a land of 4 seasons. I have eagerly looked forward to fall, my favorite season of the year.  We tried to rush it along, but alas...the seasons change about a month later in Japan than the U.S.  so we had to be patient.  We had seen plenty of photos like the first one below, to whet our appetite.

A temple in Kyoto.  Is this color for real?

Mid-October saw us traveling to Nikko, north of Tokyo.  Surely we'd see some fall color in the northern hills.   Well, not exactly peak colors, but we could tell that fall was definitely in the air.  Green Japanese maple leaves were on their way out, giving way to red.

Notice the ever-so-slight color change.

Even into November, Tokyo's colors were slow to materialize.  The search continued.

Fall trees were hidden by manicured cedar and pine.

A park on the grounds of the Edo Imperial Palace.

Ginkgo trees along a Tokyo boulevard.

We were getting closer.  Then, at last, at the urging of our sensei (a former travel guide), Stew and Lissa embarked on an afternoon date to a park west of Tokyo.  This park, the Showa Kinen Park, sits on the former Tachikawa Air Base.  We knew we struck the Mother Lode of Autumn as soon as we entered the park.

A canopy of ginkgo trees released their leaves to form a golden pathway.

Ginkgo trees in their full golden color.

Japanese Maple; Leaves seemingly on fire.
Some of the trees turned
from green, to yellow and ultimately, red.

Stew by the lake which was filled with autumn aficionados seated in paddle boats..

The happy couple on their date.