You cannot miss out Korankei Gorge located in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. It is a favorite among tourists who visit Central Japan in autumn. Gracing the valley with colorful tones, no wonder each year the flock of visitors increase, making the place congested!

Getting off the bus stop in Korankei, the tourist spot is easy to distinguish because of the crowd. A single ginkgo tree will welcome you towards the valley. If you want to shoot without people getting your way, going to a different course is recommended. Instead of crossing the pedestrian lane, go down the stone stairs to enjoy the view of Korankei. As I arrived there, some of the photographers already claimed their spots to capture the beauty that is the same as what I captured:

Look at those stunning colors

While the afternoon view is a beau, wait until the golden hour happens and get surrounded by the stunning color variation of the valley. I got to witness the autumn colors in daylight and dawn when the trees are illuminated. The scenery in the afternoon and night varies greatly but both have their own charms. Production crews televised the crowd of people, interviewed some of their Korankei experience despite the cold windy weather and showcased the highlights of the illumination.

Autumn festival is held every November wherein lots of food stands line up along the streets. Also, there are a few restaurants where you can warm up from the chilly weather.

Magnificent even at night


How to get to Korankei from Nagoya Station:

1.       Go to Higashiyama Line (Platform 1 towards Sakae, Higashiyamakoen Fujigaoka) and drop off at Fushimi Station 3 minutes 700 yen
2.       From Fushimi Station transfer to Tsurumai Line and stay on the train until you arrive at Josui Station 42 minutes
3.       From Josui Station, go to the Toyota Oiden bus station 1 minute
4.       Ride the bus bound for Hyakunenso(百年草行)and alight at Korankei 1 hour 500 yen


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


Suhara Himawari no Sato (with side trips!)


Suhara Sunflower Field

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



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

The girl who leapt through time


What’s not to miss during the trip to Takayama is the open-air museum located west of the train station, Hida Folk Village (Hida no sato). Because of the vast space of this exhibit, it is quite isolated from the other sightseeing places around Takayama. Albeit being secluded from the main attractions in Takayama, Hida No Sato boasts the replicas of the village head’s house, huts, storehouses and farmhouses during the Edo Period.

The entire village is open for exploration and over 30 well-preserved cultural structures are scattered around the village.

The main houses across the Goami Pond (Goami-ike) near the entrance.

Koi Fishes and Ducks in the Goami Pond (You can feed them for 50 yen!)

Aside from the picturesque landscape the village offers, visitors can try some of the classic Japanese outdoor games (I wasn’t able to try all of those though because I was already distracted with my original plan: take a lot of instagram-worthy photos! -I semi-failed with this though ><)

Traditional water gun target
Playing with giant stilts. Being able to walk with these is not an easy task ><;

The gassho-zukuri houses (hands joined in prayer) unique with its thatched and steep roof.

Another type of house during the Edo Period uses a Kurebuki roof which, just like the thatched roof, can sustain the heavy amount of snowfall.

Oh look! A wishing bell!

Sitting next to Hozumi’s house, the sight of this huge bell intrigued me of its purpose. The bell was supposed to grant wishes to anyone who followed the instructions written in front of the wooden fence: First is to make a bow, then Strike the bell once and finally make a wish during the echo. Despite my exposure to the rituals in the temple/shrines where bells are also rung, this significant artifact definitely piqued my interest as it echoed throughout the village.

Moving further inside the village, we found a wood crafting house. Aside from the woodcrafting house, the neighbor houses also have its own crafting specialty, too bad we aren’t able to try because nobody was tending the area. Nevertheless the woodcrafter’s sole existence in the world of arts and crafts satisfied us.

Neko-chan souvenir!

The woodcrafter demonstrated his skills when we arrived in his niche. Inisde his abode are several masks made from wood, keychains, home decor, etc. Glad I was able to buy the cute little cat as a way to support the artisan.

Within the Comfort Zone

Ueno has become my travel getaway during my short stays in Tokyo this year.  The night life in Ueno is quiet and relaxing compared to its neighboring districts – Asakusa and Akihabara, where tourists flock to see the Senso-ji Temple and the Anime haven.

While Asakusa and Akihabara is famous for their own charms, Ueno exhibits numerous temples, shrines, museums and zoo. The famous Ueno Park,  a spacious public park is just a few meters away from the Ueno Station.

Hydrangeas bloom during summer in Japan, it can be commonly seen in parks and in the temple gardens. If the spring season has the cherry blossom tree, hydrangeas captivates the locals and tourists alike during summer.

Tokyo National Museum

After a few minutes of walk through the south of the park, I came across the Tokyo National Museum, some tourists are taking a tour with their guide even in this kind of weather.

The drizzle gave me a hard time to take photos of the Museum, with an umbrella, a camera and a bottle of cider I must say that the struggle is real. I gave up taking another shot after my umbrella failed to resist the gust of the wind and I wasn’t able to control my grasp anymore.

Gate towards Kaneiji Temple

After capturing this photo of the gate leading to the Kaneiji Temple, I quickly walked away when I heard someone said “dare desu ka?” or something along the line after the shutter of my camera clicked. I thought the caretakers near the gate were bothered by the sound.

Ema : Wooden Wishing Plaques
Lions Club Totem Pole
Towards Toshogu Shrine

If ever you are planning on visiting Ueno Park, I’d recommend you wearing your most comfy shoes because walking around the park requires a great amount of vitality. With all the attractions the park can offer to you, I bet spending time with every spot will consume your energy.

As for me, I hadn’t have enough rest from the hotel after visiting Asakusa and my body is slowly giving up on me and because I had the nerve to continue my adventure to Akihabara (I walked all the way to Akiba because I’m afraid I’d get lost riding trains), I almost didn’t want to come back to the hotel thinking about the distance between Akiba and Ueno (I promise I’ll ride the train next time!).


Ameya yokocho is a shopping street filled with various items – foods, clothing, footwear, gadgets. Imported products can also be bought here, you just have to ask the locals about the exact location because the stalls are underground. Yay for the tax-free shops!

Tip: Always bring your passport (tourist passport, that is) for every time you purchase in tax-free shops, you will be exempted from paying the tax.


Tokyo University (Bunkyo-ku)

During my first visit in Ueno, I didn’t realize that there is a Tokyo University nearby, I’m glad I was able to visit Japan’s most prestigious university on my third visit in Tokyo with my friend!

After walking for about 30 mins from the Ueno Station ( I didn’t realize it was so far that me and my friend almost dragged our feet just to reach this famous Todai) we arrived in one of the branches of Tokyo University located in Bunkyo-ku, just a few meters away from the station.

We would not be able to arrive in Tokyo University map without the internet + gps locator app! However the scorching heat of the sun didn’t meet our travel expectations, if only we can grab a taxi to reach our destination (we’re very frugal with spending our money orz). It took us about 3-4 stops in convenience stores before arriving here. But it’s all worth it!

The Experimental Tank
General Library

I have to say that I felt safe and comfortable with my travels while in Tokyo, considering that I  walk alone at night when I get back to the hotel. Whenever I go to Tokyo, Ueno will be the first place that I consider staying in. Ueno will always have a special place in my heart.

Traveling Solo Doesn’t Always Mean You Are Alone

Thanks to my father’s work, the Tokyo trip has become possible! Who says traveling alone isn’t fun? I get to spend my own time doing whatever I want. The pressure of complying a companion’s needs during the travel is gone. Yay!

The amount of endurance sitting in the bus for seven straight hours is almost unbearable due to the fact that I am not a fan of sleeping while in transit. I just happen to have the habit of looking outside the window, appreciating the beauty of Japan.

While Japan is not a foreign land anymore as I was able to visit the country for several short times, it still took a lot of courage to take a step outside alone because of the intimidating structures surrounding the hotel I stayed in (the difference between the urban and rural life is greatly evident as I arrived in Tokyo). It is my first time unaccompanied in Japan and with the capacity of my Japanese vocabulary and the complexity of the train lines, it is impossible to travel without feeling uneasy.

After a lot of contemplation and planning for my first destination, I headed to Asakusa. Famous for its Buddhist Temple as one of its main attraction, Asakusa boasts a myriad of sightseeing spots earning a crowd of tourists everywhere.

Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Brewery Building across the Azumabashi Bridge

On this gloomy weather, it is a little disappointing to see the Skytree covered with clouds, but it didn’t stop the flock of tourists from taking selfies with the landmarks.

Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate)

The Kaminarimon or Thunder Gate leading the path to Nakamise-dori and Senso-ji Temple.

Nakamise Dori around 7 in the morning
At 5pm the street is already bustled with people!

The Nakamise Shopping street offers a wide range of souvenirs from food delicacies to the traditional Japanese garments. I didn’t buy anything and now I’m regretting it *cries*. If you happen to pass by here, take a look at every shop, taste all the foods and make sure to not have second thoughts of buying what you want!

Tourists donning a yukata as they wander around Asakusa

Don’t miss the yukata/kimono experience when you visit asakusa!  You can find some cheap rental shops near the temple. While you walk around wearing the traditional Japanese clothes, some tourists might ask for a picture with you!

Tourists huddle around the large cauldron

Before proceeding to the Senso-ji Temple, a huge earthenware sits in the middle of the path. The smoke emitting from the incense burner is believed for purifying one’s body. It is a must try when visiting the Senso-ji temple.

Kannodo Main Hall, Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple – Tokyo’s oldest temple. Wasn’t able to see the pagoda though because it is under maintenance during my visit.

Omikuji (Paper Fortune)

Couldn’t read kanji and missed my chance to draw a paper fortune ><.

Bus vs Car vs Rickshaw

Another thing not to miss out in Asakusa – the Pulled Rickshaw!

This traditional transportation attracts a lot of tourists, it can be found in Kyoto and Tokyo. Most rickshaw pullers are entertainers, actors, athletes and considered pulling rickshaws as their side jobs, some are part-timer students and some have interest in cultural exchanges which explains why they are very friendly and can speak a handful of English. The puller will tour the passengers on their chosen route (price varies depending on the course).

After visiting Asakusa, I walked all the way back to the hotel for some rest and resumed my venture towards Ueno.