Only Kyoto’s Locals Know About This Beautiful Hidden Firefly Spot

13.March.2020 | SPOT

Last year, The GrandWest Arashiyamaーa hotel in Arashiyama, Kyotoーhosted a special firefly tour to huge success. It was so well received that the hotel is bringing the tour back again this year. It will be held for three days, from May 29 to 31, with bookings available starting this month.

 

The tour was particularly well-received with foreign guests who were staying at the hotel, and who had never seen a firefly before. It takes place after sunset, where hotel staff take guests on a mini tour to a little-known-good-spot that only the locals know about where you can see fireflies in Kyoto.

 

The idea behind the tour was conceived by a hotel staff member who lives in Kyoto and spotted the fireflies at a nearby temple. That staff member had never seen fireflies before, and it was the first time since moving to Kyoto that they’d seen them in the wild like that. The number of wild fireflies is actually decreasing each year in Japan, and converselyーdespite them being a symbol of summertime in Japanーthe number of people who have never actually seen them is on the rise. The tour was created to tackle this fact by having hotel guests experiencing a part of Japanese summer.

 

The target audience for the 2019 tour was parents with small children, which was to be held for three days, but the number of bookings shot up for the entire duration, with 80% of them being from hotel guests from foreign countries. Numerous guests from China said that they had seen fireflies in anime and games before, and that kids and adults knew about them, but that there aren’t many places in China where you can see them for real so many of them had never seen them.

 

Fireflies can only inhabit places where the water is clean. Because of this, it’s becoming harder to see them not just in Japan, but around the world. This includes Kyoto, where the number decreases year by year. If you’re travelling to Kyoto at the end of May, then don’t miss out on this rare and exciting opportunity.

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    Access

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    Specialty coffee by Unir Kyoto

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    Breakfast delivered right to your room

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    ©吾峠呼世晴/集英社・アニプレックス・ufotable

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    An unforgettable spa experience by Japan and Paris’s beauty specialties

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  • 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

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    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/

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