Although it is almost mid-December, there is a more autumnal than wintry air to Tokyo. The leaves have almost all fallen, and the sidewalks are generally either thick with them, or a scene of elderly cleaning staff sweeping leaves up.
There is a small shrine on a corner not far from where we live that showcases the seasons beautifully with its gingko trees and one or two sakura trees. This photo taken on December 9th shows the old caretaker of the shrine sweeping up golden gingko leaves outside the side gate of the shrine.
The protective lion deity at the gate keeps a stony eye on the bleaker, colder scene, awaiting the softening touch of spring.
Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan