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Friday, November 29, 2013

Oyada Maple Valley in Mino City, Gifu

The Oyada Maple Valley in Mino City is considered one of the best locations in Gifu to appreciate the beautiful autumn leaves. The viewing of Autumn leaves in Japan is called momijigari (紅葉狩り), and is an annual event in which thousands of people visit locations all over Japan seeking out the best spots to see the spectacular colours. This time of the year almost rivals the famous cherry blossom season in spring and is very beautiful.

Oyada Shrine is surrounded by around 3,000 Japanese maple trees (yama momiji) that set the valley around the shrine ablaze in Autumn with brilliant colours. The area is filled with vermillion reds, apricot oranges and golden yellows of the season. Some of the trees are more than 1000 years old. The contrast between the colourful leaves and the traditional carvings of the shrine is magnificent and make this place a sight not to be missed during the fall season in Japan.

There is also a festival vibe to the area during the season with many local food vendors selling all types of festival food and local Gohei-mochi.

The Oyada Maple Valley was designated a National Natural Monument of Japan in 1930.

The Autumn colours are usually at their best in mid to late November.

Oyada Maple Valley in Mino

The Starting Point at the Entrance to the Shrine

Stone Lantern at Oyada Shrine

The Main Shrine Entrance

Komainu at Oyada Shrine

Autumn Leaves at Oyada Shrine

Food Vendors at Oyada Shrine

More Food Vendors at Oyada Shrine

The Steep path to the Main Shrine at the Top

Autumn Leaves around one of the smaller Shrines

The valley is tucked away in a rural part of Mino City with parking available for cars. Parking is 300 yen. Public Transportation is also available with buses from Mino Station. Take the Gifu Bus on the Takami Line (高美線) to Oyada Jinja Mae bus stop (大矢田神社前) which is a 30 minute bus ride.

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  1. Now I'm more convinced than ever that autumn should last for 12 months each year. :)

    1. Thanks Ru, I love this time of the year and there are just so many great places in Gifu to appreciate its beauty. We are lucky to be surrounded by mountains here :)

  2. Lovely.

    Yeah, autumn should be at least 6 months a year. The other half is for spring. ;)

    1. Now that would be perfect Lina, especially if we could squeeze the summer festivals and fireworks in as well :)

  3. Hello,

    I just found out your blog while searching for the info for mybjapan trip this November.

    I would like to ask a few questions :

    1. To go to Oyada Shrine which train station is better, Gifu St or Mino-Ota St. ? My journey from Nagoya to Gifu (day 1) and then to Takayama (day 2)

    2. Can you suggest the best place to experience autumn foliage in between Gifu and Takayama that not far from JR Train.

    I'm planning to take Takayama - Hokuriku Pass for my trip. Owh btw my journey will be on 26hb Nov (arrive at Chubu Airport) until 3hb Dis (depart from Kansai Airport)

    1. Hello Hidayah! Thank you for your comment. The best way to get there on public transport would be to take a Gifu Bus (Takami Line) from JR Gifu Station to Oyada Jinja-mae, then walk 30 minutes to the shrine.

      The best place to experience autumn foliage in between Gifu and Takayama that is not far from the JR train station would be Gero Onsen. It is a beautiful hot spring town that is compact enough to explore on foot and rated one of the best onsen towns in all of Japan. In Gero Onsen you can check out the autumn foliage at Gero Onsen Gassho-mura http://www.gero-gassho.jp/gassho/ and Ujo Park.


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