Before the winter comes, we should enjoy autumn to the fullest while it lasts. Japan is known for having beautiful autumn scenery that can be viewed from September through November. The leaves transform into vibrant shades of color such as red, yellow and orange.
Today we'll introduce five recommended nature spots and interesting events taking place throughout Japan that will help you to get the most out of this serene season.
1. Goshiki-Numa Ponds (Kitashiobara Village)
In Fukushima, the ideal time to visit the Goshiki-Numa Ponds is from the middle of October until early November. People usually go to the Ponds to take relaxing hikes with friends and family. You could also rent a rowboat and enjoy the views of autumn leaves from the lake. The bright blue of the water dazzling alongside the colorful leaves is the charm of this area.
2. Meiji Jingu Gaien (The Golden Ginkgo Promenade)
There are at least 150 Gingko lined up fashionably along this avenue in Tokyo. These trees were planted in 1926, but the beautiful scenery still lasts today. The best time to visit is the two week period from mid-November through December 2nd this year because there will be a festival in the area called the Icho Matsuri. Important to note for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: the new National Stadium is just a few minutes walk away from here.
3. Kochia Carnival at Hitachi Seaside Park
The kochia--or summer cypress--is a cute, somewhat fluffy plant that turns crimson-red in Autumn. You can find these beautiful carpets of kochia plants at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki prefecture when you visit from late September to mid-October. There are more than 32,000 kochias planted, a stunning sight to behold!
4. Autumn Appetite
Autumn is not just a season of beautiful scenery, but also the season of bountiful harvests. In particular, there are some fruits that are only available during this season that you'll want to get your hands on. These include kaki (persimmons), nashi (Asian pear) and kuri (Japanese chestnuts), all of which are very popular throughout the season and eaten in a myriad of ways.
Moving from sweet to savory, you can also enjoy certain seafoods that tend to spike in popularity during this season, such as the always tasty sanma (Pacific saury). In order to bring out the best flavor, it's recommended to eat this fish grilled with a little bit of salt--a classic comforting dish known as sanma no shioyaki.
5. Halloween Parties
There are various events and gatherings you can partake in to celebrate Halloween in Japan. The holiday has recently become one of the most popular dates in the Japanese calendar, and you will find cosplayers participating in full force. Head to Universal Studios Japan or Tokyo Disney Resort to join the lively parties there. One experience that's also a must on anyone's Halloween to-do list is a visit to Shibuya Halloween. Claimed as the biggest event for the holiday in Japan, it's quite easy to see why. More than 1 million people gather throughout Shibuya Center-Gai Street and the Scramble Crossing to parade their costumes and have a festive night with friends. Grab your costume and have fun at this event!