Last stop for Day 3 was KORANKEI, which is considered as one of the best autumn spots in Chubu region. The place is very famous for momiji matsuri (autumn leaves viewing), and it is estimated to have about 4,000 maple trees of 11 types. Also, autumn night illumination is held every year from 5PM to 9PM wherein performances are held and lots of food stalls are set up.
NOVEMBER 23, 2018
The ride from Obara Fureai Park to Korankei took almost an hour. We took a different route (but only realized this when I left Korankei) – our van was the only vehicle on the road and we passed by mountains and lots of tall trees… to the point that I felt like we were going to a high place similar to Baguio or Sagada. LOL.
We arrived at Korankei at almost 5PM but the sun was almost gone by then! These were the only shots I got from Tomoebashi Bridge, which captured the scenery with the little bit of natural light left:
I walked along the pathway near Tomoe River then saw an uphill road to my left. A lot of locals were going up so I decided to follow… another mini hike for this day! It was quite a struggle for me because of my loafers’ slippery sole but I managed to reach the top.
There wasn’t much of a view because most of the surroundings were too dark to see already. The spotlights helped though in seeing the varying colors of the trees around us.
After going back to the main road of Korankei, I noticed hundreds of lit candles along Tomoe River. I wanted to go there but there was a sign that only people who bought wishing candles can do so… what else to do but buy one, right?
There was a sign in kanji but I somehow understood that there was a photo contest for the wishing candles bought that was why the locals were busy finding the best angle. Some were trying to form a word or shape as a form of creativity.
I went around the area and once done with exploring, it was back to the main road of maple trees.
I wasn’t able to visit anymore other famous spots in Korankei such as Kojakuji Temple and the Koranbashi Suspension Bridge. ☹ It was already dark and the crowd was nauseating for me. I managed to find a big area with lots of food stalls but all of them had long lines and all dining tables were full. I decided to just go back to Taigetsukyo Bridge and cross it.
There were food stalls as well in this other side of Korankei and I fell in line in one shop because of the momiji-shaped food they were selling. I got the custard filled one because that one sounded delicious… true enough, it was good! I liked the sprinkled salt on top which contrasted the sweetness.
I walked while eating the momiji sweet – tabearuki (食べ歩き, eating while walking) is an acceptable behavior during festivals like this. I eventually found myself in another area with lots of food stalls. I saw takoyaki, yakisoba, candied fruits, okonomiyaki, omurice, and so much more food! How I wish that I could eat so much food during this time but my stomach wasn’t feeling well so I was only able to eat a set of 6-piece takoyaki. 😦
After dinner, I went to the bus stop for Toyotashi Station as the destination. It was only during this ride when I was able to confirm that we took a different route earlier that day. The bus arrived late at the train station because of the heavy traffic in Korankei.
Even if it was a very, very tiring third day, no regrets because the sceneries I saw were mesmerizing. Autumn in Japan is definitely a must!