A beautiful view of autumn leaves may be seen from late October to early November in Takanose Valley near Naga in Tokushima Prefecture.
This sight became famous in 1980, when it received the most votes in a poll for the 100 (Best) Tourist Spots in Tokushima. The poll was part of the commemoration of the prefecture’s 100th anniversary.
'Kouyou-no-nishiki' (a tapestry of autumn leaves) became the specialty of this region, along with the Kitou cedar and the Kitou yuzu.
The autumn leaves cover the sharply-sloping sides of the valley, which was formed by the headstreams of the Nakagawa River. This magnificent view stuns all those who see it. The turning maple leaves are especially beautiful, making the valley the best-loved scenic spot in Shikoku.
In other seasons, too, Takanose Valley is attractive for the tender green leaves of spring, the deep green leaves of summer, and the snow-covered landscapes of winter. This makes the area appealing to tourists all year round.
The view of the dense trees closing in on Fudousawa Creek deep inside Tsubakuro Valley in Fukushima Prefecture is splendid. It is also one of the most famous fall-leaf viewing spots along the Bandai-aduma skyline, as well as being one of the eight great Aduma viewing spots.
The name Tsubakuro comes from the fact that Asian spotted martins (or iwatsubame in Japanese) often used to fly through and above the valley.
A new Fudousawa Bridge, rebuilt in 2002, allows for visitors to look down on the narrow valley from 80m above. The view of the valley during autumn is breathtaking and the contrast between the variously colored leaves and the white waters of the creek is quite beautiful.
Tachihada is a beauty spot in Kusu, Oita Prefecture, and is also known as Sunset Pass. From the Prefectural Highway Mt Kusu that runs alongside it for about 1km, one can see the rocky hills.
Tachihada is a famous spot within Ura-Yaba Valley. In autumn, the area takes on a red color that makes it even more beautiful. The rocky mountains reach up and appear to touch the skies while the green vines add to the wonderful sight. This view harmonizes with the farmhouses that dot the foothills to make a pastoral landscape that seems straight out of a folk tale.
The area is rich in edible wild plants such as bracken, royal fern and 'udo'. At 'Interactive Teahouse', fresh vegetables and dumpling soup are served and many tourists enjoy the different tastes of the seasons. Persimmon trees and local dwellings further complement the landscape. It is indeed a friendly mountain village.
Tachihada is full of scenes that you will never tire of seeing.
Hisetsu-no-taki is located in Asari, Kihou-cho, Minamimuro, Mie Prefecture, and is 30m high and 12m wide.
In olden times, the waterfall was called the 'waterfall of the valley of bamboo' because of the thick bamboo forest in the valley where it falls. The name, Hisetsu-no-taki, derives from Yorinobu Tokugawa's poem written after seeing the waterfall:
Passing over many mountains the river is rich
The surroundings are all of a deep autumn color
One protruding rock being caressed by the water
When the wind blows
The scattering droplets dance like a snow swirl.
While being the easiest waterfall to reach in Kihou-cho, its wonderful surroundings make it seem as though it is a grand waterfall hidden deep inside the mountains.
Asazato Shrine is located to the east of the waterfall, and the stream that leads to the fall runs through the shrine's sacred grounds.
The sight of the water droplets scattering like a snow swirl as they strike the undulating and protruding rock-face gives the observer a subconscious sense of an ethereal, profound atmosphere that seems almost unreal.
When autumn arrives, the leaves of deciduous trees turn color, but because of the strong impression of leaves turning red, the autumnal color-changing of leaves is generally called 'kouyou (red/reddening leaves)'. Accurately defined, leaves that turn yellow are called 'ouyou (yellow/yellowing leaves)', while leaves that turn brown are called 'katsuyou (brown/browning leaves)' and so on, respectively.
No matter the color, the substance that is said to have a large part in causing leaves to turn color is a pigment called anthocyanin.
The color-changing of leaves begins when weather with a minimum temperature of 8 degrees Celsius continues for several days. When the minimum temperature dips below 5 degrees Celsius, the color-changing process becomes faster. The best conditions for beautiful color-changing are, long sunshine duration, strong UV rays, appropriate humidity, and a large difference between day temperature and night temperature.
Almost all of the famous 'kouyou' locations are in environments where these requirements are adequately fulfilled. Along with 'hanami (cherry-blossom viewing)' in spring, the 'kouyougari (red-leaf watching)' of autumn is also a nationwide event.
The Tateyama Mountain Range (Renpo) is a group of mountains that are an average of 3000 meters high. Tateyama-renpo is the all-inclusive term for the mountain range to the west of the Kokubu River in the Northern Alps. The southern side goes as far as Mount Kitanomata and Mount Kurobegoro, which is situated on the edge of Gifu prefecture. Moreover, the northern and southern ranges are linked to Mount Mitsumatarenge.
The fantastic alpine scenery can be enjoyed from trains, alpine buses, trolley buses, cable cars and cableways. There is an endless stream of visitors throughout the year.
In spring, the Tateyama Kokubu alpine route is opened and anyone can enjoy the 20m-high walls of snow lining it. In summer, the climate is cooler than in the plains and is perfect for trekking and hiking. At this time, the lake reflects the magnificent view of the ranges. In autumn, the fall foliage is beautiful. In winter, the ranges turn completely white and it is the most beautiful period of the year here. In late November, the sight of the first snow is beautiful.