Mie/Kuwanashi’s “Morotoshi Garden” will hold an “open-to-the-public” event during this autumn season. Let’s walk around the autumn garden.
28.October.2017 | SPOT
The beauty spot of Kuwana, “Morotohshi Garden” will hold an “open-to-the-public” event from the 28th of October to the 30th of November. You can enjoy the 10,000 square meters garden during this autumn season.
“Moroto Garden” is located at the right side of “Ibi River” located in the north-east area of Kuwana and is designated as the national beauty spot since it was built by a local wealthy merchant (this means that the park has high academic value). The garden is opened to the public only twice a year (spring and fall).
The garden is separated into two sections which are “Kyu Yamadashi Rinsen” located in front of the main building and “Goten Garden” located in front of the Shoin of Goten.
“Kyu Yamadashi Rinsen” is the oldest part inside the garden. The garden is filled with flowers such as Japanese wisteria and azalea.
On the other hand, “Goten Garden” is totally different from gardens built during the Edo Period. This garden is made of pine trees and rocks. Huge rocks brought from Hatori and Shima and blues stones are placed inside the garden therefore the garden has a subtle and profound atmosphere.
Why don’t you enjoy the autumn views of these gardens?
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.
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.
Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
Address: Kamigaichi-22-2 Kamiyadacho, Kameoka, Kyoto
Viewing Times: Any time
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.
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)
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.
Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
Address: 595 Kawara, Maizuru, Kyoto
Viewing Times: 09:00-17:00
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.
Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
Address: 1-1 Hongucho, Ayabe, Kyoto
Viewing Times: 09:30-16:30
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
Address: 577 Okunobe, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
Viewing Times: 09:00-16:30
Price: Adults ¥300 / Children ¥100
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.
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
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
Official Website: https://keihanna-park.net/
10 Recommended Autumn Spots in Kyoto
KYOTO SIDE Official Website: https://www.kyotoside.jp
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.
Maple Tree Illuminations
Running: November 14, 2020 – Novmeber 29, 2020
Location: Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park
Time: 16:30-20:30 (Last Entries 20:00)
Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park
Address: 1920 Yamata, Namegawa, Hiki District, Saitama
Closed: December 31, January 1, and the 3rd and 4th Sunday of January
Official Website: https://www.shinrinkoen.jp/
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.
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
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
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
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 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.
Chiyoda City Tourism Association
Official Website: https://visit-chiyoda.tokyo/
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.
Address: 2133-6 Keganochō, Hitachiota, Ibaraki
Official Website: https://ohtsuribashi.ryujinkyo.jp/
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.
22nd Fujikawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival
Location: Around Lake Kawaguchi
Running: November 7, 2020 – November 29, 2020
Opening Hours: 9:00-19:00 (Light up is from sunset to 22:00)
Access: 25 mins from Kawaguchiko Station by bus (nearest bus stop: Itchiku Kubota Art Museum Stop)
*Please observe social distancing and government guidelines in relation to COVID-19.
*Fujikawaguchiko is a World Heritage Site and recognised as a place of natural beauty. Please take your trash home with you.
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.
Konkai-Komyoji Temple Autumn Lights
Running: November 13, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Viewing Hours: 17:30-20:30 (Last Entries 20:00)
Price: General ¥1,000 / Elementary School Students ¥500 / Infants – Free / Groups of 20+ ¥800 each
Address: 121 Kurodanichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup_aut/
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.
Taiko-en 2020 Autumn Garden Illuminations (Japanese: からくれないに染まる夜～2020 秋～)
Running: From September 26, 2020 everyday from 19:00
Price: Adults ¥500 / Children ¥300
*Price subject to change depending on the season
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.
Rokuo-in Temple Evening Light-Up
Running: November 14, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Time: 17:30-19:30 (last Entries 19:00)
Price: ¥2,000 (Comes with matcha and Japanese confections)
Capacity: [Weekdays] 100 People / [Weekends] 150 People
Access: 4 minutes on foot from Rokuoin Station
Apply Here: 嵐電webサイト専用フォーム
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.
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 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’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
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 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 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.
Oita Prefecture: http://www.pref.oita.jp/soshiki/10400/foreign-language.html
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku: The New Hot Spring Resort Hotel in Mie Prefecture
28.June.2020 | SPOT
Yukai Resort, a company in Japan which manages lots of famous hot spring resorts across the country, opened Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku in Toba, Mie on June 5, 2020.
Yukai Resort manages 29 well-established hot spring resort hotels and ryokan throughout Japan, including hotels where you can get one night with dinner and breakfast from just ¥7,500 (before tax) to ryokan where you can enjoy kaiseki meal courses, and more. All their luxury establishments feature hot springs surrounded in lush environments.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku opened on June 5, 2020 and is taking all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to protect guests and so that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku is 10 minutes by car from Toba Aquarium and 30 minutes from Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great location to enjoy the sightseeing spots of Ise and Shima. The hotel’s concept is centred on being an “active resort” where you can get the full Toba experience with history, the sea, and activities.
The large open-air communal baths look out onto Toba Bay. The baths are designed like infinity pools, giving the effect that they are connected to the sea. Guests can enjoy a dip in the day or evening so they can enjoy both a blue sky or starry sky. There are also saunas.
There is also an indoor swimming pool with warm water, as well as foot baths, a kids play park, karaoke room, and many more fun features.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku also houses Yukai Resort’s first ever indoor glamping guest rooms with large tents decked with beds, sofa, carpet, cushions, and other amenities for a glamorous camping experience. There are glamping rooms with their own open-air baths that look out onto Toba Bay too, as well as both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms.
As a precaution against COVID-19, the restaurant is serving its food for takeout only until August 31, 2020. Guests can enjoy their meal in their rooms or in one of the many communal spaces. There’s plenty of health Japanese food to enjoy including sushi, Matsuzaka roast beef, eel, tuna, and more.
This Week’s Dessert: Indulging in a Seasonal Parfait at Kinoshita Chaen in Ise
One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.
This week, a business trip took me out of Tokyo to the city of Ise in Mie Prefecture. When the trip was over, I had some spare time to kill before my train arrived, so I went inside a cafe called Kinoshita Chaen which is close to Ise Grand Shrine.
You can arrive at Kinoshita Chaen in just three minutes on foot is walking from Ise Grand Shrine, or five mintues from Ise Station. The exterior design of the building takes on a Western style, which I found to be both cute and retro. You can feel the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the cafe as soon as you step inside. The decor is decked out with all things wooden.
The cafe has been around since the Meiji Period. It serves drinks and desserts all made using tea, and offers both eat-in and takeout services.
I ordered their seasonal-exclusive parfait. 90% of the people in there were ordering it, so I thought it must be popular!
Strawberry & Parfait Puree Parfait w/ Japanese Black Tea – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)
This super cute parfait is completely stuffed to the top with strawberries♡
You can snap cute photos of it no matter the angle♡
When I spooned the caramel puree, soft custard reveal itself. You get a delicious pairing of the bitter flavour and crunchy texture of the caramel with the subtly sweet custard.
The next ingredient to show itself was the mascarpone cream, which combines with the rest of the flavours perfectly. Once your mouth is satisfied with the sweetness of the flavour combinations, you’re next met with Ise matcha gelato.
The matcha gelato is a great palate cleanser for the sweet ingredients when eaten on its own. When eaten together with the sweet puree, you get a completely different kind of delicious flavour. I recommend trying it together with the puree, mascarpone cream, and the crunchy pie which is the next layer.
Moving on from the sweetness and bitterness, the next layer is fresh strawberry sherbet, which is a combination of sweet and sour. To finish, you’re brought back to the subtle sweetness once more with white chocolate mousse, strawberries, and mixed berry jelly.
The final bites of a parfait can generally be hard to get down because you grow tired of the flavour, but the ones sold at Kinoshita Chaen are on another level. The various flavours and textures mean you won’t grow tired as you spoon through the many layersーyou’ll find yourself savouring every last bite.
The Japanese black tea that came with it was luxurious. The cafe actually caters the type of tea they serve to each seasonal parfait. Enjoy a cup together with your parfait.
Matcha Soy Flour Dumpling Cream – ¥830
I didn’t get to order them this time, but I’m really taken by the matcha soy flour shiratama dumplings… The dumplings are made in-house and are topped with brown sugar syrup from Okinawa and Ise matcha. The bitterness of the matcha together with the rich sugar syrup is sure to be delicious with some chewy dumplings. I’ll definitely be trying them when I next visit.
I cannot recommend a trip to Kinoshita Chaen enough. Offering an exemplary menu of Ise flavours, their drinks and sweets maintain the culture and tradition of Japanese tea while keeping up to date with current trends in the world of sweets.
Houjicha Teabags – ¥400 (1 Pack)
On the days you get to eat delicious sweets, you’ve got to share the happiness with friends and family. I bought some houjicha tea bags made with tea leaves grown in Mie Prefecture. They have various other teas too, and the packaging is really cute, so they’re perfect as gifts for friends and family.
Kinoshita Chaen (Ise Branch)
Address: 1-1-31 Iwabuchi, Ise, Mie Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:30-17:30 (Last Orders 17:00)
Closed: Wednesdays (Except Obon, New Year’s, and public holidays)
Official Website: https://www.kinoshitachaen.com/
Autumn in Aichi: Cherry Blossoms and Maples at Obara Shikizakura Matsuri & Korankei Maple Festival
15.November.2019 | SPOT
Early November marks the opening of the autumn cherry blossoms in Obaracho, Toyota. By the time mid-November rolls around, close to 10,000 shikizakura cherry blossoms bloom a pale pink until the end of the month.
The Yoshino cherry bears its pink petals in springtime, but the shikizakura blossoms twice a year: first in spring, then in autumn. They are considered one of the most beautiful flowers of autumn, especially when they bloom against the gorgeous and vibrant red maple leaves. The Obara Shikizakura Matsuri began on November 1, and right now, you can witness this spectacle for yourself.
The shikizakura trees planted in Obara have been there since Kansei era (1789-1801). With the helping hand of locals, the trees have become one of Japan’s most famous shikizakura spots. They were designated as Chiku (District) Trees in 1978 and can be seen throughout the entire district. Some of the trees are over 100 years old and as such registered as Natural Monuments of Aichi prefecture.
This is a spot we highly recommend visiting when travelling to Aichi.
▼Obara Shikizakura Cherry Blossoms
Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November
441-1 Johei, Obaracho, Toyota, Aichi (Obara Fureai Park)
Senmichi, Toyota, Aichi (Senmi Shikizakura no Sato)
Access: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi (上仁木行き) and get off at Obaraokusa (小原大草) or Kaminigi (上仁木)
▼Obara Shikizakura Matsuri
Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Locations: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, Obara Fureai Park, and elsewhere in the region
Notes: The Kururin Bus can be boarded for free on weekends and public holidays while the festival is on
Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/132/
The Korankei Maple Festival is also taking place this month where you can witness around 40,000 maple trees bearing their gorgeous autumn foliage.
The trees are being lit up every night for the month of November. Watch the sun set before the illuminations are turned on, creating an enchanting atmosphere with the warm, radiating lights against the night sky.
Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November
Location: Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi
Access: Ride the Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Toyotashi Station, change onto Meitetsu Bus, and alight at Korankei (香嵐渓)
Official Website: http://asuke.info/korankei/
▼64th Korankei Maple Festival
Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Location: Around Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi
Light-Up: Sunset to 21:00
Access: 20 minutes from Sarugata Green Road Interchange / 20 minutes from Toyota-Kanpachi Interchange
Official Website: http://asuke.info/event/nov/entry-705.html
Witness two of Japan’s most celebrates treesーthe cherry blossom and the mapleーflower together in one place in Aichi.