Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dead leaves and a dirty ground

It's been a gorgeous Fall and I can see why Kyoto is famous for its Autumn leaves. The last few weeks of November are one of the most popular times for tourists to visit, second only to the vast crowds who come to view the sakura (cherry blossoms). Among the most stunning of the leaves are the momiji or Japanese Maple.

Here's one transitioning from yellow to red or is it red to yellow?
And this is a cool photo of Victo.

We visited a popular Zen rock garden, Ryoan-ji and photographed the leaves there. The leaves are much smaller than then Maples in the US and are also famous for their brilliant red color.

Up close of the momiji in the tree before they fall to the ground. Near the end of Fall they lose some of their brilliance and start to litter the ground in drabber shades of their former selves.

Covering roads, moss and filling ponds, still quite vibrant!

They fill all of the Japanese countryside and cities, just as festive as Christmas lights.

I like the bold silhouette of this tree against the fierce orange of the leaves.

A garden Near Himenji castle when the leaves were starting to change.

A fabulous shade of yellow seen through an archers window at the castle.

From yellow to green

Green to red

A Ginko tree at the park near my house morphs into a flashy shade of yellow.

Victo admiring the vibrant momiji.

Near the temple was this old aqueduct and leaves covering the roots of the trees

Buddha is enjoying the leaves, cant you tell?

The shapes of the leaves also contrast with the traditional roofs and add some vibrancy to the normally subdued colors of the zen garden.

Some monks we saw visiting the Zen garden, I felt compelled to take a photograph because his robes looked so good amongst the fall leaves.

Orange and the weird evergreens

The red leaves are covering the ground nearby the Nanzen-ji Temple. It supposedly has some of the best leaves but I think we came a little too late.

An assemblage of Autumn colors.

Takagaraike park near my house is a great place to view trees up close and to enjoy the mountains as well.
More trees around the pond at Takagaraike. I go running here and get to enjoy the leaves as well as the tiny Japanese dogs dressed in sweaters. (I'm not kidding, sometimes they wear raincoats too!)
On the weekends Old Japanese couples gather around the pond with giant cameras and photograph the ducks, turtles and fish that live here.
One more shot of the mountains going bald. It's a shame these photos don't do the leaves justice. In person you can see the light shining through them and the colors are even brighter.

A view of the autumn leaves from Himenji Castle.

I've been busy the last few weeks, so I hope to have some more posts of work and trips before my family comes for the holidays!