To Japan - and glorious autumn colour (koyo) in Nikko

It is my very good fortune to be visiting a friend in Japan.  I have travelled from the relative cool of spring weather in Wellington to warm weather in Japan (although people here seem to think it is cool) - and some of the autumn colours are very warm too. 

A few days ago I visited Nikko, a small city in the mountains north of Tokyo, famous for World Heritage status shrines and temples in a site of great beauty.  But this time my priorities were elsewhere.  Heading to visit the Nikko Botanical Garden, I saw these Japanese maples in full glorious colour just near Shinyo, the sacred bridge.  (I failed to register the name of the statue-d person.)

It was a gorgeous sunny morning.  The backlighting made the colours really vibrant - and these were not the most vivid that I saw. 

I was one of many many people visiting Nikko that day.  We all go for our own reasons, but I hope that we all came away not only arrested by the beauty of nature, but having some awareness of being part of it and having responsibility towards it - not just the World Heritage site, but our own backyards as well.  The upcoming Paris climate talks come to mind.  Imagine how powerful it would be if we all took action to protect our precious planet from further human-induced damage!