Autumn Cherry Blossom and Maple Leaves Hunting
In Japan people flock to the countryside to enjoy the splendid selection of autumn foliage. This is called ‘momijigari’ which basically means red leaves hunting. I love autumn and adore red maple leaves so it’s an exciting time for me!
I’d read about a very unusual autumn phenomenon close-by in a place called Obara. It’s famous for Obara Shikizakura cherry trees. Whilst standard cherry trees only bloom in the Spring the Obara Shikizakura also bloom in autumn and are at their best at the end of November and start of December.
The cherry blossoms are interspersed with other trees including maples. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see something so rare, so despite being full of a cold, Ash and I got up early and set off on an autumn leaves and cherry blossom hunt!
We went to Toyotashi station to catch a bus (outside the front of the station by the roundabout) and found that lots of other people had had the same idea as us. We managed to squeeze ourselves on to the jam-packed bus and an hour and a half later (due to traffic) arrived in the scenic village of Obara Okusa.
There are a few different areas dotted around for viewing the sakura (cherry blossoms) and maples together and you can walk at your leisure, drive between the spots or catch a shuttle bus.
Here is a map for anyone interested in going (you can also pick these up at the site):We started at Fureai park, which was host to lots of food stalls and a woman singing in a Kimono, and quickly met up with our friend Alison who had already driven around the site. We got our first taste of Autumn Sakura and found a pretty shrine.
Being bunged up with a cold I wasn’t feeling too hot, so from the park we caught the tiny but extremely busy old fashioned shuttle bus up to Senmi Shikizakura no sato, which boasts some of the most spectacular displays. There were two pretty bridges, a temple nestled in the trees and some traditional food stalls. The main feature was the hillside covered in cherry blossoms and maples. It was breathtakingly beautiful so I took lots of pictures:
As well as Sakura (cherry blossoms) we saw lots of other vivid coloured leaves on the surrounding trees.We decided to follow the map and walk the scenic one hour journey back to the bus stop. We followed the road and walked past farms and small roadside shops. At one point the roadside was covered in lots of cool scarecrows whose job it seemed to be to attract passersby in to a road side stall.
We got back to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare so sat outside eating cup ramens and then caught the bus back in to town. It was a really beautiful area and I’d highly recommend anyone in the Aichi area to visit Obara and enjoy the Autumn Sakura phenomenon.