My favourite season in Japan is Autumn. Though I had written about Autumn a while ago, I could not resist writing yet another post this year about this beautiful season.
Autumn is one of the best seasons in Japan. Nature’s best colours are on display. The weather is pleasant.Just not the season to sit indoors on a weekend and miss seeing the beauty of nature. This is usually the time that we like to go exploring the places that one doesn’t find on any tourist maps. Sometimes we end up finding some beautiful places just by chance.
On a recent public holiday, we decided to visit Kita-ibaraki in the neighbouring Ibaraki prefecture. We wanted to see the famed hexagonal building “Rokkakudo” located on a cliff overlooking the Azura coast. When we reached the place, we were surprised to see the entrance closed. The March 11th earthquake had caused substantial damage to the structure and as such the building had to be pulled down. We looked in the Ibaraki guide map hoping to find some other place to visit. We came across a place called Hanozono Gorge which we had not been to before.
Hanozono Gorge is a short drive from Kitaibaraki city. On the way we passed by the Mizunuma Dam.
The drive was spectacular because of all the autumn colours we saw along the way. When we reached the Hanozono shrine at the end of the road, it was a sight to behold.
Iwaki city's Shiramizu Amidado temple has a beautiful garden which is at its best in autumn.
On one weekend, we visited the Natsuigawa gorge on the outskirts of Iwaki city.
The road along Natsuigawa river is a pleasant drive in any season.
In autumn the colourful trees add a sparkle to the drive. The Kagoba no Taki waterfall is a must stop.
The rocky backdrop adds to the beauty of the place. Driving further we found that Setogaro Gorge, a lovely place to visit in any season, was closed, apparently after the earthquake. We had been to Setogaro last year in summer and it is good spot for small hikes along the stream.
There are many such offbeat places all over Japan. Go ahead and explore.