Japan 2013 – Colours of Autumn. A Pictorial

We went on another “honeymoon” to Japan in October 2013.

In a way, it was the honeymoon we really wanted. But we also appreciated the NZ honeymoon.

Our original plan was to get married in October and then head to Japan and see the autumn colours.

But we had to bring the wedding forward for various reasons, and that meant that Japan as a destination was out (wrong time for autumn colours), so we ended up in New Zealand instead (which was GREAT as well).

But we wanted to go to Japan. So we did.


My plan was always to trek the Omoshiroyama-Kogen to Yamadera route.

This 7 km route would take us 2 km along the river, before we got back on the road for the next 5 km.

The trek along the river in Autumn was beautiful.

The trek started out very promising with this view of the waterfall at the start of the trail.

But a little further on, there was another waterfall. Except this one was washing over the path we were to take.

Yes, our feet were going to get wet.

I took off my shoes and socks and crossed that barefoot. It was the best way to keep my shoes dry for the rest of the trek.


There were more “wet” spots where the trail dissolved into the river (and you walk along the river), before re-emerging further on.



   But the view was lovely.


You can read more about the Omoshiroyama trek here.

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After about 2 km trekking along and across the river (there were about 6 bridges criss-crossing the river), the trail leads upwards towards the road. Turn right to head towards Yamadera.

On the right is a picture of part of the road to Yamadera.

It’s a small, unassuming road winding its way apologetically between the trees.

The trees in their turn graciously seem to part just enough to accommodate the little road.



Onuma Park


We had been to Onuma Park (Onumakoen) before in Spring. Onuma in Autumn was spectacular.


This was idiot-proof photography at its most indulgent. You can close your eyes and snap away, and every picture will be gorgeous! (No you can’t. That’s just hyperbole. But it almost seems that way.)













Goryokaku is the star-shaped, man-made “island” that was the foundation of an European-style fort in Hakodate.

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However, it has since been turned into a park. Autumn in Goryokaku. Gorgeous.

DSCF5383Goryokaku Park is within the city of Hakodate and can be access by the Tram system. Take any tram that will stop at Goryokaku-koen tram stop. From Hakodate JR station, Tram #2, or #5 would bring you there.

From that tram station, it is a 10 minutes walk or so.

The park closes at 6 pm so do take that into consideration. However in Autumn, the sun sets before 5, so the light starts to go at about 4.45 pm.

There is also a tower (pictured below) from which you can see the whole star-shape island but although we have been to the park twice, we have not yet gone up the tower. Maybe on our third trip.





I think it’s 400 yen per person admission. But I’m not sure.

The park is lovely, but having been there before, this time our visit was more targeted (I was looking for trees and scenes in Autumn colours).

But if it is your first time, you may want to spend a little more time exploring all aspects of the park and wonder about the defence of a star-shaped fort.



One last picture of Goryokaku park.



Asahiyama Park

Asahiyama Park is the forested hill beside Asahiyama Zoo, a.k.a. Asahikawa Zoo (Asahiyama Zoo is the official name, but most people refer to the zoo as Asahikawa Zoo).

After a visit to the zoo, we trekked the easy uphill path to the top where there are three TV station antennas.

The leaves on the trees had changed colours.






DSCF5708We took another trail down from a pavilion. It was a foot path (rather than the vehicular road we came up by).

The path was wide, covered with fallen leaves, and made for a soft walking path.

At the bottom was a temple… at least I think it is a temple or a shrine.

Maybe it is just a private home.


Then we were back at the carpark of the Zoo.


Tokiwa Park

From the Heiwa Dori shopping street there is a “park connector” that would take you to Tokiwa Park.

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There is a lake in the park.

And a shrine.








The pictures below were taken in low light. The street lamps had come on, it was getting dark, but my Nokia had no problem.
























Odori Park

Odori Park is the big central park that runs along the Main Street (“Odori”) of Sapporo city.


In a way it reminds me of Singapore… except for the autumn colours and the cooler climate.

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Odori park joins a canal which has been landscaped and beautified (“parkified?”).



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