Quarterly Newsletter: Autumn colours in Japan

September 1, 2011

in JNTO Newsletter

Just as the Japanese people love cherry blossoms in spring, so too are they fond of the stunning blend of red and yellow hues in autumn. Coloured autumn leaves are called koyo in Japanese and they draw as many crowds in their season as cherry blossoms do in spring. The word momiji-gari is used for the custom of visiting scenic areas all over the country to find the best spot to view the stunning blend of yellow, orange and red leaves. The season typically lasts from September through to early December, depending on the weather and location. Below is a list of some of the many autumn leaf viewing spots worth visiting.

  • Lake Towada, Aomori Prefecture – Located in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, the lake is one of Japan‟s most popular autumn leaf viewing spots.
  • Mt. Takao, Tokyo – One of Tokyo‟s most popular autumn foliage viewing spots, it is considered a sacred mountain and has been a centre of worship for more than 1200 years offering beautiful scenery, interesting temple and attractive hiking opportunities, all within 50mins from central Tokyo.

Japan Now Trip Report: Japan’s Hidden Beauty

  • Arashiyama, Kyoto –View the leaves on the mountain from Togetsukyo Bridge or enjoy the spectacular foliage along the Hozu River from a boat or from the Sagano Scenic Railway.
  • Momijidani, Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture –A valley filled with bright red maple leaves.
  • Daikozenji, Kiyama, Saga Prefecture –Known for its brilliant maple and azalea trees, the beautiful red leaves against the old thatch roof are picturesque.
  • Kanka Valley, Kagawa Prefecture – said to be one of the three most beautiful valleys in Japan. You can walk along the promenade, or enjoy the view from the ropeway that runs between the steep cliffs.

For updates on Japan‟s koyo season visit here.

DFAT Travel Advice for Japan lowered again

The Australian Department of own security”, which is back to plant and areas designed as Foreign Affairs and Trade has the usual, pre-earthquake level. In planned evacuation zones, and the lowered the Travel Advice for addition, areas that have higher directly affected coastal areas of Japan again on 9 September advice than normal are within the northern Honshu.

The advice for Japan 80km precautionary zone around Read the full advice on DFAT‟s overall is the lowest “Be alert to the Fukushima nuclear power website here.

Channel 7 Sunrise’s Grant Denyer visits Japan

Japan National Tourism Organization in conjunction with the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, Jetstar and the City of Kyoto proudly supported CHANNEL 7 SUNRISE‟s visit to Japan between August 23rd and 26th, 2011. In that period, Sunrise‟s weather presenter, Mr. Grant Denyer reported LIVE on Japan‟s popular destinations and attractions.

He visited Tokyo‟s Tsukiji Fish Studio Park, played games with Market enjoying fresh tuna sashimi; met a rickshaw man in traditional town Asakusa feeling his high spirited energy; challenged sumo wrestlers; experienced Japan‟s heartfelt hospitality through relaxing in onsen (hot springs) in Hakone; rode the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto where he starred in his own samurai movie at Toei KyotoStudio Park, played games with Maiko at Gion Higashi “Tomikiku” teahouse and met some lovely locals at Osaka Castle.

Japan Now Trip Report: Japan’s Hidden Beauty

This report is based on an Australian’s recent adventures.

Like a precious pearl hidden from the world inside a rugged volcanic scarred oyster, Japan has a beauty you don‟t know exists till you‟ve had your eyes opened. Within the 1000‟s of layers of culture and history there lies something of beauty for everyone no matter how deep you scratch. An entrenched social humility makes the Japanese people sincerely humble & hospitable.

The prevalence of English and their willingness to help someone in need negate any fears one has about the communication barrier. It’s a land of lush greenery, swaying bamboo and countless geometric rice paddies shimmering bright green hues as gentle winds dance over them.

With beautiful blue skies above, sparkling rivers meander through densely forested mountain sides. Ancient Shinto shrines beside rivers and seas and high up on mountains pay homage to a highly sophisticated ancestry with a passionate respect for life and the Gods that created it. Sites linked by pilgrimage paths traversing great mountain ranges lined with trees nearly a thousand years old are of great cultural and spiritual significance.

Cities have become modernised but still have an aura of cultural heritage from centuries past. Any length of visit to Japan will only leave oneself wanting more and a yearning to once again return & discover more about what these enigmatic ancient lands have to offer.

Special Thanks to Rhett Ericsen -Miller!

JTB’s new tour: The Ultimate Japan Food Tour

JTB is bringing together 2010 Australian Master Chef Winner Adam Liaw, Iron Chefs Hiroyuki Sakai and Kenichi Chen, and renowned restaurant critic Simon Thomsen for this new “Ultimate Japan Food Tour”. Travelling the length of Japan‟s main islands of Hokkaido and Honshu the tour will visit the most amazing sites, such as Sapporo, Otaru, Mt. Youtei, Tokyo, Hakone, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Yokohama, and sample the most divine culinary delights. With return Business class airfares on Qantas, staying at luxurious Hilton and other 5 star properties, visiting Iron Chef‟s restaurants in Tokyo, special master classes performed by Adam Liaw, dining in boutique restaurants and bars and more makes this tour absolutely unique. Sounds too good to miss?

Call 1800 105 451 to enquire/ book or visit the dedicated website here.

Japanese Gardens in Autumn Tour

A small group Japan Garden Tour of Kyoto plus the Inland Sea and Shodoshima island, fully escorted by an Australian Tour Director as well as an English speaking Japanese Tour Manager, who can tell you all about Kyoto and take you into the hidden treasures that you would never find without assistance.

This unusual 12 days of exploring gardens, parks, temples, villages and rural countryside, seeking the wonderful colours of autumn leaves, will take you to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. 4- star accommodation is included as well as a stay at a traditional Japanese style ryokan.

November is an impressive time to wander around the gardens, parks and temple grounds of Kyoto, Nara, Takamatsu, Okayama and Shodoshima. A special appointment has been made to where visitors participate in a meditation ceremony with the Saihoji monks before a leisurely stroll through this quiet and tranquil garden, the epitome of a true Japanese Zen style landscape garden.

Tour Commences on Wednesday 23 November.
For bookings and enquiries visit Tours Gallery‟s website here.

Secrets of Japan 15-days Tour

FREE WITH CATHAY PACIFIC on all SECRETS OF JAPAN departures Oct, Nov. S class only. A journey for those who want a comprehensive snapshot of Japan, with its highlights and diversities, taking you to famous cities, rural towns, traditional villages, and ancient wonders in Kyoto and rustic Takayama. Hotels are modern, centrally located, with private western style bathrooms, air-conditioning and TV.

Your tour cost includes a two-week Japan Rail Pass to enable us to cover longer distances between cities in comfortable soft-seating in air-conditioned carriages. Tour is escorted by both a Western tour leader, based on a Takayama City ©Takayama City Tourism minimum of seven travellers, and a local English-speaking guide in each location. Groups are never more than 18 travellers in size.

Departure Dates for 2011: 15 October, 12 November.
For bookings and enquiries contact Travel Indochina here.

2012 Snow Festival and Ski Family package in Appi

KIDS not only STAY free, but they also EAT & SKI free as well! 5 night Appi ski package including: 5 nights in Appi Grand Villa, JR East 4day flexi pass, return transfers from JR Appi Kogen Station, 30% off Ski rental discount voucher and 4 day lift pass. APPI is a family and foreigner friendly ski resort with a hotel complex located at the base of the ski runs with ski- in ski-out access. Excellent facili- ties including onsen, ski school, ski rental, a variety of bars and restaurants and fun activities. For full details and to book contact Experience Japan at or visit their website here.

Tourism Briefs

Smart innovation and cutting edge technologies

Discover and experience the latest in Japanese technology at CEATEC JAPAN 2011 to be held in Tokyo on October 4-8. CEATEC JAPAN 2011 will be configured into special exhibition stages and zones with different objectives. These stages and zones will provide visitors with more effective ways to not only gather information but also better experience what the exhibits have to offer. A wide variety of exhibition items ranging from electronic components and devices to end products will be divided into zones per categories base on the exhibited product and service features.
Register and learn more here.

National Park Resort Villages of Japan: Kyukamura Hotels

This is not another chain of resort hotels. All of the 36 villages are favourably situated within the territories of National Parks. For example, in Hokkaido there is a hotel located on Lake Shikotsu and in Shizuoka Prefecture, there is a hotel located in the Fuji- Hakone-Izu National Park. Situated amongst nature, these hotels are places where guests can stay longer, get closer to vast wilderness and engage in a variety of recreational activities. To find a destination of your choice and have a great holiday visit their website here.

Hiroshima Tourist Information

Hiroshima City, facing the Seto Inland Sea, is one of the most prominent cities in the Chugoku region, and a center of the administration and economy of Hiroshima Prefecture. Six rivers flow through the city, so it is often called the “City of Water.” It was devastated by an atomic bomb in World War II. All of the buildings in the surrounding area were destroyed. Hiroshima, where the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku Dome) miraculously remained standing, is internationally known as the “City of Peace.”

Hiroshima also offers a number of gastronomical pleasures, including oysters that are said to have been cultured there since the 16th century, and Hiroshima-style ‘okonomi-yaki,’ unique flour crepes fried with vegetables and noodles that are slightly different in flavor at each restaurant.

When autumn comes, maple leaves turn a deep red color. In Hiroshima the best season arrives from mid-October to mid- November. Mitaki (literary meaning three falls) temple is famous for the beautiful colored leaves. It is close to the city center. The sound of the stream adds to the relaxing atmosphere and the beautiful autumn scenery. Out of town in Miyajima, the Itsukushima Shrine, a well- known world heritage is also a famous place to enjoy the changing colours of autumn. Find out more on their site here.

Miyajima Public Aquarium is open againRenewed on August 1st, this architectural museum with tiled roof, offers mainly displays of various creatures of the Seto islands sea. Hiroshima is famous for oysters as an indigenous product. So there is also a tank of water that displays oyster rafts to cultivate them. See here for access and tickets information.

Hakuba – fun activities for every season

Hakuba is a highland resort, stretching out from the foot of the Hakuba-Sanzan Mountains in northwestern Nagano, where skiing, trekking and all kinds of other sports and activities throughout the year can be enjoyed. The magnificent view of the Northern Japan Alps and other beautiful mountains are the most recommended feature of this area. Visit Hakuba‟s website and discover your perfect adventure.

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