Korankei in Asuke, Toyota city in Aichi prefecture, is a famous autumn colors spot where over 4000 maple trees color the ravine. Many visitors from all over the country go there every autumn to enjoy the scenic views! The beauty of the bright red colored world cannot be expressed in words!! I will try to introduce at least a little of the excitement that Korankei brings. Let’s go to this shining world where the autumn colors cover the sky, the earth and the river!
The autumn colors tunnel in Korankei
Korankei is a ravine created by Tomoegawa river in Toyota city’s Asuke district, part of Aichi Kogen Quasi-National Park. The place is known as one of the best autumn colors spots in the Tokai region, with over 4000 maple trees turning red between mid-November and early December every year. Many people go there to enjoy the splendid view. Let me first introduce the history of the ravine. In 1634 the high priest of Kojakuji temple planted maple and cedar trees along the road to the temple next to Tomoegawa river. Later, between the end of Taisho period and Showa period, many more maple trees were planted by local people to produce the ravine’s current look. The name Korankei (fragrant mountain ravine) is said to be given in 1930 based on the old saying that goes: “The summer breeze from Iimoriyama passes through the maple trees at Kojakuji and goes to Tomoegawa river, bringing a fragrant mountain air”.
On the photo you see “Momiji tunnel”, the road to Kojakuji temple covered like a tunnel by the tall maple trees. The bright red scenery overwhelms from all sides! At some points you can look down to Tomoegawa river as well!
Visiting Kojakuji temple
Let’s visit Kojakuji temple, the founder of the maples trees and a place also covered in bright red colors. After you complete the walk along the road where the high priest himself planted the red and yellow maple trees one by one, you will see the temple’s main building surrounded by the autumn colors. There are lots of stairs to climb but from the top the view is outstanding so definitely try to reach the temple if you can. And how about a prayer once you’re there? Your soul will feel refreshed.
Watch the beautiful autumn colors from Tomoegawa river and Taigetsukyo bridge!
I will introduce the best autumn colors spot in Korankei which is featured also on most touristic pamphlets – the view from Tomoegawa river! You must go there if you visit Korankei. What you will see is the reflection of the colored trees in Tomoegawa’s water, as well as the beautiful vermilion symbol of Korankei, Taigetsukyo bridge. Every November there is a special evening illumination of the maple trees until 21:00 which is also recommended to see.
Note: In 2014 the illumination in Korankei will be held between November 1 and November 30.
The brilliant view of autumn colors and teahouses
There are many nice and nostalgic little teahouses in Korankei. I particularly recommend the beautiful view of the autumn colors surrounding the teahouses near the main Korankei square. You can enjoy your time in a retro-style teahouse while watching the maples trees. During the annual Korankei Momiji Festival various performances are held, such as traditional dances, monkey shows and wadaiko drums. Plenty of food stalls appear too, offering you the chance to taste something typically autumn-flavoured.
Taste something delicious for complete satisfaction
One of the best things about travelling is trying delicious food! This also applies to the autumn colors season, therefore I will introduce some delicacies of Korankei. There are so many things to choose from, but how about a salt-grilled sweetfish directly from Tomoegawa river? Every fish is speared on a stick and grilled over charcoal fire, resulting in an exquisitely soft and odorless delicacy. The fins are decorated with salt too, so you cannot resist taking a picture of the fish! See it, eat it and get completely satisfied. I also recommend the local “Gohei-mochi”, made of grilled rice smashed and speared on a stick with a sweet-salty sauce!
The spring trout lilies in Korankei are beautiful too
Korankei is beautiful not only in the autumn. In spring pink trout lilies cover the slopes of the mountains and fascinate visitors. There are other wild flowers too! The summer is also nice with the lush green of the maple trees, and in winter the snow-covered ravine is splendid natural scenery. Enjoy tourism in Korankei during all four seasons.
Finally, I will explain how to reach Korankei. There are three ways to get there if you plan on using public transportation: 1. Take a bus to Asuke from Meitetsu Nagoya line’s Higashi-Okazaki station and get off at Korankei bus stop after about 70 minutes. 2. Take Toyota-Oiden bus to Hyakunenso from Meitetsu Toyota line’s Josui station and get off at Korankei bus stop after about 60 minutes. 3. Take a bus to Asuke from Meitetsu Mikawa line’s Toyota-shi station and get off at Korankei bus stop after about 45 minutes. If you are using a car: coming from Kanto change at Tomei Highway’s Toyota Junction to Tokai-Kanjo Route and exit at Toyota-Matsudaira IC. Take Route 39, then Route 153 in the direction of Iida for about 15 kilometers. Coming from Kansai get off Tomei Highway at Nagoya IC and take Sanage Green Road until the last point Chikaraishi IC. Then take Route 153 in the direction of Iida for about 10 kilometers.
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