Written by Hafizah Khusni

How to enjoy Sano-city here

In Japan, admiring the beauty of seasonal nature is normal to everyone. While sakura is a symbol of spring in Japan, leaves changing their colors is the symbol of autumn. ‘Hanami’ is a familiar word among Japanese when celebrating spring, whereby they love picnicking under sakura trees.On the other hand, ‘Kouyou’ is associated with autumn. Well, have you heard the love of Japanese towards this colorful season?
‘Kouyou’ (紅葉, literally ‘red leaves’) means ‘leaves changing colors’.Kouyou is the process of leaves gradually change their colors from the vivid green of summer to the beautiful red, yellow and brown leaves of autumn. It is said that the tradition of enjoying the beauty of leaves changing colors was born during Heian period and since then maple, ginkgo and oaks trees are planted throughout Japan for this aim.
Nowadays, people have a picnic or drive through mountains or across countryside merely to enjoy the beauty of this colorful season. The Japan’s autumn is so magnificent that even foreigners pay a visit to gaze and admire. Indeed, even the roads at the heart of cities are colored with red and yellow leaves.
The change of colors starts in the middle of September in Hokkaido. As for Tohoku region, the best time to enjoy Kouyou is around October while November and December for Kantou and Kyushu region respectively. Whereas, the best time to enjoy Kouyou in Sano is around the middle of November, yet this varies every year. Here is some of the wonderful Kouyou spot in Sano city!

Houraisan (蓬莱山)

Address: 〒327-0301 Tochigi-ken Sano-shi Sakuharacho
Access: About 50 minutes (28 km) from Sano JR Station by car

Houraisan (蓬莱山) Photo credit: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/hasemi_1/33910468.html


Counted as one of the three sacred mountains in Japan, this mountain is regarded as a holy place to many. Promenade is provided for pedestrians as ravishing seasonal nature with its colored leaves during autumn enchants visitors. Parking area is available with limited number.




Karasawasan (唐沢山)

Address: 〒327-0801 Tochigi-ken Sano-shi Fujicho
Access: About 16 minutes (7.2 km) from Sano JR Station by car
Phone number: 0283-24-1138

Karasawasan (唐沢山) picture credit: Google image


Located 242m high above the sea level, Mount Karasawa is a natural park wrapped with Japanese red pines. Provided with hiking course, visitors are able to enjoy azalea and red. There are also the remains of a ruined castle during Warring States Period (Japanese history approx. 1467-1568CE) and visitors can still witness the fortress remains at Mount Karasawa castle. Parking area is available.


Kinzoin (金蔵院)

Address: 〒327-0514 Tochigi-ken, Sano-shi, Senbacho 463
Access: 17 minutes (5 km) from Tobu line Kuzuu Station by car
Phone number: 0283-85-3067

Kinzoin (金蔵院) Photo credit: http://ameblo.jp/mary-joanna/entry-11956792426.html



Kinzoin is a temple located in Senbacho of Sano city, but it is also well known as a beautiful kouyou spot among locals. It will not be a typical kouyou trip as you will witness the beauty of autumn with the background of a temple.



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