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  1. VOL.9 | FALL 2019
  2. AUTUMN LEAVES IN NARA & MIE

AUTUMN LEAVES IN NARA & MIE

DAZZLING FALL FOLIAGE IN AND AROUND KANSAI

For those looking for spectacular fall foliage locations in Kansai and central Japan, choices abound in Nara Prefecture and adjacent Mie Prefecture. Some feature photo-worthy traditional architecture or magnificent natural settings, while others have yet to be fully discovered by international tourists. Kintetsu Railway Co. (https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/) trains and buses are a convenient and easy mode of transportation to reach these destinations. Discount passes are available. Here, we introduce some prime Nara and Mie spots worth visiting to fully enjoy the autumnal season.


Nara: Tanzan Shrine

This shrine in Sakurai is renowned for its wooden 13-Story Pagoda, which is designated as an Important Cultural Property, the only one of its kind in the world. Visitors can enjoy the fall foliage framing the pagoda, which was originally built in 678 and then rebuilt in 1532.

Best time to see: Mid-Nov. to early Dec.

Access: Via bus from Sakurai Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line

URL: https://www.visitnara.jp/venues/A00518/


Nara: Mitarai Valley

In this valley in the village of Tenkawa, visitors can stroll along a walking trail while enjoying the striking contrast between the autumnal foliage and an emerald green river. The suspension bridge offers views of the waterfall below.

Best time to see: End of Oct. to mid-Nov.

Access: By bus from Shimoichiguchi Station on the Kintetsu Yoshino Line

URL: https://www.visitnara.jp/venues/A00538/


Nara: Odaigahara Plateau

Part of Yoshino-Kumano National Park, this plateau in the village of Kamikitayama offers magnificent landscapes featuring brightly hued leaves in addition to a stunning panoramic view.

Best time to see: Mid- to end of Oct.

Access: Via bus from Yamato-Kamiichi Station on the Kintetsu Yoshino Line

URL: https://www.visitnara.jp/venues/A01260/


Nara: Murouji temple

With much of this temple’s architecture being designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties, visitors can go to Murouji temple in Uda for autumn leaves centered around the Taiko Bridge, the stone-paved Yoroi-zaka stairs and Kanjo-do Main Hall.

Best time to see: Mid-Nov. to early Dec.

Access: By bus from Muroguchi-Ono Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line

URL: https://www.visitnara.jp/venues/A00527/


Mie: Mount Gozaisho

Visitors can appreciate the changing red and yellow leaves from the base to the top of this 1,212-meter mountain. A 12-minute ropeway ride is a must to fully enjoy the sweeping scenery. There are five lookout platforms and observatories.

Best time to see: Mid-Oct. to end of Nov.

Access: By bus from Yunoyama-onsen Station on the Kintetsu Yunoyama Line

URL: https://www.kankomie.or.jp/en/spot/detail_3236.html


Mie: Akame 48 Falls

AKAME 48 WATERFALLS ASSOCIATION

A ravine in the city of Nabari is home to more than 50 waterfalls collectively known as the Akame 48 Falls. Visitors can enjoy the falls and blazing foliage while walking along a 4-kilometer path.

Best time to see: Early to end of Nov.

Access: Via bus from Akameguchi Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line

URL: https://www.kankomie.or.jp/en/spot/detail_1687.html