It's rare to find historical sites in Japan that haven't been reconstructed several times, much less ones that were built in 1160. Nestled away in a quiet suburban area of Fukushima's Iwaki City is Shiramizu Amida Temple, a simple wooden hall surrounded by carefully designed gardens and ponds. Beautiful in every season, the temple really shines in late autumn.
It is amazing how much the nature has to offer when you have the time, the energy and the wiling to connect with it. My recommendation: “Never waste those precious moments. Never”. Of course, after all these activities, I feel like I deserve the best of the meals. And here is where you get Kaiseki for dinner.
A place to escape the heat of the city or a chance to walk through some pleasant scenery, the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls makes a memorable trip. Although a distance from Tokyo they are an easy side trip during a stay on the Izu Peninsula.
The walking area called Sayama Hills (Tokorozawa, Saitama prefecture) is unofficially called “Totoro forest.” Ghibli’s famous film director maestro Hayao Miyazaki is said to be getting the inspiration for the legendary animated film “My neighbor Totoro” after daily walks in that forest.
Japanese look forward to the changing colors of autumn leaves with arguably the same admiration as they do cherry blossom each year with each region presenting its own festivals and event celebrating season. Musashi Kyūryō National Government Park, more commonly referred to as Shinrin Kōen, in Saitama prefecture is one of those, presenting a breathtaking night illumination and story of the forest.
Every November, a small winery in the foothills of Ashikaga opens up its gates and its vineyards to thousands of visitors who come to celebrate the harvest by drinking, eating, and being merry on a beautiful hillside.
Nagatoro is conveniently accessible from the capital, both by public transportation and by car. This is an excellent destination for day trippers from Tokyo who have limited time and still want to enjoy some attractive natural spot.
If you are in Tokyo and have already explored all Harajuku-Shibuya-Roppongi main spots, done all the Akihabara shopping, and climbed the Tokyo Tower, perhaps it is a time for you to get on the next level. Do you like outdoor walks? How about hiking? Are you a mountain spirit? Then you are welcome to Mount Takao.
Gifu Prefecture in the Chubu region of Japan is a fantastic place to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours in fall. Gifu is lucky to be surrounded by mountains, which means it has a wealth of destinations that are famous for their beautiful autumn foliage.
Unlike the larger, orange Halloween pumpkins you might be familiar with, kabocha are small and dark green with a hard, tough rind. Inside, however, they are more familiar: deep orange in color and sweet in taste.
As summer winds down, sharp-eyed travelers in Japan will notice small orchards full of short, broad topped trees supported by wires and protected with mesh nets. These are pear trees and they produce one of autumn’s tastiest treats, nashi.