Sunday, December 19, 2010

{koyo in japan}

fall is one of my favorite seasons! its when you start getting lovely cool weather, bring out a nice woolen sweaters and when the leaves turn colour. when i stayed in the states, i'd take a drive down to blue mountain and drive past the ridges that are turning red. it was such a treat!!

fortunately, fall leaves (koyo) watching is very popular in japan! there are even weekly autumn reports so you can keep track of which area has gone red! truth is, it is everywhere. in our daily ride to work, we cycle by rows and rows of beautiful trees that turn red by the day and flutters leaves occasionally. but true to the japanese style to rank everything in life, here are the top spots to enjoy a little spot of red.

two hours on the bullet train into the countryside...

and we saw imperfection at its finest..

the mountains were covered in all shades of reds, oranges and yellows.. i wish i could pick up some watercolours to paint a picture! instead, i quietly inhaled it all.

nikko is known for two things.. their japanese shrines and kegon falls. lake chuzenji and their onsens are famous with the locals too! i'd love to come back another time and spent a long weekend at lake chuzenji, hike a little and take everything in slowly.

kegon falls is 100 m tall. you take a really long elevator ride to the base and see it from below. if, unlike us, you wake up before noon and catch it with a little more sun, you get awesome rainbows in your shots too! totally worth springing the extra 500 yen to see it from below..

never too cold for ice-creams...

chotto-matte....can i just pause to rave about how awesome it is to slurp on a bowl of piping hot ramen in cold weather? and how cool it is that almost every ramen place around serves good ramen? nikko's local specialty is yuba, so i was keen to try! they serve is in soba, in hot pot, with rice. and turns out, it's a well acquainted old pal of mine - "fu zok"!! that awesome thing that floats around in barley & ginko drinks and teochew porridge!!! love love love!!

between the little japanese town and its main shrines is the Shinkyo (sacred bridge), a red lacquered span that arches gracefully across the daiya river.

being the awesome tourists we were, we paid entrance at the FIRST checkpoint we saw and realized that we had missed out on the famous shrines COMPLETELY. and bought entrance to the garden instead.

a serene and impeccably manicured garden... so gorgeous we walked around about 5 times and i added a tonne of leaves to my collection.

say hi to the boy!

im sure i'll go back to nikko another day. its a little less touristy than kyoto but it'll be a shame to miss out on this!


  1. omgawd! the colours are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    lovely lovely pictures!

  2. the scenery is beautiful! such colourful leaves :)

  3. i feel so blessed to be in such a crazily busy city and yet a stone throw away from such breathtaking nature!!
    something i kinda missed back in singapore! :)

  4. hahah! is that a thumbs down symbol or is my eyes playing tricks!!
    thanks thanks! daniel will be proud!

  5. oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    *dies of embarrasement*
    i totally meant a THUMBS UP!! O_O
    D should consider taking photography seriously!

  6. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! i meant a thumbs up!!

  7. gorgeous colours!!! Love autumn!!! Chuzenji is definitely worth a stay... I stayed there last year and then my parents went subsequently with their friends whilst on their private onsen tour.. stayed at this amazing place called Hana-An... definitely worth a splurge :) OOoooooh We are gonna be in Kyoto for NYE!! Can't wait hehe :)

  8. ahhhh!!! i'll definitely do that next spring or autumn then!! it looks like a really chilled out town!
    wow you've been to japan LOTS!!! :) have a blast in kyoto! let me know if they have fireworks!! we're heading up to ski resorts with the boys...

  9. hahaha! he DOES take his photographer seriously!! but just not professionally.
    he still needs more practice! and also wondering if the $$ is sustainable..

  10. so gorgeous...and yes, living in japan is awesome for the fact that you can go so quickly from a city to such beauty!

  11. new york too! :) do you have such scenery in HK?


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