Komoro Castle Kaikoen Autumn Leaves Festival Begins on October 20

17.October.2018 | SPOT

The city of Komoro in Nagano Prefecture is just an hour-and-a-half from Tokyo by train. The Komoro Castle Ruins, known today as Kaikoen, is a famous tourist location in Komoro, and it’s here that the Kaikoen Momiji Matsuri (Kaikoen Autumn Leaves Festival) will take place from October 20 to November 18.

The autumn leaves in Komoro arrive earlier than in Tokyo. They also cover a wide distance from an elevation of 600m up to 2,000m and are enjoyed for staying around for a long period of time.

The ruins of Komoro Castle are the representative and most famous tourist hot spot of the city. From the end of October to the end of November, the area gives rise to a whole range of colourful leaves including maple, maidenhair, Japanese zelkova and more. The castle itself was selected as one of Japan’s 100 most famous and its gardens as one of the 100 historical parks of the country. It’s also famous as Japan’s only ana-jō, a castle which is located in a place lower than the jōkamachi which is the urban area that surrounds a feudal lord’s castle.

 

If you’re arriving by car from Tokyo it will take two-and-a-half hours and if by train one-and-a-half. It’s also a 30-minute drive from Karuizawa. During the autumn season the city of Komoro bustles with tourists from both Nagano Prefecture and other prefectures.

But it’s not just at Kaikoen where autumn arrives in October and November. All places around Komoro gleam with autumnal reds and yellows. Amongst the trees are the Japanese larches is which colour the mountains golden and breathe beauty into the area. On August 30, 2018 restrictions on mountain climbing in the area were eased. People were allowed to climb Mount Asama (Maekake-yama) which is famous for the yellow larches. You can also obtain a certificate proving you climbed the mountain at the Komoro tourist information office.

The information office can provide in-depth information into Komoro during autumn-time. They also hand out two different tourist maps for free. One of them showcases 10 different hot springs and 8 water sources in Komoro while the other details the plantation in the area where you can enjoy the autumn colours and much on all-you-can-eat freshly picked apples.

Also, as a side note, at the soba noodle restaurants in Komoro, you can enjoy “New Soba” made with buckwheat harvested in autumn which is said to be the most delicious time of all the seasons.

 

Enjoy a wonderful time at the autumn leaves festival at Kaikoen where there will be lots of fun events happening.

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

  • The North Face and ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon to Co-Develop Mountain Resort

    14.November.2020 | SPOT

    The North Face is set to collaborate with ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, which opened in Nagano’s city of Omachi in July, to develop a new mountain resort where guests can enjoy outdoor activities. The first part of the collaboration will see activities offered which have been made under the supervision of athletes contracted to The North Face. The activities will make full use of Omachi’s gorgeous natural environment which is surrounded by stunning mountains.

    The North Face has had a high affiliation with this region for a long time. The brand created an original uniform for the staff that work along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a 37km mountain sightseeing route. It also opened the outdoor clothing and equipment shop The North Face Gravity in Hakuba.

     

    ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, too, embraces the outdoors of this region as it sits embedded within the lush natural landscape of Omachi. It hails as one of Japan’s best mountain resorts which offers guests the chance a sojourn amongst nature. One of the brand’s concepts is cultivating real human communication which it offers through its hospitable service, aiming to increase the number of smiles to those who visit.

     

    The North Face x ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon

    The collaboration will see the two companies coming together to serve up a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year to encourage more families to spend time outside. The hotel will offer equipment that can be used for the activities, and there’ll also be workshops for people to create their own items that can also be used. They will also work to increase sustainability with local businesses and groups in Omachi in an effort to revitalise the local region.

     

    Workation Plan

    The hotel is also offering a workation plan for guests to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city to work somewhere more quiet and peaceful. The plan takes into account well-being and is a way for people to up their creativity and motivation. Guests can work and relax at the same time with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets available as well as off-work treats like the open-air baths, spa, gym, and more. The hotel will also offer other plans this winter which include snow biking, family skiing, and more.

  • 10 Spots in Kyoto to Fall Into the Autumn Colours

    13.November.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is littered with countless leafy spots to enjoy the autumn colours. Here’s a list of must-visit, little-known good spots in the city that enjoy all the visual treats of the seasonal, all of which are carrying out proper social distancing and anti-COVID-19 measures.

     

    Forgot about the time and enjoy the scenery with few people around

     

    Soak up autumn with a boat ride | Hozugawa River in Kameoka

    Ride the Hozugawa River along the 16km valley from Kameoka to Arashiyama. The autumn spectacle in this area is a grand sight to behold. Visitors can enjoy two hours along the valley stretch with the colours of the maple trees reflected off the water’s surface, allowing them to fall into nature and forget their stresses for a while.

     

    Hozugawa River
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid November – Early December
    Address: Shimonakajima-2 Hozucho, Kameoka, Kyoto
    Boat Times: 09:00-15:00 (Changes depending on season)
    Price: Adults ¥4,100 / Children ¥2,700
    TEL: 0771-22-5846 (Hozukawa River Boat Service)
    Official Website: https://www.hozugawakudari.jp/

     

    Shrouded amongst it all | Kuwayama Shrine in Kameoka

    Planed on the grounds of Kuwayama Shrine are around 1,000 individual trees which give rise to vivid colours during autumn. Since the shrine is located among the mountains, the site enjoys an earlier bloom than other parts of Kyoto, with trees blossoming from early to mid November.

     

    Kuwayama Shrine
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
    Address: Kamigaichi-22-2 Kamiyadacho, Kameoka, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: Any time
    Price: ¥300
    TEL: 0771-22-1023
    Official Website: http://www.kuwayama-jinjya.jp/

     

    Walk the autumn carpet | Komyo-ji in Nagaokakyo

    Komyo-ji Temple, also known as Autumn Colour Temple (Momiji-ji), is famous for being the head temple of Seizan Pure Land Buddhism. Easily accessible from the city proper, the temple site is home to hundreds of towering trees which dye the area vibrant reds and yellows around this time. One of the main paths at the temple in particular has been nicknamed Autumn Colour Road (Momiji Sando) as the overhead trees and fallen leaves on the ground create a tunnel and carpet of brilliant colour.

     

    Komyo-ji
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 26-1 Aosaijonai, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 9:00-16:00
    Price: ¥500 (Free outside autumn season)
    TEL: 075-955-0002
    Official Website: http://www.komyo-ji.or.jp/

     

    Thousands of fiery trees burn red and yellow | Kongoin in Maizuru

    Kongoin is famous for its autumn scenery and is nicknamed Autumn Temple of Tango. The temple is home to thousands of maple trees all of various ages from decades to hundreds of years old. It faces Kahara Park which itself boasts incredible autumnal sights and is also home to a 3-storied pagoda which makes for a picturesque snapshot together with the trees.

     

    Kongoin
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 595 Kawara, Maizuru, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-17:00
    Price: ¥300
    TEL: 0773-62-1180
    Official Website: http://www.maizuru-kanko.net/spot/sightseeing/kongoin.php

     

    Contrasting beauty of red maples and ordinary greens | Omoto Shinen in Ayabe

    Omoto Shinen is a popular sightseeing spot in Ayabe, home to several must-sees including a wooden structure called “The Palace of Eternal Life,” the Konohana-an building which is listed as an Important Cultural Property, and more. Its expansive grounds are also home to a garden where the autumn colours collide with the greens of ordinary trees, creating a beautiful contrast.

     

    Omoto Shinen
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 1-1 Hongucho, Ayabe, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:30-16:30
    Price: Free
    TEL: 0773-42-0187
    Official Website: https://www.ayabe-kankou.net/spot/omotoshinen/

     

    A magical scene at an Important Cultural Property | Gansen-ji Temple in Kizugawa

    Gansen-ji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple that was built in 729. It’s home to a three-storied pagoda which is is a registered Important Cultural Property which nestles amongst the trees. If you visit the temple this year by November 30, you will be treated to a very rare look at one of its treasures which is normally closed to the public.

     

    Gasen-ji
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid November – Early December
    Address: Kaminomon-43 Kamocho Iwafune, Kizugawa, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 08:30-17:00 (09:00-16:00 from December to February)
    Price: Adults ¥500 / Junior High School Students ¥400 / Elementary School Students ¥200
    TEL: 0774-76-3390
    Official Website: http://gansenji.or.jp/

     

    The garden of special scenic beauty | Joruri-ji Temple in Kizugawa

    Joruri-ji is a temple of the Shingo Ritsu school of Buddism. It’s also home to a famous garden which is listed as a Place of Special Scenic Beauty. The vibrancy of the reds trees is truly an overwhelming delight to the eyes which is enhanced by the bright-red three-storied pagoda.

     

    Joruri-ji Temple
    Peak Viewing Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: Futaba-40 Kamocho Nishio, Kizugawa, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
    Price: Adults ¥400 / Children – Free
    TEL: 0774-76-2390
    Official Website: http://0774.or.jp/temple/jyoruriji.html

     

    Red and yellow hue fusion | Choanji in Fukuchiyama

    Choanji’s autumn colours make for a truly staggering experience as the dazzling reds and yellows complement each other. There’s a 600-year-old tree in near the temple which throws in another huge chunk of yellow to the red dye of the temple grounds.

     

    Choanji
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
    Address: 577 Okunobe, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-16:30
    Price: Adults ¥300 / Children ¥100
    TEL: 0773-22-8768
    Official Website: http://www.chouanji.jp

     

    Evening illuminations for a late-night autumn experience

     

    Breathtaking in the day or night | Nariaji Temple in Miyazu

    Nariaji is an ancient temple huddle among mountains that overlook Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views. The five-storied pagoda there is an example of Kamakura Period architecture and offers an unmissable view together with the hundreds of trees during autumn. On November 14 and 15, the area will be lit up in the evenings.

     

    Nariaji
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Late November
    Light Up Times: 17:20-21:00 (Regular viewing times are 08:00-16:30)
    Address: 339 Nariaji, Miyazu, Kyoto
    Price: Adults ¥500
    TEL: 0772-27-0018
    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

    Autumn reflected on the water | Keihanna Commemorative Park in Soraku

    Keihanna Commemorative Park is split into several areas such as the Suikei-en (Japanese garden) and Mebuki-no-Mori (Budding Tree Forest). There’s also the Momijiya, a garden designed in a valley where maple trees grow. Talking a stroll along the bridge and looking down at the 80 trees in their autumnal garbs reflecting off the water surface is a sight to not be missed. especially at night when the lights are turned on.

     

    Keihanna Commemorative Park 

    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November

    Light-Up Period: Fridays, weekends, and holidays from November 3, 2020 – November 29, 2020

    Light-Up Time: Sunset to 21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)

    Address: 6-1 Seikadai, Seika, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Adults ¥200 / Children ¥100
    TEL: 0774-93-1200
    Official Website: https://keihanna-park.net/

  • Autumn Illuminations to Light Up the Red and Yellow Trees at Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park

    08.November.2020 | SPOT

    Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park is set to host an autumn illumination event from November 14 to 29 where around 500 individual trees of 20 species will be lit up with beautiful lights. The best time to see the park’s autumn colours is dated at November 20.

    Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park opened as Japan’s first national government park in 1974. This enormous park spans 5km between its north and south entrances. It’s home to many fun family activities including trampolines, an athletic course, and more. It also offers gorgeous natural scenery throughout the year.

     

    500 maple trees lit up at night

    The park will be open in the evenings for this event when red, yellow, and orange maple trees will be illuminated in breathtaking lights. There will also be art installation illuminations for visitors to enjoy too.

  • Six Spots in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward To Enjoy The Autumn Scenery

    04.November.2020 | SPOT

    There’s no better way to embrace autumn in Japan than to take a relaxing stroll in the autumn leaves. There are so many spots around Tokyo where the autumn leaves make for a breathtaking sight you just can’t miss. Today we’ll be introducing you to six spots around Chiyoda Ward which would make for the perfect autumn stroll.

     

    Hibiya Park

    The 160,000㎡ park is home to maidenhair trees, Japanese maple trees and flowering dogwood. When autumn arrives, the park turns a yellow and red tinge. There is a spectacular row of maidenhair trees in the shape of an “S” which extends from the side of the tennis court near Kasumigaseki. Make sure to also visit Kumogata Pond where the red and yellow leaves reflect off the water’s surface with a relaxing effect.

     

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

     

    Yasukuni Shrine

    Enter through the shrine’s main gate known as Ōtorii and continue down the path to the main shrine. The 240 metre-long path is lined with beautiful maidenhair trees and stone lanterns, creating a gentle amber path for you to follow. Make sure to visit Kamiike Garden located at the back of the main shrine for a breathtaking scenery of autumn leaves.

     

    Address: 3-1-1, Kudankita, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

     

    National Diet Building

    The eight-lane road facing the National Diet Building is lined with graceful maidenhair trees in perfect symmetry. Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the garden joined to the National Diet Building which is filled with a variety of species of trees. The park changes colour from season to season.

     

    Address: Nagatachō 1 Chōme, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

     

    Gyōkō-dōri Avenue

    This road connects the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station. It represents the gateway to Japan and its rich history and culture. The road is pedestrian-friendly and is lined with an abundance of trees. As autumn falls, the trees turn to yellow and amber, brightening the streets with warm colours.

     

    Address: Kokyogaien, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

     

    Kitanomaru Park

    This park is located among the Edo Castle ruins. The west side of the garden is home to a large area of Japanese Maple trees of different varieties. The autumn leaves pile so high that it was nicknamed the “Momiji-yama” (mountain of autumn leaves). At the peak of autumn, the scenery makes for one of the most beautiful spots in Tokyo.

     

    Address: Kitanomaru Park 1-1, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

     

    Shimizudani Park

    Shimizudani Park is a breath of fresh air hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of busy Tokyo life. You can reach it in just a three-minute walk from Akasaka-mitsuke Station or a five-minute walk from Nagatachō station. The bright red maidenhair leaves create a peaceful atmosphere perfect for relaxation. The park is also home to Ōkubo Toshimichi Memorial which celebrates the life of Ōkubo Toshimichi – a great samurai from the 1800s who is regarded as one of the main founders of modern Japan.

     

    Address: Kioicho 2-1, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

     

    If you’re in Tokyo and need a break from busy city life, head to one of these spots to put your mind at ease.

  • Autumn Leaves at Ibaraki Prefecture’s Ryujinotsuri Bridge Are a Must See in 2020

    03.November.2020 | SPOT

    The marvel that is the 375m-long Ryujinotsuri Bridge in Ibaraki, is a must-see this autumn season as maple trees, sawtooth oaks, and other autumnal spectacles dye the area in breathtaking reds from mid to late November.

     

    Ryujinotsuri Bridge: Japan’s biggest suspension bridge

    Ryujinotsuri Bridge is located in Okukujichanosato Park in Ibaraki Prefecture’s city of Hitachiota. From atop the towering bridge one can overlook at the expansive gorge 100m down below where the misty Ryujin Lake flows. Trees stretch to a horizon in this incredible breathtaking environment, offering beautiful vistas throughout all four seasons.

     

    Bungee jump over Ryujin Lake

    Ryujinotsuri Bridge is the biggest suspension bridge in Japan, and so of course it has to offer something special to visitors. And that would be bungee jumping which is sure to excite thrill-seekers travelling to Japan.

     

    Outdoor activities galore

    Visitors can enjoy the surrounding nature by taking a canoe or boat on top of Ryujin Lake.

     

    BBQ and camping facilities

    There are also BBQ and camping facilities in the area for people to enjoy the outdoors and see the stars at night.

     

    A full hiking autumn experience at Ryujinotsuri

    There are several hiking courses on offer that cater to both beginners and pros. Get close with nature and see the autumn colours, hear the birds sing, and breathe in that fresh air.

  • Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival 2020 Begins This November

    19.October.2020 | SPOT

    The Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association will host this year’s Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival, which will be the 22nd run, to help support the tourism industry in the northern region of Fuji which has seen a great impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    With much less people travelling to Japan during the pandemic, and the virus having continued for a long time, the Fujikawaguchiko Tourism Association is instead focusing on travellers within the country by hosting various events that can be enjoyed at Fujikawaguchiko.

     

    All the necessary precautions will be taken at this year’s festival, including taking people’s temperature upon arrival, the mandatory wearing of face masks, alcohol gel being available at the site, and more. This will protects not only the locals but sightseers too, and so cooperation is being asked of everyone visiting.

    At this year’s festival, visitors can look forward to the popular Momiji Tunnel of maple trees which will be lit up at sunset until 10:00pm. The beautiful autumn colours can be enjoyed with Mount Fuji in the background. There will also be food, souvenirs, and a variety of activities to be enjoyed.

    The Momiji Tunnel is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Yamanashi during autumn and is nothing less than Instagram-worthy.

  • Autumn Lights Set to Illuminate Kyoto’s Konkai-Komyoji Temple This November

    04.October.2020 | SPOT

    Autumn illuminations are set to shine on Konkai-Komyoji Temple in Kyoto from November 13.

    Konkai-Komyoji Temple is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1175. It is one of the eight temples of the Jodo sect of Buddhism and his home to numerous treasures including a painting by Edo period painter Itō Jakuchū, folding screen paintings by Tomioka Tessai, and more. There are many wonders to behold at the temple, such as the Tora-no-ma which has sliding doors that depending on how they are open or closed display a different number of tigers, or the Shiun Gardens which have a stream that reflects the beautiful autumnal colours of the overhead trees.

    The temple is also home to the Goko Shuyui Amida Butsu statue, which has been picked up by the Japanese media on many occasions and referred to as the “Afro Buddha” due to its afro hairstyle.

     

    There will be Japanese music performances with traditional instruments like the koto and shinobue three times an evening for the illumination event. If you’re in Kyoto this autumn, this is one event to not miss.

  • Taiko-en: Osaka’s Oasis in the City Begins 2020 Autumn Illumination Event

    01.October.2020 | SPOT

    Taiko-en is an enormous site spanning 250,000 square feet and is home to a breathtaking garden, restaurant, and more. This year, the site is giving host to a special illumination event for autumn this year which began on Saturday.


    Since July 2019, Taiko-en has been lighting up its garden with illuminations for people to enjoy the beautiful garden in the evening, bringing together nature with the history of the site.


    The illuminations begin with projection mapping at the entrance of the garden which rolls out an autumn colour carpet. As visitors walk along the projected path, the lights and colours dance beneath their feet.

     

    Further in they will come to the “Night Museum” area where they will find stone statues collected by Denzaburō Fujita lit up, as well as paper lanterns, and more, offering a magical atmosphere different from that during the daytime. There’s also a path home to moso bamboo as well as acrylic bamboo with LED lights in it which lead visitors into a mystical world of dazzling radiance. In the main area, there’s a lake with a sea of clouds above it, and the trees of the garden coloured bright red.

     

    The restaurant and banquet area are open for business, so after enjoying a gourmet meal, visitors are encouraged to go and see the light show.

  • Kyoto’s Rokuo-in Temple to be Illuminated in the Autumn Evenings

    25.September.2020 | SPOT

    Keifuku Electric Railroad is lending its strength to Rokuo-in Temple in Kyoto this autumn to light up the ancient site in the evenings from November 14 to December 6.

    Shari-den (Photo taken in 2019)


    Temple path (Photo taken in 2019)

    This year marks the 5th run of the autumn evening light-ups. The temple, just a four minute walk from Rokuoin Station, is known for its beautiful maple trees which blossom breathtaking autumnal colours during the fall season.

    Temple reception hall with fusuma images


    Fusuma image example

    The temple is selling new goshuin temple stamp books this year for the light-up event. Visitors will also be able to see 56 fusuma images drawn by contemporary Japanese artist Takaya Fuji.

     

    Rokuo-in Temple will close early next year for approximately 2 years and 9 months for repairs. The temple is also currently limiting the number of people allowed at once, making this year the best time to see the autumn leaves.

  • 6 Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Oita Prefecture During Autumn – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    10.September.2020 | SPOT

    Oita in Kyushu has been nicknamed “Hot Spring Prefecture Oita” due to having the largest number of hot spring water sources and outputs in Japan. Oita welcomes many visitors every year who flock to the prefecture’s many famous hot spring locations like Beppu and Yufuincho Kawakami.

     

    But the charm of Oita doesn’t lie solely in its hot springs. It’s also a location that offers breathtaking scenery during autumn. We’ve picked 6 spots around Oita Prefecture that are must-visits during autumn.

     

    Keiseki-en

    The gorge of Yabakei is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. Keiseki-en is a beautiful Japanese garden that was built to commemorate the completion of the Yabakei dam. It’s home to over 31,000 individual trees of around 100 species as well as a lake, waterfalls, and crags. It’s a place that boasts natural beauty throughout all four seasons.

     

    Address: 2286-1 Yabakeimachi Ōaza Ōshima, Nakatsu, Oita

     

    Kinrin Lake

    Kinrin Lake is one of Yufu’s most famous sightseeing spots for the mysterious torii gate that sits within the lake. Spring water and hot spring water flows through the lake, and because the temperature of the water is warm throughout the year, you can see steam rising from the surface in the early hours of winter days. Tenso Shrine also sits on the bank of the lake which is home to a sacred tree that’s designated as a natural monument.

     

    Address: 1561 Yufuinchō Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
    Access: 20 minutes on foot from Yufuin Station (JR Line)

     

    Kyusuikei

    Kyusuikei’s scenery spans through the prefectural road that connects the Kokonoe IC to Yamanami Highway. Its 2km expanse is made up of sheer cliffs which create the valley that is known for its autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the maple and ginkgo trees from the observation deck that runs along the cliff. There are other nearby sightseeing spots too like Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi Bridge and Kyusuikei Onsen hot springs.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 20-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC

     

    Hakubakei

    The valley of Hakubaki was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty of the city of Usuki. In autumn, surrounding trees are dyed in reds and yellows, bringing people from all over to witness the spectacle. And because the valley it at a high altitude, the gradation of the colourful trees changes as you go further in.

     

    Address: Badai, Usuki, Oita
    Access: 5-minutes by car from Usuki IC

     

    Fukiji Temple

    Fukiji Temple was built in the Heian Period for the high priest of Usa Jingu. The temple is a national treasure, and the Amida-Nyōrai contained inside is designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.

     

    Address: 2395 Tashibufuki, Bungotakada, Oita
    Access: 30-minutes by car from Usa Station

     

    Mount Kuju

    Mount Kuju stands as the highest mountain in Kyushu Island at nearly 1,800-meters tall, which has also led to to be nicknamed the “Rooftop of Kyushu.” Its has many peaks, the highest being Mount Nakadake at 1,791-meters. One peak in particular draws mountain climbers, and that’s Mount Taisen. At its apex one can enjoy the breathtaking autumn colours together with the sight of the rolling mountains.

     

    Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
    Access: 40-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC.

  • The Best Place to Gaze On Japan’s Night Sky: Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbor in Nagano

    02.September.2020 | SPOT

    This autumn, the Star Village Association in Achi, Nagano is hosting the special limited-time event “Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbour” from October 25 to November 23 which offers one of the best views of Japan’s starry sky and the sea of clouds of the far-off southern alps.

    The site is located at Ropeway Heavens Sonohara in Fujimidai Highland, surrounded by the bountiful nature of Nagano Prefecture. The 15-minute gondola ride is 2,500 meters long and takes you up to the observation deck 1,600m above sea level. Your prize is a view of the sea of clouds which stretches to the distant southern alps of Japan – truly is a sky paradise.

    The other prize is the starry night sky. This spot placed first in the Ministry of the Environment’s list of the best places to see Japan’s night sky. From here, one can watch the sky of twinkling lights change to warm morning light. During October, the trees and verdure below are dyed in the colours of autumn, and when November rolls around you can spot the snow-capped peaks of the southern alps.

  • Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden: Heal Your Mind, Body and Soul in Nagano While Staying Safe From COVID-19

    27.August.2020 | SPOT

    Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden in Omachi, Nagano, is open for business throughout Japan’s Obon season and is taking mandatory bookings to ensure visitors’ protection from COVID-19 while following precautions against the Three Cs as laid out by the World Health Organization—crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces.

    Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a place that embraces beauty and healing while incorporating La CASTA’s brand concept of “the life force of plants and healing.” Guests are invited to use all five of their senses to relish the natural wonder of the garden, with its abundance of plants and trees and natural waterfall which flows from the northern alps.

    The garden has its own “Healing Cafe” too which is an open-style cafe, allowing diners to enjoy the gift of nature throughout the seasons while enjoying a drink or dessert. A must-try during summer is their “Herb Cordial Lime & Lemongrass,” a refreshing herb soda that enjoy the sour citrus flavour of lime and the taste of lemongrass. There’s also the “Chamomile Milk” gelato ice cream.

    The garden also has its own aromatherapy workshop inside the La CASTA Factory where visitors can make their own blends of oils using different products and scents.

     

    What better way to de-stress during these turbulent times than getting close with nature in a safe, protected environment?

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