Japan Australia Pages

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coming of Age Day Japan

Coming of Age Day
Coming of Age Day or seijin no hi (成人の日) in Japanese is a special ceremony that is held on the second Monday of January to mark the transition of young Japanese into adulthood. It is held to congratulate young boys and girls who will reach the age of 20 (二十歳) during the current school year. Twenty is considered the beginning of adulthood in Japan, and is the age when you can legally vote, drink and smoke.

The day is also a national holiday in Japan. If you are out and about in Japan, you’ll see many young people dressed in their finest clothes.

Girls will dress in a furisode (振袖), a colourful kimono with long sleeves, traditionally only worn by unmarried women. While boys will wear either a formal suit or traditional dark kimono with hakama.

Coming of Age Day
Image Source
 
To mark this special occasion there are special coming of age ceremonies (成人式) held in the morning at local city offices and prefectural offices throughout Japan. After the ceremonies, young adults and their families will often visit their local shrine, or a large shrine such as Meiji Jingu in Tokyo to celebrate. Once the formalities of the day are out of the way, the young adults will often celebrate further by going to parties with friends or going out drinking.

The History of Coming of Age Day 


Coming of Age ceremonies have been held and celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donning new robes and hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood.

The National Holiday was first established in 1948, and was held every year on January 15. This changed in 2000, when the day was changed to the second Monday of January as a result of the Happy Monday System.

We are happy for the change as the Happy Monday System (ハッピーマンデー制度) moved a number of national holidays in Japan to a Monday, creating more three-day weekends for us to enjoy.

Coming of Age Day is a fun day and a great chance to see some young Japanese people dressed in beautiful traditional clothing.

HATACHI (二十歳)
Image Source

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hatsumode at Kogane Jinja in Gifu

Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu
This year we made our first shrine visit of the New Year (hatsumode) at Kogane Jinja in Gifu City. Hatsumode (初詣) is the Japanese tradition of visiting a shrine or temple during the first few days of the New Year. This is usually around January 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

The main purpose of hatsumode is to pray for health, happiness and success for the year ahead.

Kogane Jinja (金神社) is one of Gifu’s most famous Shinto shrines and is conveniently located in the city center. The shrine was founded way back in 135 and has long been considered a place to pray for financial blessings in Gifu.

Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu
Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu City

This year we chose Kogane Jinja because we wanted to avoid all the crowds at Gifu’s main shrine, Inaba Jinja as well as pray for a financial successful year. This is important to us as we recently had a baby and we need all the financial help we can at the moment with just me working to support the family.

Kogane Jinja has been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions with the current structure built in 1988. The shrine has a nice feel to it and is always a popular place in Gifu to pray as it is so conveniently located to the downtown area.

The enshrined god at Kogane Jinja is the goddess, Nunoshihime-no-mikoto, who is the wife of Inishiki-Irihiko-no-mikoto, the god of Inaba Shrine.


the Main Shrine Gate at Kogane Jinja
The Main Shrine Gate at Kogane Jinja

We made our hatsumode at Inaba Jinja last year, which you can read about on this post.

The New Year’s period is always the busiest time for Kogane Jinja, with an estimated 150,000 worshipers visiting the shrine over the three-day period (January 1st ,2nd ,3rd).

Here are a few customs and traditions we followed for our hatsumode at Kogane Jinja:

Osaisen 


Osaisen (賽銭) is the custom of offering money to the gods at the shrine for good luck. Simply throw a small coin (5 yen is best) into the saisen-bako (賽銭箱) donation box, bow twice, clap twice, pray to the gods for a happy and prosperous year and bow once again as you finish. Why is a 5 yen coin the best? Because go-en (5 yen in Japanese) means chance, fate or destiny, and is considered lucky and to bring about good fortune.

Osaisen at Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu
Osaisen at Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu

Omikuji 


Omikuji (おみくじ) is another common custom when visiting a Shinto shrine in Japan. You can buy an omikuji at many different locations around the shrine for 100 yen. It is basically a fortune written on a small piece of paper. There are typically twelve different kinds of fortune you can receive ranging from good to bad. Don’t worry if you receive a bad fortune, simply tie it onto the special rack or tree on the shrine grounds, and this will ensure that the prediction will not come true. Remember to keep it if you receive a good one.

Omikuji at Inaba Jinja Shrine in Gifu
Omikuji at Inaba Jinja Shrine in Gifu City

Hamaya 


Hamaya (破魔矢) is a decorative wooden arrow sold at shrines to ward off misfortune and attract good luck. It is traditionally only available during the first few days of the year. They are sometimes also called ‘demon-breaking arrows’. Each shrine has its own unique design and they make a very cool decoration for your genkan (entrance at home) or souvenir. Traditionally, they are placed at the north-east and south-west corners of the house to protect against evil spirits. It is believed that these parts of the house are the most susceptible to evil influences. This year is the Year of the Sheep, so hamaya will feature a wooden wishing plaque called an ema (絵馬) with a sheep.

Hamaya from Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu
Hamaya from Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu

Ema Wooden Wishing Plaque
Ema ~ Wooden Wishing Plaque from Kogane Jinja Shrine

Amazake 


Amazake (甘酒) is one of my favourite New Year traditions at a shrine in Japan. It is a sweet traditional Japanese sake that is usually drunk to celebrate a special occasion such as the New Year.

A great way to finish off your hatsumode is by drinking a cup of steaming hot amazake by the bon-fire at the shrine.

Kogane Jinja Homepage


Kitsune at Kogane Jinja Shrine in Gifu
Kogane Jinja

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 5 Most Popular Posts 2014

Japan Australia 2014 Year in Review
Happy New Year everyone, or as they say here in Japan, 明けましておめでとうございます. We hope you have had a great start to the year and all the best for a safe and prosperous year ahead in 2015.

Looking back on 2014, it was another great year for Japan Australia. We now have over 550 posts, which has more than exceeded our expectations when we first started this blog. We also expanded our freelance writing work this year as a travel writer for the new GaijinPot Blog.

You can check my work out here on my author profile John Asano.

The New Year is upon us, so it’s time to reflect and look back on the year that was 2014. Without further to do, here are the most popular blog posts for 2014.

The most popular blog posts for 2014 in order of popularity were:

#1 10 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Japan 


Published on May 5th this post provided some insider tips to help you quickly settle into Japan from your big move overseas. It featured as part of an expat tip campaign run by HiFX.


Read this post


#2 Teaching English in Japan 


Published on January 12th this post highlighted some of the main types of teaching jobs available in Japan as well as the basic requirements. The English teaching industry in Japan is becoming more competitive, so we tried to provide some tips on what recruiters are looking for.


Read this post 

 

 

#3 Sakura Cherry Blossom Ice Cream 


Published on February 15th this post was about a brand new flavour in Japan of the popular Haagen-Dazs ice cream. The flavour was sakura cherry blossom, and it was released to celebrate Haagen-Dazs’s 30th anniversary in Japan. Yum Yum!


Read this post


#4 McDonald’s Japan American Vintage Series 


Published on January 9th this post was our most popular fast-food post for the year. McDonald’s Japan is always coming out with new menu items in order to entice customers and this series was a nostalgic look back to the 50’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Read this post 

#5 10 Tips to Survive Summer in Japan 


Published on July 13th this post provided some tips on how to survive the long hot humid summer in Japan. If you can’t make a quick getaway to the cooler Japan Alps then follow these tips to get some instant heat relief.


Read this post 


There you have it, our most popular blog posts for 2014! I hope you enjoy them and thank you for all your support in 2014. We at Japan Australia hope that 2015 will be even bigger and better. 

Japan Australia 2014 Year in Review

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year’s Traditions and Customs in Japan

Shimekazari
New Year’s or oshogatsu (正月) in Japanese is one of the most important holidays on the calendar in Japan. It is a time to look back to the past and follow the traditional customs of the festive season. Most people will return home to spend the time together with their family, kind of like Christmas in the West. It is also a popular tradition to visit a temple or shrine at midnight on December 31st, as Buddhist temples all around Japan ring their bells a total of 108 times to symbolize the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief and to get rid of the 108 worldly desires.

January 1st or New Year’s Day (元日) is a very fortunate day in Japan. It is meant to be full of joy and happiness with no stress or anxiety. Everything should be clean and you should not work on this day. A popular custom is to watch the first sunrise of the New Year (初日), which is meant to guarantee good luck for the New Year. It is tradition to visit a shrine or temple during oshogatsu for hatsumode (初詣), the first visit of the New Year. The bigger more popular shrines and temples are extremely crowded with people praying for health and happiness. We usually visit Inaba Jinja, which is the biggest and most famous shrine in Gifu City.

Here are some popular traditions and customs that are followed during New Year’s in Japan

Shimekazari 


Shimekazari (しめ飾り) is a traditional New Year’s decoration made out of sacred Shinto rice straw rope, pine twigs, and carefully crafted zigzag-shaped paper strips called shide. Shimekazari is usually hung on the front door, and is used to keep bad spirits away as well as inviting the toshigami (歳神) or Shinto deity to visit. Unlike Christmas decorations which are usually packed up and used the following year, New Year's decorations must be new as they symbolize a brand new start and a move away from the past. It is good luck to hang up the shimekazari straight after Christmas, but no longer than after the 28th of December. It is custom to remove the shimekazari on either January 7th or after the 15th, depending on which area of Japan you live.

Shimekazari
Shimekazari 2014/2015

Shimekazari
Shimekazari 2013/2014

Kadomatsu


Kadomatsu (門松) is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration traditionally placed in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest. They are believed to bring prosperity and good luck for the family. The bamboo symbolizes strength and prosperity, the pine symbolizes long life, and the rope protects against evil spirits. After January 15 the kadomatsu is burned to appease the kami or toshigami and release them.

Kadomatsu
Kadomatsu

Kagami Mochi 


Kagami Mochi (鏡餅) is another traditional decoration that consists of two round mochi (Japanese rice cakes). The smaller rice cake is placed on top of the larger one with a daidai (bitter orange) on top. The two mochi represent the past year and the year ahead with the daidai, which means “generations” in Japanese representing the continuation of a family from one generation to the next. These days you can buy a modern version with the zodiac sign for the coming year on top instead of the bitter orange. This year 2014 was the year of the horse, with the New Year in 2015 being the year of the sheep.

Kagami Mochi
Traditional style Kagami Mochi

Kagami Mochi
2014 Year of the Horse Kagami Mochi

Mochibana 


Mochibana (餅花) is a popular New Year’s decoration that consists of branches decorated with pieces of white and pink mochi. They look like flowering branches of the blossoms in spring, and signal the coming of spring ahead in Japan.

Nengajo 


Nengajo (年賀状) is a Japanese custom of sending a New Year’s Day Card to friends and relatives. It is very similar to our custom of sending Christmas Cards. Japanese people send these so that they arrive on January 1st. It is common to feature the zodiac sign for the coming year on the card.

Toshikoshi Soba 


Toshikoshi Soba (年越しそば) is buckwheat noodles that are eaten on New Year’s Eve and symbolise longevity. It is believed that by eating these long thin noodles you will live a long and healthy life. Toshikoshi means the ending of the old year, and the beginning of the new one. It has become a modern tradition to eat toshikoshi soba while watching TV on New Year’s Eve, with the music competition Kohaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦) the most popular show to watch. To ensure good luck, all the noodles must be polished off before midnight.

Toshikoshi Soba
Toshikoshi Soba

Hatsumode 


Hatsumode (初詣) is the first shrine visit of the New Year to pray for health, happiness and prosperity for the coming year. Most people will make their visit on the first, second, or third day of the year. A common custom is to buy an omikuji, which is a fortune written on a small piece of paper. If the omikuji predicts bad luck, you can tie it onto a tree on the shrine grounds, in order for the prediction not to come true.

Hatsumode at Inaba Jinja in Gifu City
Hatsumode at Inaba Jinja in Gifu City 2014

Omikuji
Omikuji 2014

Osechi Ryori 


Osechi Ryori (御節料理) is traditional Japanese dishes served during New Year celebrations. The tradition started in the Heian Period (794-1185) with each dish having a special meaning. Osechi ryori is served in special boxes called jubako (重箱) and contain food such as konbu (boiled seaweed), kamaboko (fish cakes), kinpira gobo (burdock root), and my personal favourite kuromame (sweetened black beans).

Osechi Ryori
Osechi Ryori

Ozoni 


Ozoni (お雑煮) is a soup made with mochi (rice cakes) traditionally served on New Year’s Day. Our family usually has ozoni for breakfast on New Year’s Day. Ozoni varies from region to region and from household to household.

Ozoni
Ozoni

Otoshidama 


Otoshidama (お年玉) is special money given to children on New Year’s Day. It is handed out in small decorated envelopes by family and relatives. The amount varies depending on the age of the child, but will typically be something like this. 

  • Babies and Pre-Schooler: ¥1,000 (USD$10) 
  • Elementary School Student: ¥3,000 - ¥5,000 (USD$30-50) 
  • Junior High School Student: ¥5,000 - ¥10,000 (USD$50-100)

Mochi 


Mochi (餅) a favourite custom for New Year's is creating mochi or soft rice cakes from boiled sticky rice. This is called mochitsuki (餅つき) and is usually made before New Year’s Day and eaten during the start of New Year’s in January.

Hope you have a great New Year's wherever you are in the world!

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Illuminations in Japan 2014

Nabana no Sato Winter Illuminations
One of the highlights of winter in Japan for me is the spectacular winter illuminations that decorate the Christmas period. Around this time of year, a lot of places put on spectacular night time illuminations. The illuminations usually start in late Autumn and finish around the end of December, but some last until early February. Most are FREE and definitely worth checking out as they are a highlight of winter in Japan.

Some of the most popular and spectacular Winter Illuminations for 2014 include:

Kobe Luminaire 


Kobe Luminaire in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture is a light festival, which is the original and most famous in Japan. The illuminations run for twelve days in December and are turned on for a few hours each evening. They are truly spectacular with each light individually hand painted. Kobe Luminaire started after the Kobe Earthquake in 1995 with the hope to give courage and inspire the people of Kobe. It was such a success that it has continued as an annual event. This year’s theme is “Kobe, City of Dreams and Light”. Kobe Luminaire will run from December 4-15.

When: December 4-15 
Times: Monday to Thursday (6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
             Friday (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
             Saturday (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
             Sunday (5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

Official Website

Image Source

Kobe Luminaire
Kobe Luminaire


Nabana no Sato 


Nabana no Sato is a theme park dedicated to flowers located in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. It has one of Japan’s finest winter illuminations that run for about 5 months from late October to late March. The park is covered in more than 8 million LED lights with the highlight, the spectacular light tunnel. This year’s theme is “Niagara Falls”, with a huge scale illumination of Niagara Falls, which is stunning at about 20 meters in height and 120 meters in width.

When: October 25 2014 – March 31 2015
Times: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Admission: Standard ¥1,500 Winter ¥2,000

Official Website

Nabana no Sato Winter Illuminations
Nabana no Sato


Shirakawa-go 


Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its gassho zukkuri farmhouses. This place has been famous for years due to its thatched roof farmhouses, but the beauty is raised to an even higher level when the houses are lit up in the snow. Spotlights illuminate the snow covered thatched roofs which makes this place look like Santa’s village in the North Pole. It is truly spectacular. This year it will run from mid January to mid February.

When: January 17, 24, 25, 31 February 1, 7, 14
Times: 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Official Website

Shirakawa-go Winter Illuminations
Shirakawa-go


Sapporo Snow Festival 


The Sapporo Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido, is an annual snow festival which is a winter favourite. It is one of the largest winter events in Japan, and is also known as the “Sapporo Yuki Matsuri”. The festival is held each year in early February with dozens of large and amazingly elaborate ice and snow sculptures. The event will be held from February 5-11 in 2015 with the amazing ice sculptures lit at night creating a winter wonderland.

When: February 5-11
Times: Odori Site ~ lit daily until 10 p.m.
             Susukino Site ~ lit daily until 11 p.m.

Official Website

Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Snow Festival


Some spectacular spots around the Tokai Area (Gifu/Aichi/Mie) of Japan are:

Kiso Sansen Park 

Kiso Sansen Park located in Kaizu City, Gifu Prefecture, is a popular urban city park. The park first opened in 1987 and is the largest urban park in Japan. Every winter from early to late December they have a spectacular winter illumination consisting of about 500,000 lights that decorate the park. This year’s theme is ‘Winter Lights Story’.

138 Tower Park

138 Tower Park located in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, is one of the best public parks in Japan. It features a spectacular 138 meter high observation tower with dual arches. From mid-November to late-December the park is decorated with around 500,000 lights creating a spectacular winter illumination. This year’s theme is “Merry Christmas”.

138 Tower Park Winter Illuminations
138 Tower Park
 
Tokyo has quite a few seasonal illuminations spots including:

Shinjuku Southern Terrace, south of JR Shinjuku Station – November 12, 2014 to February 25, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Ginza, Christmas trees along Chuo Street and store illuminations – November 15, 2014, to December 25, 2014 from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Roppongi Hills, Christmas Illumination Event – November 4, 2014 to December 25, 2014 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Tokyo Midtown, Midtown Christmas featuring the “Starlight Garden” – November 13, 2014 to December 25, 2014 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Odaiba, has the “Daiba Memorial Tree" in Odaiba Kaihin Park – November 13, 2014 to March 15, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Tokyo Dome City, 'Promenade of Light' one of Tokyo’s best with over 2.2 million lights– November 6, 2014 to February 15, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Marunouchi, the entire district lights up with champagne lights along Naka-dori Street – November 13, 2014 to February 15, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Most places in Japan will have some kind of winter illuminations, so wherever you are in Japan, you will be able to enjoy this winter tradition.

Winter Illuminations at Nabana no Sato
Winter Illuminations at Nabana no Sato

Sunday, November 16, 2014

American MaleWhore in Tokyo Interview

We are lucky to have the privilege at Japan Australia to interview John Box, the loveable (OK, likeable) main character of the new book, American MaleWhore in Tokyo: The Great White Host. John moved to Tokyo to become a host and live out his version of the modern day American dream. I’m sure many of us have thought about living this dream, but John has actually gone ahead and taken the plunge as a male host in Tokyo.

WARNING! This interview is intended for people who like a laugh and don’t take the world too seriously.


Japan Australia: How long have you lived in Japan? 

John Box: On and off for like seven or eight years now. Every once in a while I philander, but she always takes me back.

Japan Australia: What brought you to Japan? 

John Box: Originally, it was money. I was in need of a job and interested in travel and happened upon an ad in the Village Voice (NYC). Fortunately, there was an outbreak of SARS at the time and only one other dude showed up for the interview. He was like 80 so I got the job.

Japan Australia: So you were the last man standing so to speak. This is your second time in Japan, right?

John Box: Yes, this last time around, it was money and sex. As you’ll find in the book, it struck me that what I really wanted to do with my life was to get paid by chicks to drink, flirt, and do the deed with them. To become the Great White Host.

Japan Australia: What fascinates you most about Japan? 

John Box: Good question. At first it was the booze in vending machines. Unreal! Then it was the used high school girl panties in vending machines. Holla! Now – and this is gonna be a little anti-climactic – it’s probably the TV dramas. They are mind-bogglingly awful. And they just repeat the same crap over and over and over and over. I think that’s the reason why the suicide rate is so high here. Really awful TV.

Japan Australia: How did you get into the writing caper? 

John Box: I kept a journal during my first tour in Japan and it turned into a self-proclaimed smash hit. It’s called Memoirs of a Douchebag and it was a finalist for the 2007 Literary Agents, Publishers, and Book Critics Can Eat a Log of Shit Award.

Japan Australia: Did you make that award up?

JB: No.

Japan Australia: Really?

JB: Yeah, really.

Japan Australia: Seriously? 

JB: Okay, fine. I made it up.

Japan Australia: How come you were only a finalist and not the winner? 

JB: Next question please, John.

Japan Australia: Which writers inspire you?

John Box: Hemingway, Heller, and Vonnegut. And to an extent, Tucker Max. The fact that his writing while occasionally funny is for the most part garbage yet he still rakes in the bucks was without a doubt a big motivator for me.

Japan Australia: I love the cover of the book. Who designed the cover and why did you choose it? 

John Box: Thank you very much! I love the cover as well. Partly because I love the design and more partly because there’s a picture of me on it. It’s based on the cover for my first book, Memoirs of a Douchebag, the design for which was created by a good friend and colleague at Skull & Bones Publishing. I can’t recall his name, but I think he based the background on a White Stripes album. You gotta love brother-sister bands. Keep it in the family, ya know?

Japan Australia: Thank you for your time today, John! 

John Box: No problem. I was pleased as punching a puritan when I found out you’d be interviewing me and it’s been a great experience. Thank you very much for having me!

If you want to hear and find out more about John Box, get your hands on a copy of American MaleWhore in Tokyo. The book is an explicit and groin-grabbingly entertaining story that sheds light on a little known world here in Japan.

American MaleWhore in Tokyo is available in paperback on Amazon and Kindle.

It is also available on Createspace.com



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Top 5 Autumn Colour Spots in Gifu

Autumn Colours at Gifu Park
Gifu Prefecture in the Chubu region of Japan is a great spot to enjoy the colourful Autumn leaves in Japan. We are lucky to be surrounded by mountains in Gifu which means lots of trees, especially beautiful Japanese maple trees. This is a post we shared on the fantastic website, Cheapo Japan, a guide to getting the most out of Japan on a budget.

The best time to view the fall foliage is typically early November to early December. Here are my top 5 spots to see the Autumn leaves in Gifu.

Gujo Hachiman Castle 


Gujo Hachiman Castle perched atop Mount Hachiman in Gujo Hachiman is worth a visit just alone for its beautiful castle, but the colourful Autumn leaves make this experience even more enjoyable. Every Autumn the surrounding grounds of the castle come alive with ablaze of colours. The Autumn leaves contrast beautifully against the white walls of the castle. You can also enjoy the foliage at night when the trees are illuminated from sunset to 9pm.

Address: 659 Hachiman-cho, Yanagimachi, Gujo, Gifu Prefecture 501-4212
Best Time: Early to Late November
Admission: FREE to the surrounding area, 310 yen to enter the castle

Autumn Colours at Gujo Hachiman Castle
Autumn Colours at Gujo Hachiman Castle

Yoro Park 


Yoro Park on the western edge of Gifu Prefecture near Mie Prefecture is a picturesque place situated between the stunning Yoro Mountains and Ibigawa River. The main attraction of the park is the famous Yoro Falls, ranked among the top 100 most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. The park and surrounding area has an impressive collection of Japanese maple trees which make it a breathtaking spot to enjoy the autumn leaves.

Address: 1298-2 Takabayashi, Yoro-cho, Gifu Prefecture
Best Time: Late November to early December
Admission: FREE to Yoro Park

Autumn Colours at Yoro Park
Autumn Colours at Yoro Park

Oyada Maple Valley 


The Oyada Maple Valley in Mino City is considered one of the best locations in Gifu to appreciate the autumn leaves. The valley which includes Oyada Shrine is surrounded by around 3,000 Japanese maple trees, some more than 1,000 years old. The contrast of the vermilion reds, apricot oranges and golden yellows of the trees against the traditional carvings of the shrine is magnificent. It is a sight not to be missed in Autumn.

Address: Oyada, Mino City, Gifu Prefecture
Best Time: Mid November to early December
Admission: FREE to the shrine and surrounding valley

Autumn Colours at Oyada Maple Valley
Autumn Colours at Oyada Maple Valley

Ena Valley 


The Ena Valley in Ena City is a must see location in Autumn. The red and yellow of the beautiful maple leaves create a mesmerizing reflection in the emerald-green water of the river. The best spot to enjoy this breath-taking sight is from a sightseeing boat on the water. Make sure to take a soak in the hot spring bath to continue the fabulous view. I recommend the early evening to see the sun setting in all its glory.

Address: Okudo, Oi-cho, Ena City, Gifu Prefecture
Best Time: Early to Mid November
Admission: FREE to the valley

Gifu Park 


Gifu Park located right under Mount Kinka in Gifu City is where samurai warlord, Oda Nobunaga made his famous palace and home. The park is stunning in Autumn with the whole park coming alive in brilliant red and yellow colours. Gifu Castle at the summit of Mount Kinka is also spectacular when surrounded by Autumn colours. There is a Chrysanthemum Flower Show held every year from late October to late November.

Address: Omiya-cho, Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture
Best Time: Mid to Late November
Admission: FREE to the Gifu Park (Gifu Park picture)


Autumn Colours at Gifu Park
Autumn Colours at Gifu Park


Autumn Colours Forecast 2014 in Japan

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