5 spots for Mojimigari exterior of Tokyo


Japan prides itself on all 4 magnificent seasons, however autumn is its most aesthetic time of yr with many components of the archipelago bursting with koyo (heat purple and yellow foliage) in addition to momiji (exploding purple foliage). Thus, round this time of yr, pilgrims far and vast make the trek across the islands for the annual mojimigari, or “red-leaf hunt”. Not solely does this journey reward vacationers with beloved regal foliage, but in addition particular native dishes that correspond to the season.

Whereas a majority of holiday makers usually tend to dangle round Tokyo and conveniently expertise its spectacular maple bushes, listed below are some cities exterior of the capital which might be undoubtedly price venturing exterior for.


Daisetsuzan, Hokkaido

Situated smack within the middle of Japans northernmost (and least populated) island, Daisetsuzan is the nations largest nationwide park. Because of the surrounding majestic mountain, it’s usually known as the rooftop of Hokkaido” and has earned the sterling repute of being the place to expertise not simply the primary winter snows, but in addition the primary wealthy colours of autumn.

The land space of Daisetsuzan is an astounding 2,268 km2, which is best than Tokyo, New York or London. Inside its spectacular borders lies Hokkaidos greatest mountain, Mt Asahidake, generally known as cinomisir within the Ainu tongue, which implies a mountain the place we pray”. Must you go to between the months of September and November, take the Asahidake Ropeway midway up the mountain for gorgeous golden views and a hike on the Sugatami Highland Plateau.

After a satisfying trek over the park grounds, settle in at one of many surrounding eating places and deal with your self to certainly one of Hokkaidos finest recognized dishes: Jingisukan, mutton greens cooked in an iron plate dish. Completely satisfied trails!


Arashiyama, Kyoto

This standard space within the nations former capital could already be acquainted to Japanese natives and guests alike, however other than the otherworldly bamboo grove is a lush riverside spot bursting with seasonal colours.

After spending the afternoon strolling round Tenryuji Temple and Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Road, make your manner throughout the famed Togetsukyo Bridge, discover a snug place to take a seat subsequent to the Hozugawa River and let the patchwork of reds, oranges and yellows unfold round you. Or, if sitting isnt actually your factor, get shifting on a 16km boat experience alongside the Hozugawa River for a extra cellular expertise.

Kyoto understandably has among the finest meals within the nation, with costs and choices starting from low cost tempura to bank-breaking kaiseki meals. That being mentioned, this author can solely advocate that you simply observe your nostril—and price range—in Arashiyama to discover a tasty spot that may fulfill each.

Learn additionally:

The Harvest of Mimei Ogawa: the ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ of Japan


Lake Towada, Aomori

Its exhausting to consider that the quiet and serene Lake Towada is a crater from after a violent volcanic eruption, however like all issues in Japan, the pure components are part of the on a regular basis. It’s the largest crater lake on Honshū and lies within the north, between Aomori and Akita prefectures.

Because the altering of the seasons happen faster in Aomori than the remainder of Honshu, August is Lake Towadas hottest month. Locals and worldwide guests flock to its shores to expertise the fascinating autumn colours, in addition to the lake’s mirror-like impact on a sunny day. Equally to Arashiyama, top-of-the-line methods to expertise Lake Towada is on a 3-decker pleasure boat that circles the lake, supplying you with loads of time to benefit from the deck-side views.

Naturally, the world round Lake Towada boasts a formidable collection of scrumptious recent seafood. Purple salmon (himemasu) and Smelt from the lake will be eaten uncooked, steamed or boiled to your urge for foods content material.


Yuzawa, Niigata

Yuzawa is best-known for the setting of Yasunari Kawabatas eponymous novel Snow Nation”, which might be why it will get ignored with regards to autumnal splendor. Located on the high of the Japanese Alps, Yuzawa already offers a plethora of pure magnificence for guests in winter, however maybe the very best views will be present in just a few months earlier than the temperature dips under freezing.

Like Daisetsuzan, Yuzawas most well-known mountain, Naeba, will be seen in all of its august majesty by gondola. Therefore, the Dragondola (ドラゴンドラ) is the popular technique of transportation and is Japans longest ropeway. Throughout its 5,481m, you may witness not solely the colourful mountains, but in addition the Kiyotsu River when the Dragondola dips down, similar to a dragon!

Niigata is chock-full of culinary choices, however as the house of Japans best-selling rice, koshihikari, a heat cup of sake and steaming bowl of rice could hit the spot. In fact, if plain rice isnt your factor, attempt one of many Bakudan Onigiri rice balls and fill it with no matter youd like!


Hakone, Kanagawa

Hakone is a famend vacation spot for a myriad of causes, principally due to its accessibility from Tokyo and for its picturesque views of the long-lasting Mt. Fuji. Nevertheless, as a city nestled inside the mountains,  October and November change into prime months to come across its glorious fall foliage.

There are just a few methods to soak within the essence of Hakones lustrous autumn. For one, you might catch a experience on the 40-minute Hakone Tozan Cable Automotive, which takes you alongside a scenic route by way of the Hakone mountains to the Gora space, the place you may see views of Mt. Myojogatake. One other could be on the Hakone Museum of Artwork, with its articulately sculpted gardens and painted crimson and tangerine maple bushes.

The delicacies scene in Hakone is sort of various, as diners can get pleasure from novelty specials like Kuro-Tamago (Black Egg), or deep-fried Wakasagi from Lake Ashi, or Hakones personal delicacy: handmade tofu. For those who occur to get out of Tokyo for the weekend, you undoubtedly gainedt be missing in lunch choices.

Japan is a superb place to expertise all yr spherical, particularly when it exhibits off its colourful palette after the summer time warmth. Get out of town and revel in your momijigari!

Josh Furr

Joshua first got here to Japan along with his household over 10 years in the past and it utterly ruined his life (in the very best of how). When he’s not attempting to go the JLPT, he’s researching Japanese historical past, having fun with 80s J-Pop and dreaming of 牛丼. He’s at present writing, writing, writing…principally about Japan and video video games.



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