Today I went to Tofuku-ji temple to view the momiji (Japanese Maple.) One very important piece of advice: arrive at 8:30 as soon as it opens. We arrived at 9 and it was so busy. The first bridge you cross on the way to the temple is free and you get a wonderful view of the momiji, so of course everyone stops to take photos. But it leads to the entrance of the temple so there were traffic officers shouting 'one photo, two photo' over and over again. Basically to try and get people to take two photos only and then leave. But that bridge was nothing compared to the one in the temple grounds. The queue was long and packed all the way across the bridge but one area was particularly crowded, a special viewing balcony. Since I was there I thought I should see the view so I stood and waited and eventually got to the front. Anyone who has experienced the mayhem of Tokyo at rush hour will understand how I felt. I had people pressing against me on all sides which meant I had to grab onto the wood to stop myself from being pushed over the edge. Was the view worth it though? Yes.
We fought our way out of the crowds on the bridge only to be confronted with a huge crowd in the garden queuing for something. After my experience on the bridge I didn't feel like entering this crowd. Turns out I didn't have any choice, this was the only route out. Anyway the queue moved reasonably quickly and we were soon into a beautiful valley full of momiji. I hate to be cheesy but it really was breath-taking. Out of all the places I`ve been to see momiji, this was definitely my favourite, despite the crowds. I loved that it wasn't all the same colour; there was red, orange, yellow, green and purple. Then to top it all of, bright blue sky. At the exit everyone just walked out but I stopped, looked up and took one last photo of the contrast between the red leaves and the blue sky. When I turned around to leave everyone else had stopped and was taking the same shot as me. Below is just a selection of the many photos I took.
|The queue leading up to the second bridge.|
|The view from the bridge.|
|The only way back to the other side!|
|The stream at the bottom of the valley.|