It’s finally November, which means… It’s time for viewing autumn leaves in Tokyo!
Autumn is my absolute favorite season! There’s just something deeply captivating about the fiery reds and bright yellows that radiate so brilliantly from the leaves as they transition to their eventual fate.
To me, it feels like they are trying to tell us something. “I may be dying, but I’m not going down without a fight! I’LL DAZZLE THE HECK OUT OF YOU IF THAT’S THE LAST THING I DO!”
You say I’m crazy and they’re just a result of decreasing chlorophyll present in the leaves due to shorter daylight hours in autumn yadda yadda? Well, here’s what I say to you: PSSSSHHHH. *grumbles* People have no imagination anymore these days.
My greatest autumn fantasy is to find a place where I can be surrounded by autumn foliage, enveloped by the glorious reds and yellows. Sorry greens, you guys are not welcome.
Like a tunnel of autumn colors! Or a small clearing ringed with red and yellow trees, and a bed of crisp autumn leaves all around! Or a looooooong stretch of trees lined up on both sides of a pathway! All these preferably secluded so I don’t have to share. Haha.
I’ve searched for a place like that in Japan but unfortunately I haven’t really found the place of my dreams yet :( Most places were disappointing, with just a few splotches of autumn color scattered amidst the evergreens. Hakone, I’m looking at you.
However, I DID find a place that comes pretty darn close!!!
Uh huh. I know.
By the way, I didn’t take the above picture. Well, actually maybe I did. This is a photo of a postcard that I bought from the park lol.
This is what it really looks like with the crowd:
Haha, are you dizzy yet?
They’re really gorgeous in person! I’ll OOOOH-AAAAH when I see the trees, take a few billion photos, look on in stunned, silent admiration, reluctantly pull self away and walk on, see new trees, OOOOH-AAAAH all over again.
Rinse and repeat.
The park is really huge! There are bicycles for rent but I don’t recommend it, because the bicycle paths (11km in total) circle the outer part of the park, away from most of the best colors. Just walk and slowly take in the sights!
Where is this?
Showa Memorial Park, or the expanded full name of Kokuei Showa Kinen Koen (国営昭和記念公園). This park is located just 30 mins via the special rapid train from downtown Tokyo!
How to get here?
Take a train from Shinjuku to Tachikawa [route is here for reference] and walk to the park (~10 mins).
Best time to view autumn leaves here?
Depends greatly on weather changes. But generally around early-mid November. You can check out the Autumn color reports here for an idea of how the leaves are doing in Japan.
There’s a 400 yen entrance fee, but absolutely worth it, obviously. Bring along your own food and have a picnic in the vast park!
p.s.: In case you were wondering, these photos were from *cough* last year… Better late than never! :X