The best thing about living in Japan is the abundance of sceneries the country can offer each season. It will never run out of places to visit and will still let you feel the same anticipation every time the season starts to change.
My personal favorite seasons are autumn and spring… Not just because of the weather temperature but also how God amazes me every time trees and flowers change from their ordinary hues to spectacular colors for the people to appreciate and be grateful for.
As fall season starts to embrace us in Central Japan during mid-September, “kouyou” or change of colors usually begins in late October. Thus, the time to visit and have photo memento of the foliage is best during the month of November. Of course, this is for the central part of the country. Some prefectures, especially in the northern part e.g. Hokkaido, starts much earlier than the others.
My mid to late November weekends are usually booked for autumn trips. ;D For this year, a visit to Korankei in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture is part of the list as it is widely known for Momiji Matsuri or Maple Tree Festival. It is a valley near Nagoya that known to be one of the best spots for autumn colors in Chubu region.
What to See/Do
- Bring out the inner photographer in you as you capture some great photos of the foliage.
Bring along some extra batteries for your cameras or power source for your phones. You’ll be surprised how grand your shots will turn out no matter how amateur you are in photography. Nature will always be one of the best subjects to take ‘coz it never disappoints. Just know the best angles and let the light and right exposure help you through.
- Expect a wide selection of food to indulge.
When you say “matsuri” or festival in Japan, always imagine an array of food stalls selling different kinds of Japanese goods and finger foods. They sell at reasonable prices and are all satisfying to munch.
- Stay until dark to witness the impressive illumination of the autumn trees.
Cold seasons mean longer nights – early sunsets and late sunrise. As early as around 4:30 p.m., vendors start to turn on their stalls’ lights as the sun begins to set. Tourists also begin to flock around the Valley to see the famed lighting of the trees at night. The illumination starts at sunset until nine in the evening. Korankei looks like a blazing forest as more than 4,000 autumn trees are highly illuminated with artificial lights at night. Pictures taken are still an understatement of its magnificence so try to check it out yourselves. 🙂
How to Get There
- By Public Transportation. There are no direct ways and instructions to get to Korankei Valley by public transpo all year round. However, November is a special month because of its month-long festival. And so, there are certain bus companies that open routes directly to it during this month. As I’ve searched on the web, this is what I’ve found and I hope it’ll help.
- By Car. The best way to go there is by private car. Click HERE for direct access to the place thru google maps. Parking fee is JPY1,000 per car.
Enjoy and have fun!