Korankei’s Colored Leaves Light Up!–A Dazzling Nighttime Autumn Festival in Aichi
People often boast about Japan’s distinct four seasons and with good reason. The cherry blossoms paint the trees in spring, the snow coats the town in winter, and the sky is lit up with colorful fireworks in the summer. However, I think that Japanese autumn deserves special recognition, the Japanese fall leaves that color the skyline are some of the most gorgeous that I have ever seen in my whole life. The heavy rains that hit Japan during typhoon season really make for some bright yellow, red, and orange leaves in autumn.
This year, I was lucky enough to witness the colored leaves in Korankei, Aichi, this year! I had heard about it from many of my friends and co-workers, so I knew I had to check it out! After all, the locals know best!
Korankei is surrounded by mountains with tons of trees, so it is a sight to behold in the fall. It is especially famous for its night light up. And like any good Japanese beauty, it is celebrated with a festival! It is officially called Korankei Momiji Matsuri, or in English, Korankei’s Colored Leaves Festival.
Korankei is huge! There are tons of walking paths and trees lit up with lights! The scene looks like a sea of fire! But not quite as scary! You can choose to go on paths up the mountains, but be careful because it can get a bit steep. There are also plenty of paths along the bottom of the mountains, so do not fear! It is very family and pet friendly, as well.
There is a market place area with a variety of foods stalls ready to help you satisfy your rumbling stomach. I personally chose to sample some miso gohei mochi, a grilled rice cake on a skewer, and momiageman, which is a maple leaf shaped rice cake filled with a variety of fillings that is then fried and topped with salt and paprika. They both were absolutely amazing and I highly recommend them, but if they are not up your alley, they also were serving other options including: grilled ayu, dango, ramen, mochi and more. I would recommend taking about 1000 yen with you so you can make sure you get plenty of food, although I am sure you could feed yourself with a little less. There is also a souvenir shop in the market place area! Plus, if you go at the right time, they sometimes have performances, including a Japanese drum performance.
There are tons of places to take photos, although it can be quite crowded. I went on a Sunday night, so it wasn’t too bad. I do recommend trying to avoid Saturday if you can! It is best to go by car as well, so be prepared to run into some traffic. There is a lot of parking available and it tends to be about 1000 yen for one car. Additionally, I saw several signs recommending that people not leave their bags or wallets in their cars and to watch out for pick-pockets. Since Japan is seen as a generally safe place, I wanted to include this bit because even I was a bit shocked. (And honestly, I saw the sign after leaving my purse in the car!)
Korankei Momiji Matsuri