7 Best Spots to See Japan’s Autumn Colours in Tokyo

22.October.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

Japan is getting deep into autumn – the season for autumn foliage, called kouyou in Japanese, is getting closer. Tokyo is known for its bright lights and metropolitan lifestyle, but did you know that there’s in fact a lot of places to enjoy the autumn colours in the capital?

 

We’ve compiled a list of great spots to visit this autumn that are accessible from the heart of Tokyo.

 

Mount Takao (Peak Foliage: Mid November – Late November)

Mount Takao is a nature haven about an hour’s train journey from central Tokyo. Surrounding the mountain are about 1,200 species of plant and 100 types of wild bird. Its autumn-time maple trees are exceptional. The view of autumn leaves from the mountain peak as well at the Yakuo-in Buddhist temple, Kiyotaki Cable Car Station, Takaosan Station and elsewhere please the eyes of countless mountain climbers over a one month period. Additionally, special “Mt. Takao” trains will run from Takaosanguchi Station to Shinjuku Station on weekends and holidays throughout November from 3pm. These carriages are reservation-only and offer a beautiful view for those returning to the city centre.

 

■Information

Mount Takao

Location: Hachioji, Tokyo

Access: Board the Keio Takao Line, change at Takaosanguchi Station and walk 5-minutes from the cable car entrance

TEL: 042-620-7378

Website: https://www.hkc.or.jp

 

Rikugien Garden (Peak Foliage: Mid November – Early December)

Rikugien Garden is a typical garden of the Edo Period boasting around 400 maple trees as well as Japanese wax trees, maidenhairs and more all of which bring vivid life to the garden. It’s also home to a pond and 35 meter high ‘mountain’ where people can stroll along and enjoy autumn’s kaleidoscope of colours. Illuminations are also set to be held from Novmember 17 to December 9 which will light up the trees and rest of the garden, so don’t miss out.

 

■Information

Rikugien Garden

Address: 6 Honkomagome, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

Access: 7-minutes on foot from Komagome Station via the JR Lines

TEL: 03-3941-2222

Website: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index031.html

 

Hibiya Park (Peak Foliage: Late November – Early December)

Hibiya Park first opened in 1903 during the Meiji Period. During autumn, the leaves of the maidenhair trees colour the the S-shaped garden path a golden yellow. The park’s Shinkei Pond is home to a water fountain made in the image of the crane which is the third oldest water fountain in Japan. Tokyo is a busy and bustling city, but Hibiya Park is an oasis out of that where the captivating colours of maple trees and more excite your eyes.

 

■Information

Hibiya Park

Address: 1-6 Hibiya Park, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Access: 2-minutes on foot from Kasumigaseki Station and Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro / 8-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR

TEL: 03-3501-6428

Website: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index037.html

 

Shiba Park (Peak Foliage: Late November – Early December)

Shiba Park has a long history and was first designated a park in 1873 along with those in Ueno, Asakusa, Fukugawa and Asukayama. The bright colours of the maidenhair trees in the promenade that arrive from late November and bloom until early December look out on Tokyo Tower which is an overwhelming sight to see.

 

■Information

Shiba Park

Address: 4-10-17 Shiba Park, Minato Ward, Tokyo

Access: 12-minutes on foot from Hamamatsucho Station via JR / 2-minutes on foot from Shibakoen Station via Toei Subwa

TEL: 03-3431-4359

Website: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index001.html

 

Meiji Jingu Gaien Park (Late November – Early December)

Meiji Jingu Gaien Park is famous for its maidenhair trees that span a 300 meter distance. It’s one of the city’s representative autumn-time spots for seeing yellow leaves. There are 146 maidenhairs that line both sides of the path that create a truly golden road. If you gaze from Aoyama Dori Road it’s like staring into a beautiful picture book.

 

■Information

Meiji Jingu Gaien Park

Address: 2-1 Kita Aoyama, Minato Ward, Tokyo (Maidenhair Path) / 2-3 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Access: 5-minutes on foot from Aoyama-itchōme Station or Gaiemmae Station via Tokyo Metro / 10-minutes on foot from Shinanomachi Station or Sendagaya Station via JR

TEL: 03-3401-0312

Website: http://www.meijijingugaien.jp

 

Yoyogi Park (Peak Foliage: Late November – Early December)

Yoyogi Park is home to 6 types of broad-leaved trees including 1,000 Japanese zelkovas, 260 maidenhairs, 100 maples and more. It is one of the main parks to visit in Tokyo during autumn where you can stroll and see the colours unfold before you. It has an open space, water fountain and even benches making for a great day out where you can kick back and relax. It’s a great place to stroll to after shopping in Harajuku as it’s located right next to Harajuku Station. But if you get lost then come and see us in the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center and we’ll point you in the right direction.

 

■Information

Yoyogi Park

Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya, Tokyo

Access: 3-minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via JR / 3-minutes on foot from Yoyogi-koen Station via Tokyo Metro

TEL: 03-3469-6081

Website: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index039.html

 

When in Japan during the fall season, make sure to enjoy it to the absolute fullest!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden: Witness the Colours of Autumn Illuminated by Lights at Night

    15.September.2018 | SPOT

    The maple trees at Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden are set to be lit up at an event that will run from October 19 to November 11. The event will enable people to walk the gardens at night to gaze at the illuminated red leaves. Additionally, as part of the 2018 Rokko Meets Art project, another display titled ‘The Night Museum’ will be held simultaneously where art pieces around the garden will also be lit up.

    The hills and mountains in Japan turn into a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows and oranges when autumn comes and the maple trees bloom. Mount Rokkō is at a high altitude and it’s here that maple trees blossom almost one month earlier than other town areas including Kyoto. There are numerous varieties of maple tree at Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden for people to see. You can look forward to seeing the trees change colour from mid-October through mid-November. These bright and beautiful trees will be made even more vivid when they are lit up together with the art installations around the gardens.

     

    Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden boasts a diverse range of tree species and plants including the maple variety like the Japanese maple and oomomiji as well as the Japanese beech, Japanese larch, shiromoji, rhododendrons and more, all of which come to life in autumnal colours. It is also home to several species that grow in high altitudes like the chinguruma.

    The lit-up trees will create a starkly different, more mysterious atmosphere than during the daytime. There is also much anticipation for the exhibition of an art installation by Takahashi Kyota.

    You’ll also have the opportunity to use seeds fallen from trees in the garden and dried hydrangeas to make your own wreath. Tools and items will all be prepared for you so you can go hands-free.

    A photo seminar will also take place under the refreshing sky of Mount Rokkō. You’ll be led around the garden by lecturers of the Japan Alpine Photographers Association and learn how to take photos of the hills and fields. You will observe medicinal plants and learn the charms of plans you would never know by just looking at them.

    Enjoy the gorgeous colours of autumn this year at Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden.

     

    ■Information

    Maple Tree Night Stroll / The Night Museum

    Running: October 19, 2018 – November 11, 2018 (*Will be cancelled during storms)

    Time: Weekdays 5:00pm-6:30pm / Weekends & Holidays 5:00pm-7:30pm

    Guide: From 5:30pm (*Weekends & Holidays only. 30 minutes. Free to participate.)

    Location: Rokkō Alpine Botanical Garden (Kitarokkō-4512-150 Rokkōsanchō, Nada Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

    Price: Free to participate but you must pay the garden entry fee (Adults ¥620 / Children ¥310 / Seniors ¥520)

     

    Wreath Workshop

    Running: October 13, 2018 – November 25, 2018

    Open: 10:00am-4:30pm (Reception closes at 4:00pm)

    Time: 30 minutes

    Location: Alpicola

    No. of People: 12 people max per session. No reservations necessary.

    Price: From ¥650 (Doesn’t include garden entry fee)

     

    Photo Seminar

    Date: September 23, 2018 (*Will be postponed to September 30th if it rains)

    10:30am-11:00am ― Class on photography

    11:00am-3:00pm ー Photography around the garden

    Price: Free (Doesn’t include garden entry fee)

    No. of People: 30 *Now taking telephone reservations

     

    Guide

    Dates: October 13 and November 10

    Time: 11:00am / 2:00pm (1 hour each)

    Price: Free (Doesn’t include garden entry fee)

     

    Mount Rokkō Portal Webite: http://www.rokkosan.com

     

  • Season of autumn foliage is near! Special season-limited train service – Mt. TAKAO to start

    28.September.2018 | SPOT

    During the season of autumn colors in Mt. Takao, after 15:00 a season-limited special train service called “Mt. TAKAO” will be offered where trains will connect Mt. Takao Station and  Shinjuku Station.

    This service will be offered for a total of 9 days, centering on the Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays in November, (2 normal working days and 7 Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

    Every year, Mt. Takao receives the most visitor during the month of November and train service between 15:00 and 18:00 becomes very crowded with passengers returning from Mt. Takao to the city. To ease this congestion during the autumn color season, the Keio Line will offer a special train service which departs from Mt. Takao Station – 1 train per day during regular work days and 2 trains per day during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. This is the first time that this service is being offered.

    The same 5000 series cars will be used as the Keio Liner for this train service. This train has a comfortable “cross seat” design and reserved seats will cost 400 yen. This train will not stop at any stations along the way and will go direct from Mt. Takao Station to Sinjuku Station.
    Furthermore, all passengers on this train will receive an original commemorative wood-design card as a souvenir.  Why not go home from a viewing of Mt. Takao’s autumn colors by using this very fast and convenient Mt. TAKAO train service.
  • Autumn Colour Illuminations to Take Place at Kurodani Temple―Home to the Afro Buddha

    28.September.2018 | SPOT

    Veltra, a website that offers hundreds of tours and activities for travellers across the world, is now taking bookings to go and see the autumn colour light-up of Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple.

    The plan offers the chance to see the Afro Buddha―which has made headlines on TV in Japan and on the internet―as well as the temple gardens and elsewhere lit up in gorgeous hues of reds, yellows and oranges. The autumnal colours reflected on the water surface beside the temple will provide for a gorgeous setting.

     

    There’s also an additional plan that can get you in 30-minutes earlier than regular guests and offers a tour of the area by the official gardener or a garden concierge. Guests who book with Veltra will also receive a bill with the Afro Buddha printed on it.

    Kurodani Temple was founded in 1175. It incldues the site where Honen, the founder of Jodo Buddhism, stayed. It’s also famous as the site where the Japanese official Kondō Isami and samurai Matsudaira Katamori held talks.

     

    While gazing at the beautiful colours of autumn guests can also enjoy a koto performance.

     

    Veltra also has an English page and takes bookings from inbound travellers. Book your plan to see the spectacle yourself.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Travel Japan: Turtle Rock, Oshinkoshin Waterfall & Other Must-Visit Sites in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula

    18.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shiretoko Peninsula was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and is the northernmost location in Japan to have been so. Even in a place such as Hokkaido, which strikes all with its marvellous natural landscape, Shiretoko is said to be home to many secluded locations. Many of these have not been touched by the hands of man―they have been left as they are―and so one can discover sights, animals and much more that they cannot anywhere else.

     

    We are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts her experiences travelling to Hokkaido’s many sightseeing spots located in pockets of nature. She has provided us with photos of her trip to the Shiretoko Peninsula and its must-see spots.

     

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes are situated inside an old-growth forest from which you can admire the grand Shiretoko mountain range in the back. Many wild animals live here such as the brown bear and black woodpecker. The view is one would expect from a World Heritage Site, with gorgeous scenery to soak up in every direction.

     

    ▶︎The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    Address: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Cape Chashikotsu, located on the Utoronishi side, can be seen from Shari and looks just like a giant turtle which is where it gets its nickname “Turtle Rock” from.

     

    ▶︎Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

     

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall is listed as one of Shiretoko’s “8 Sights.” This towering waterfall rolls down the rocks and splits into two separate waterfalls halfway down which has given it the nickname “Two Beautiful Falls.” The are stairs that enable you to walk beside the waterfall halfway up, letting you get nice and close to the water. There is also an observation deck atop the waterfall from which you can see many sights such as the Sea of Okhotsk and Shiretoko mountain range. The waterfall is also listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.

     

    ▶︎Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    The Road To Heaven

    This long stretch of road spans 18km and has been dubbed the “Road To Heaven” as when observed from uphill looks like it disappears into the clouds. Situated on one side of the farmlands, one can enjoy a quiet and breathtaking view of the road. It’s also a popular road with bikers and travellers riding bicycles. It’s also a must-see from the observation deck close by.

     

    ▶︎The Road To Heaven (Japanese Name: 天に続く道)

    Address: Minehama, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? There are countless places to visit in Japan, and some of the best are the quiet, secluded ones. If you get the opportunity to visit Hokkaido, put the Shiretoko Peninsula on your list of must-visit places.

  • Top 4 Must-Visit Places in Ishikawa to Keep Cool This Summer – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Ishikawa Prefecture was formerly split between Kaga Province and Noto province and is still sometimes thought of as two peas in a pod. What was once Kaga Province in the now southern part of Ishikawa consists of six cities and towns including Kaga, Komatsu, Nomi, Kawakita, Hakusan, and Nonoichi.

     

    Kaga Province is home to many waterfall spots widely known as great places for keeping cool in the hot sun. Providing as great sightseeing experiences, one can bask in the negative ions of the waterfalls and overcome the summer scorch.

     

    Watagataki Waterfall

    Watagadaki gets its name from its appearance which is likened to falling torn cotton (wata being the Japanese word for the material). You will arrive right next to the waterfall when you descend down the path beside it, at which its great tumbling sound will fill you with a feeling reminding you that you are enveloped in nature.

     

    ▶︎Watagataki Waterfall (綿ヶ滝)

    Address: 1-4 Shimoyoshitanimachi, Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 076-274-9544 (Hakusan Tourist Centre)

    Access: 50-minutes south of Japan National Route 157 via Hakusan Interchange / 60-minutes from Kanazawa Station

     

    Nanatsudaki Falls

    Nanatsudaki Falls is comprised of seven smaller waterfalls which it gets its name from. It has long been a place of worship. Six of the waterfalls are found upstream, where the water rolls beautifully over the rocks which have formed over tens of thousands of years as a result of the movement of the earth’s crust. The surrounding trees boast lush green verdure or red and yellow autumnal leaves depending on the season, offering different spectacular sights to behold whatever time of the year you visit. There’s a path you can walk along where the upper six waterfalls are so you don’t have to worry about falling in!

     

    ▶︎Nanatsudaki Falls (七つ滝)

    Address: Nagatakimachi, Nomi, Ishikawa

    Enquiries: 0761-51-2308 (Nomi no Satoyama Fan Club)

    Access: 25-minutes by car from Nomi-Neagari interchange

     

    Tsuruga Falls

     

    The water at Tsuruga Falls flows down five levels, and the biggest waterfall at the back splits into two separate waterfalls. Collectively the waterfalls tower up 30 meters high which is an incredible sight to see when up close. Tsuruga Falls gets its name from the splitting waterfall at the back which is said to look like the legs of a crane.

     

    ▶︎Tsuruga Falls (鶴ヶ滝)

    Address: Yamanakaonsen Aratanimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-78-0330 (Yamanaka Onsen Tourist Association)

    Access: 15-minutes by car from Yamanaka Onsen Bus Terminal

     

    Junigataki Waterfalls

     

    The name origin of Junigataki Waterfalls lies in its twelve separate falls which flow from the Gotani River. The incredible crashing sound of the water cannot be put into words; it’s an overwhelming spectacle that will have you wanting to go back more than once. In summertime it’s common to see families and young people playing in the water from up at the top of the waterfall down to the lake below. The waterfalls are a quite a distance from the city of Komatsu, but there are roads that lead right to it so it’s very accessible.

     

    ▶︎Junigataki Waterfalls

    Address: Nunohashimachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-22-4111 (Komatsu City Hall)

    Access: 45-minutes by car from JR Komatsu Station

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re in Japan this summer visiting Ishikawa then be sure to pay a trip to one of Ishikawa’s many waterfalls to cool yourself off.

  • Seafood Heaven at Shizuoka’s New Restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo

    11.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Atami Ginza Shopping District in Shizuoka’s seaside city of Atami is enjoying a new boom of bustling customers this year, and they’re sure to continue pouring in with the opening of its new seafood entertainment restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo. The eatery opened its grand doors on August 8, offering fresh, flavourful seafood dishes. In the evenings, the restaurant turns into Osakana Sakaba where they serve gorgeous sake.

    Atami is home to many fishing harbours, including those in Ajiro, Izuyama, and Hatsushima. Atami’s waters are a treasure trove of sea life, offering a bounty of seafood such as mackerel, salmon, shrimp, Splendid alfonsino, shellfish, and more.

    The restaurant uses a previously vacant building which has been renovated for the opening. Their menu concept is “Atami nostalgia” which will fuse together traditional Atami food with new spins. Food is prepared in an open kitchen in a variety of ways including sashimi, grilled, steamed, and so on.

    Splendid Alfonsino Rice Bowl – ¥2,780 (Before Tax)

    The absolute must-try on their menu is their Splendid alfonsino rice bowl. It’s topped generously with huge cuts of horse mackerel, mackerel, and Splendid alfonsino, all caught fresh from neighbouring harbours.

    The restaurant also serves the ginormous Japanese spider crab which is a local speciality in the city of Izu. They are kept fresh in tanks in the restaurant. In the evening, when the restaurant turns into a bar, you can have this crab served however you like: as sashimi, grilled, or even steamed. As well as fresh seafood, they also serve vegetables and other meat, all sourced locally. Tofu, desserts and other food is too.

     

    Japan is known for its exquisite seafood. If you’re travelling to Shizuoka this summer, be sure you pay a visit to the new Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo.

  • Stay Cool This Summer in Kyoto at These 4 Nature Spots

    09.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    When talking about seasons in Kyoto, a lot of people are sure to point towards autumn when the leaves turn fiery red and sun yellow. But did you know that in Kyoto enjoys cool and truly beautiful summers?

     

    If you’re in the old capital this summer, or are planning to catch the sun there with a trip next year, then you’ll want to add the 4 spots in this list into your schedule, each abloom with magical foliage and verdure.

     

    We are joined by Macchan, a Japanese Instagrammer who snaps photos of sightseeing spots around Kyoto lush with greenery.

     

    Giouji Temple

    Giouji Temple is a modest thatched hut wrapped in a bamboo thicket and maple trees. The temple is detailed in the epic The Tale of the Heike in which the dancer Gio fled to the temple from her home in the capital with her mother and sister after falling out of love with Taira no Kiyomori.

     

    A visit here ensures you can enjoy the summer with more than just your eyes as you listen to the dancing of the bamboo thicket and the cries of the cicadas.

     

    Giouji Temple
    Address: 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozakachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/en

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning 1,200 years. A memorial service for those who died without kin is taking place on August 23 and 24 at the riverbed of the temple’s west wing where candles will be lit in their honour. Lanterns are also lit in the surrounding area along the streets.

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto

    Official Website: http://www.nenbutsuji.jp/index.html

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Fushimi Port Park is a huge park home to a gymnasium and sumo area. They also have a hiking course. The sea does not reach here, but there is a canal which boats go up and down, and this is where the park gets its name. It has a bounty of trees and plants, so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful stroll in nature then be sure to visit.

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    This residence was built for and used by the Kan’in-no-miya family in 1710, with Prince Naohito as its founder―the son of Emperor Higashiyama. The family lived in the house until 1877 after which they moved to Tokyo. Following the war, it was liberated and became a park, and today it is used to exhibit photography and paintings. The residence is famous for its peach trees, making it a popular spot in spring. However, in summertime, it’s much quieter, adding grace to the tranquillity of the surrounding green landscape. What’s more is that despite it being such a prestigious location, it’s free to enter! Don’t tell too many people about this secret spot.

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo War, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://kan-in-nomiya-teiato.jp/eng/

     

     

    Macchan has visited many incredible spots around Kyoto, so if you’re in need of recommendations be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Photos: @macchan358

  • Become Poop and Travel Through the Body in Kyoto’s Bizarre Exhibition

    05.August.2019 | SPOT / Uncategorized

    The Toei Kyoto Studio Park―a theme park in Kyoto modelled after the Edo period of Japan―is set to hold an exhibition from next month titled “A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body” in which you can travel through a giant model of a body to learn all about faeces.

    The event is themed on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology by Sylvia Branzei which gives humorous but straightforward descriptions of bodily functions and various medical conditions.

    Stinky Poop (Unchi Kusai), the ninja mascot of the event, will join visitors on their adventure as they experience the gross potential of the human body: burps, farts, bodily odours, and more.

     

    A total of fifteen attractions will make up the event where kids and adults can discover the “secrets” of the human body.

    Sneeze Shutter

    At the Sneeze Shutter you will learn why we sneeze by firing balls―the “foreign substance” entering the nose―into the giant nostrils which will cause it to become itchy. If you can get five balls into the nose it will let out a sneeze and blown out the balls.

    The Kidney Game

    At the Kidney Game you will help deliver urea, sugar, and other materials necessary for the kidney to the blood vessels to understand how the kidney functions.

    Poop Fortune Telling

    Sit on a real toilet and a poo character will appear on the monitor to tell you your fortune that day.

    Poo Exhibition

    Learn all about poo at the display board which features lots of interesting information.

    Burp Kid

    Why do we burp when we drink fizzy beverages? Burp Kid will explain it to you.

    Take a photo with the giant poo

    At the end of your trip to the event, take a commemorative photo next to the giant poo pile and butthole.

     

    This is just a snippet of what there is to see at Kyoto’s bizarre poo exhibition. Visit to learn all about something we all do but don’t talk about!

  • Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    05.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.

     

    We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.

     

    Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower

    The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.

     

    ▼Kyoto Station

    Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/

     

    ▼Kyoto Tower

    Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)

    *Opening hours subject to change without notice

    Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

     

     

    Yasaka Shrine

    Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.

    Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?

     

    ▼Yasaka Shrine

    Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.

     

    Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.

     

    ▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/

     

     

    Ninenzaka

    Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.

     

    ▼Ninenzaka

    Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/

     

     

    Kiyomizu-dera

    Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.

     

    ▼Kiyomizu-dera

    Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php

    Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/

     

    Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Taka

  • Once Every 33 Years a Secret Door at Tenjō-ji Temple in Kobe is Opened

    04.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Buddhist temple Tenjō-ji is located on Mount Maya at the heart of the mountainous area of Mount Rokko. This month, something very special is happening at the temple. An elusive door housed there is opened only once every 33 years, and this month from August 1 to 15, it is open.

    Tenjō-ji is the only temple in Japan that has a building dedicated to Maya-bunin, the mother of Buddha. Its long history begins with Hōdō Sennin, an Indian high priest who build the temple at the behest of Emperor Kōtoku. In Japan, Maya-bunin is worshipped as as symbol of easy childbirth and child-rearing. Mount Maya, the mountain on which Tenjō-ji sits, is named after her.

    Mount Maya, located in Kobe’s Nada ward, is a 702 meter tall mountain and one of the major peaks of Rokkō Mountains. It is close to the town areas of Kobe, and from the mountain peak one can see Kobe, Osaka, the Kii Peninsula, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and more, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s also frequented by Kobe locals who visit with their families to eat bento, as well as couples looking to catch a glimpse at the gorgeous nightscape atop the mountain apex.

    Inside the secret door now open at the temple until August 15 are three hidden Buddhist idols: the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara, Acala, and Vaiśravaṇa. This is very much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan right now, you won’t want to miss this extremely special occasion. If you do, you’ll have to wait another 33 years!

     

    While it is open there will be talks and faith healing by the priests three times a day (10:30/12:00/14:00), exclusive celebratory merchandise, limited-time goshuin stamps, and more.

  • Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700

    04.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.

    Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.

    The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.

    The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.

    There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.

    OHYA 1

    From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.

    The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.

    All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to  get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.

     

    A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.

     

    If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?

  • 3 Must-Visit Places in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    28.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Aichi Prefecture is located in the centre of Japan’s Honshu island. It is home to countless shops, astounding castles, and many sightseeing spots. Mother nature is a huge part of Aichi’s beauty where she has provided plenty of places for enjoying the outdoors.

     

    Instagrammer NAMIKO, who travels all over Japan to visit tourist and sightseeing spots, is here today to showcase three unmissable places to visit when travelling to Aichi using photos she has posted.

     

    Aichi Farm (Aichi Bokujo)

    Running just a 10-minute stroll from Kurozasa Station is Aichi Farm which is home to various farm animals, a place where you can enjoy BBQ food, and more, making it a very popular spot for friends and families looking for a day out.

     

    But the absolute must-see part of your trip here during summer are the sunflower beds which bloom from early July right up to early September. The best times to see them in full bloom are posted on the farm’s official website so be sure to check before packing your outdoor gear and heading out.

     

    ▼Aichi Farm (Aichi Bokujo)

    Address: Minamiyama-977 Komenokichō, Nisshin, Aichi

    Opening Hours: Dependent on the season, check the official website for details

    No Fixed Holidays (Except New Year’s and Tuesdays when the horse riding club is running)

    Official Website: http://www.aiboku.com/

     

     

    Noma Lighthouse

    Nomazaki Lighthouse, or Noma Lighthouse for short, can be found along the coast of a town called Mihama in Chita District. This town bears many sightseeing spots including the aquarium and art museum. The lighthouse can be reached by riding the Meitetsu Chita New Line to Noma Station. You then change onto the Mini Seibu Bus and get off at Noma Lighthouse (野間灯台).

     

    It is the oldest lighthouse in all of Aichi Prefecture and is popular for its “kawaii” appearance. Wanderlust travellers will love basking in the radiant summer sun by the sea and sandy beach when they go to visit Noma Lighthouse.

     

    ▼Noma Lighthouse

    Address: Iwanari-20-1 Onoura, Mihama, Chita District, Aichi

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/115/

     

     

    Himakajima

    Himakajima is an island in Mikawa Bay which can be reached in just an hour from Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture. Not only do you have sunny beaches, there’s also a temple, a park for children to play in, the island’s famous giant swing, and lots of other fun places to explore. It’s also known for its octopus and blowfish catches which can be eaten there.

     

    There are plenty of spots for taking great photos too. Since it’s an island located off the coast, any photo you take will look picturesque.

     

    ▼Himakajima

    Official Website: https://www.himaka.net/

     

    If you’re seeking out even more travel recommendations and sightseeing spots around Japan for your bucket list then we highly encourage you to follow NAMIKO on Instagram.

     

    Photos: NAMIKO

  • Kyoto’s Famous Buddhist Temple With Heart Window Holds Wind Chime Festival

    27.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys flurries of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s located in a valley.

     

    Shojuin is a Buddhist Temple located in a summer retreat that was erected nearly 800 years ago. Hidden at the temple is the 11-faced Buddha statue of Kannon Bosatsu which is open to the public only once every 50 years.

     

    The temple has a long history, and today it is used as a site for yoga, copying the sutras, and other activities when booked in advance. It’s enjoyed by people of all ages.

     

    Today, we are joined by Macchan, an Instagrammer who tours the many sightseeing spots of Kyoto. They have provided photographs of the must-see parts of this ancient temple.

    Shojuin is famous for its beautiful heart-shaped window located in the reception hall as well as its 160 pieces of ceiling art. The decorative window has been around for nearly 1,400 years and has survived disasters. It stands as a symbol of happiness.

    From outside the heart window visitors can enjoy the different flowers through the four seasons. Right now during summer the view is a green spectacle. At nighttime the outdoor garden is lit up beautifully as shown in the photo.

     

    Shojuin is famous for its summer Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September 18.

    2,000 colourful wind chimes gently sway around the temple with the summer breeze. The chimes are there for their sound and appearance and to elicit that sense of refreshing coolness.

    Even the wind chimes are illuminated in the evenings. They are lit up on weekends only (except August 1 to 18) from 18:00-20:00.

     

    The hypnotic ring of the wind chimes sounds they are calling the wind. If you’re travelling to Kyoto this hot summer, why not plan a trip to Shojuin?

     

    Macchan has lots of other photos on their Instagram where you can feel the vibe of Kyoto. Use it as reference when you’re planning your Kyoto sightseeing.

  • Every Single Spot in Hokkaido’s Green Town of Biei is a Sight to Behold

    24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japan’s northernmost prefecture Hokkaido is immensely popular with travellers and sightseers not only during the winter season but in the summertime too.

     

    If you have never heard of Biei before then we guarantee you’ll want to make it your next travel destination. Located roughly at the heart of Hokkaido, the town of Biei is nothing short of majestic when it comes to its natural scenery for which it is treasured greatly. It also goes by the name “Town of Hills.”

     

    We are joined by Mirina who travels around Hokkaido and posts the sights she sees on her Instagram page. Here are some of the must-visit places located in Biei using photos kindly provided by Mirina.

     

    Patchwork Road

    These are the kind of beautiful sloping hills you can expect your eyes to roll across when visiting Biei. The hills connect to many different locations bearing their own colours of nature. Biei’s hilly area is known as “Patchwork Road,” and as its name suggests, it looks just like patchwork.

     

    ▼Patchwork Road

    Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

    Time: Sunrise to sunset

    Biei Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/

     

     

    Shirogane Blue Pond

    Shirogane Blue Pond can be reached by car or Dohoku bus from JR Biei Station in 20 minutes. People flock to this place every year to see the enchanting blue colour of the pond’s surface. The way you see the colour also changes depending on the weather, so we recommend going one afternoon when the weather is good.

     

    ▼Shirogane Blue Pond

    Address: Shirogane, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

    Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/shirogane-blue-pond/

     

     

    Seven Stars Tree

    Seven Stars Tree can be reached by car in 13 minutes from JR Biei Station. It gets its name from having appeared on the packaging for Seven Star cigarettes. Mirina’s photo was taken by the nearby white birches.

    She also took one as the sun set. The pink evening sky is an equally beautiful sight to behold next to the green spectacle during the day.

     

    ▼Seven Stars Tree

    Address: Hokuei, Kamikawa District, Biei, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset (Light-up runs until 21:00)

    Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/sevn-stars-tree/

     

     

    Shikisai No Oka

    The Shikisai no Oka flower park is 12 minutes by car from JR Biei Station and a 25-minute walk from Bibaushi Station. When summer rolls around, the fields bloom rainbows of flowers. During winter you can enjoy riding snowmobiles across the snowy hills.

    This photo was taken in June and showcases the nemophilia beds. During summer break you can expect to see dianthus, scarlet sage, marigolds, sunflowers, and more. Every spot on the flower fields looks picturesque.

     

    ▼Shikisai No Oka

    Address: Shinsei-daisan, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: Dependent upon season, please check the website for more details

    Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/sightseeing/shikisai-no-oka-flower-park/

     

     

    Rubeshibe no Oka

    The hills of Rubeshibe are a sightseeing spot not yet known to a lot of people. They’re just a 5-minute car ride from JR Biei Station. Rubeshibe comes from the Ainu language and means “the marshy road that leads down from the mountain.” From here you can see the fields and roads of Biei, and beyond Mount Tokachi, Mount Tomuraushi and more.

     

    ▼Rubeshibe no Oka

    Address: Rubeshibe, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido

    Biei Official Website: https://www.biei-hokkaido.jp/en/visit/observationfacility/

     

     

    The Sunsets of Biei

    If you’re visiting Biei then you can’t leave without witnessing its breathtaking sunsets. The colours of the late afternoon sky offer a much different experience to that during the day. It really is a picturesque world.

     

    Mirina has countless other photos of must-see sightseeing spots from around Hokkaido over on her Instagram page. You should definitely check it out if you’re thinking of travelling there for some amazing location recommendations.

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

  • Explore The Hidden Beauty, Culture And Local Cuisine Of Hida Takayama In A Yukata

    18.July.2019 | SPOT

    Shimocho is one of the districts of Hida Takayama and is overflowing with traditional culture that you absolutely must experience. To make the most of your trip, there is a summer yukata-wearing programme running from July 20th which is the perfect opportunity to wear cooling and refreshing Japanese clothes while strolling and exploring the streets. 

     

    This year will be the 7th time the programme has been run. The Hida Takayama de Nippon no Natsu Yasumi programme allows visitors to dress in a comfortable and cooling yukata, stroll, explore, try different foods and enjoy the culture of the area. This year’s theme is “romance and yukatas” and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy programme-limited desserts and the rich culture of the district.  

     

    Discover Hidden Beauty with the Stroll Map

    Visitors will be given a map packed with wonderful spots of the area. The map will also include the destinations of 31 shops where you can enjoy special experiences, meals and desserts that are limited to those who take part in the yukata programme. Recommended spots to visit are also drawn on the map in a very cute handwriting-like style, so you can stop by these places easily while enjoying your walk. There are even many places on the map that only a local would know about. 

     

    Some of the special benefits of the programme allow you to enjoy the best regional cuisine that Hida has to offer, including the wonderful experience of restaurants that have been loved by the locals for generations, a beef delicacy restaurant, and much more. Besides food, the programme also gives you the opportunity to witness the beautiful festival floats used during the Takayama festival at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan. You can also enjoy experiencing baking your own senbei crackers and gold panning.  

     

    The programme includes a wide range of experiences for you to enjoy from local shops to food to culture to some new experiences. 

     An old-style café called Sabou Usagi is particularly popular with the locals. Here, the coffee is made using a vacuum coffee maker. With the summer programme, you can enjoy the delicious heart Tiramisù served here.

     

    The stroll map includes a variety of locations such as the Takayama Tourist Information Centre, Hida Takayama Tourism Convention Association, Hida Takayama Travel Hotel Association and much more. The map also includes some of the accommodations available around Takayama, some important train stations and much more. You can easily download this map from the official website. (Japanese only )  

     

    Stroll the Streets in an Elegant Yukata

    Change into a traditional Yukata that matches the beautiful surrounding townscape. There are four shops Yukata rental shops available to pick up your favourite Yukata, so there is no need to worry if you did not come prepared. There are also some accommodations that allow for yukata rental. 

    If you decide to join the Hida Takayama Nippon Natsu Yasumi programme, make sure to share your beautiful memories on Instagram with the hashtag #Hidasummer 

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