10 Places to visit this Autumn Season in Japan

Autumn is one of my favourite season in Japan. Come the “-ber” months and the air becomes chill, the leaves slowly turn red and the autumn colours grace the environment with its beauty. Have an ultimate fall experience by traversing to the most spectacular autumn spots in Japan!

Here’s a list of recommendations to fulfill your autumn foliage travel goals this fall season:

1. Arashiyama

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Boat Tour on Katsura River

Arashiyama has been on the list of the must-visit tourist spots when in Japan. Its charm and popularity unwavering over the past years for obvious reasons, it has a lot of tourist attractions – the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Kimono Forest, Tenryuji Temple, Togetsukyo Bridge, Monkey Park and the Boat Tour are some places of interest.

Location:  〒Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Ukyō-ku

2. Kiyomizudera Temple

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Koyasu Pagoda (three-storied pagoda) in Kiyomizu dera

Kiyomizudera being one of Kyoto’s most popular temples offers an exquisite cityscape view of Kyoto from the main hall. The red leaves of the trees enveloping the temple and shrines around the area will look like fiery flames during sunset. Although the said historical structure is under renovation, it doesn’t hinder vacationers to enjoy the main hall.

Location:  〒605-0862 Kyoto Prefecture,  Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 1-chome, Kiyomizu 294

3. Bishamon-do Temple

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Route towards the infamous stone steps where maple leaves fall

Bishamon-do is a temple wonder situated in the suburbs of Kyoto. It transforms into a wonderful spectacle when leaves turn red and fall on the stone steps.

Location: 〒607-8003 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Yamashina Ward, Anshuinariyamacho 18

4. Tofuku-ji Temple

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Tsutenkyo Bridge

Tofuku-ji temple boasts a number of Zen gardens where visitors can appreciate the beauty of the dry landscape art. The view from the Tsutenkyo Bridge is not to be missed in the autumn season.

Location: 〒605-0981 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward,  Honmachi 15 Chome, 778

5. Korankei

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Panoramic view of the Taigetsukyo bridge complemented by the mountain as the perfect backdrop

Autumn in Korankei won’t disappoint because of the autumn festival which lasts for a month. They also hold light-up events as the night falls.

Location: 〒444-2424 Aichi Prefecture, Toyota, Iimori Asukecho

6. Obara Fureai Park

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Cherry blossoms in convergence with the deciduous plants in Obara Fureai Park

Obara Fureai Park is where spring meets autumn. Yes you read it right, you can see both cherry blossoms and maple leaves in Obara town located in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.

Location: 〒470-0531 Aichi Prefecture, Toyota,  Obara-cho, Magohachi 456

7. Ena Gorge

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Experience the Ena Gorge on the river with Enakyo Cruise

The Ena Gorge, located in Ena City, Gifu Prefecture is one of the off-beaten tracks you can visit. Enjoy the scenic area in a boat and spot some mysterious rock formations as you glide along the river.

Location:  Gifu Prefecture, Ena City, Oi-machi,  Okudo 2709-104

8. Meiji Mura

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St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on a distance

Get lost in the past and discover some of the structures built in Japan during the Meiji Period. Dress up either in a traditional Japanese school uniform or in a Western-style clothing.

Location:  〒484-0000 Aichi Prefecture, Inuyama, Uchiyama 1

9. Sobue Gingko

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Yellow everywhere you go

Sobue is located in Inazawa City in Aichi Prefecture. In the middle of November, the leaves of about 10,000 gingko trees will turn yellow and will transform the place into a golden town.

Location: 〒495-0002 Aichi Prefecture, Inazawa, Sobue-cho, Yanagino Yamazaki 11

10. Nara Park

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Deer paradise in Nara Park

Are you a deer whisperer? This is your chance to feed and take a selfie with the deer freely roaming around the Nara Park. Just a gentle reminder to try to be vigilant as some deer have the tendency to charge at tourists anytime.

Location: Nara Prefecture, Nara, Zoshicho 469

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Suhara Himawari no Sato (with side trips!)

 

Suhara Sunflower Field

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Drowning in sunflowers~

Suhara Himawari no Sato is found in the neighbouring prefecture of Aichi – in Mino City, Gifu Prefecture. With almost 30,000 (big and small) floras, this sunflower maze is a sure delight to tourists.

If you are into cosplaying and want to add spice in your photo sessions with the sunflower, then Suhara Himawari no Sato is the place for you! There is a myriad of costumes they provide for their patrons with a rental fee of 200 yen for one hour per costume.

Kiki's Delivery Service Pilgrimage
Should’ve done the “In My Feelings” challenge because… Kiki!

If you have watched Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, you will be familiar with Kiki’s costume and her cat, Jiji riding the broomstick. Kiki’s costume is the most popular, with a simple dark blue dress and a red bow-tie headband, there is no hassle in transforming into a witch. Imagine that – you can be an enchantress and float above the sea of yellows and greens!

Way to happiness
Way to happiness 

 Access: 468-3 Shimokowa, Mino City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

 


MUST-SEE SIDE TRIPS!

While you’re at it at Mino City, you can visit some of its charm points that will surely make your trip worthwhile.

Nagara River

The Nagara River will greet you upon arriving to Suhara Station. Beat the summer heat by swimming in this river and do barbecue party with your family and friends. Do not forget to bring a change of clothes and remember to always be vigilant and extra conscious about your safety though!

 

 

Suhara Shrine

Just less than 10-minute walk from the sunflower field, you can see the Suhara Shrine. Worshippers visit this shrine for good harvest as it is known as a shrine for the god of agriculture.

Access: 468-1-1 Suhara, Mino 501-3706, Gifu Prefecture

 

Udatsu Street

Travel back in time to the Edo period and see the Udatsu-styled houses near the Umeyama station. Kimono rentals for men and women are available for your full experience as you indulge deeper in the traditional culture of Udatsu. (Rental fee is 1,500 yen. Reservation is necessary through 090-3934-3443). You can also visit the Ogurayama Castle Ruins just near the vicinity.

Access: Mino, Gifu Prefecture 501-3701

 

 

Old Meitetsu Mino Station

Situated nearby the contemporary Mino City Station, the Old Meitetsu Mino Station retains its entrance façade, the ticketing booth and a little part of the railway displaying three old Meitetsu train wagons. This is another area to go retro and feel the olden days of Japan.

Access: 2926-4 Hirookacho, Mino-shi, Gifu-ken 501-3732

Three Shrine Pilgrimage for Love (恋の三社めぐり)

Visit the three shrines to have a good luck in love!

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Located in Nagoya, the three shrines, namely Takamu Shrine (高牟神社) Yamada Tenmangu (山田天満宮) and Shiroyama Hachimangu (城山八幡宮) are said to grant you good fortune in love.

Upon visiting the shrine, visitors will need to get a paper in pink color and inside it is another paper called 願いの文or Wish Statement. In Yamada Tenmangu and Shiroyama Hachimangu, the pink papers are also placed somewhere the shrine, so visitors can take one and get it stamped by the officials. Visitors need to pay 100 yen per stamp in each shrine.

In my case the paper is already stamped when I bought it and I just have to pay for a hundred yen. And after collecting three stamps from each shrine, a souvenir is given regardless which shrine you came last. In addition to that, they will ask you to write in the Wish Statement.

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Got my souvenir after completing the stamps!

So why are these shrines called the power spots of love?

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Source
  • In Takamu Shrine, it is believed that its water well has one of the best waters in Japan and is famous for granting longevity and a promise of romance once you drink it.

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  • In Yamada Tenmangu, a stone of a couple snuggling who watches for everyone’s happiness in love can be spotted in the shrine. Throw a donation in the box on the left and touch the stone while asking for a wish.
  • The Renriboku in Shiroyama Hachimangu is known as the sacred tree for matchmaking and marriage. You can also touch this tree and make a wish! Beside the tree are wooden wishing plaques (ema) with people’s hopes and wishes written on it. The location of this tree is pretty tricky since it strays away from the shrine. If you want to get there, from the area between the parking and entrance of the shrine, walk on path to the left then to the curved path and you will notice a huge tree with a rope tied around it.

Here are the details about the three shrines:

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There is no decided sequence in which shrine you have to visit first, but since the shrines are a few blocks away from each other, it is recommended to visit the nearest shrine from your location first.

Here’s my recommended route if you depart from Nagoya Station:

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Aside from love luck, each shrine also offers various lucky charms and also grants different kinds of good luck so make the best out of your visit in all shrines!

古井の水 = 恋の水 because 恋 and 古井 are both read as Koi. Hence,  恋の水 may be a wordplay of 古井の水.

Click here if you want to find out more shrines with love luck near you!

恋の三社めぐり

Winter Wonderland

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It is my first time to experience snowfall in the month of February, as we are living in central Japan, we only have those 2-3 days of snowfall for the whole winter season. I thought that after the January snow, spring would welcome me with its cherry blossoms but February gave me another chance to see the pristine landscape of the countryside of Japan! So I headed out to the park and made a new friend~