Japan is extremely proud of its seasons and for good reason. Just thinking about their blossomy springs, their green summers, the colorful autumns and the mesmerizing winters, you can say that Japan has it all. There are few places on earth where the differences between each passing season are so pronounced, and possibly no other place where they play such a vital role in a nation’s culture – from festivals to cuisine.
Red, brown, orange, gold and yellow – you name it – they all can be found in Japan’s forests, parks, and even cities. From September to November, Japanese people and the tourists gather in their favorite spots to appreciate the autumn leaves, which are being called koyo or momiji.
The Niihama Taiko Festival which will take place on 16th of October this year.
The festival is a parade of floats shaped like gigantic Taiko drums by 47 neighborhood teams. The floats weight over 2 tons and cost around 10 million yen. Each float is carried by a team of men and boys as young as 16. The highlight of the festival are displays of float “fighting” that involves throwing the floats in the air and other feats of strength with the floats. The goal is to show off the energetic spirit of each neighborhood. The music, the energy, the colors and the atmosphere are typical Japanese and it is a unique event to be experienced in Niihama.
Hitachi Seaside Park
One of the places that need to be on your bucket list is the Hitachi Seaside Park where you can find the crimson Kochia bushes.
In Kyoto, you can find the Kodaiji Temple which is an outstanding temple, established back in 1606. One of its gardens is a rock garden consisting of a large field of raked gravel meant to represent the vast ocean. The other garden is an impressive tsukiyama style garden featuring a pond, man-made hills, decorative rocks and beautiful pine and maple trees, the latter of which turn brilliant shades of red and orange during the autumn color season.
Another amazing autumn place to visit in Japan is Hokkaido, Japans Northern Sea circuit. Autumn foliage in Hokkaido is incredible just like other parts of Japan. Temperatures begin to drop, green leaves disappear and colorful leaves become visible as if someone has painted the trees marvellously.
The Kamakura Window
The view from the round window of Meigetsu-in in Kamakura, Kanagawa. The scenery of the foliage has been cut into a beautiful round form, so it’s a genius plan to unconsciously bring the sharpened world of beauty into focus while you’re looking through it. It’s a mysterious room, window, scenery that naturally makes you sit up straight and the air taste sweeter. If you visit Japan in the autumn, this room where the spirit of ancient Japan lodges is a recommended sightseeing spot.
So for us, the best time to visit Japan is in autumn, when you can enjoy the vibrant hues of nature, the traditional festivals and the delicious cuisine.