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Viewing Fall Foliage in Yamagata Prefecture: A Tour of Bonji-gawa Valley, a Bewitching Spot in the Tohoku Region

Bonji-gawa Valley, near Mount Yudono in Yamagata Prefecture, is a recommendable spot for viewing fall foliage. There are not only the secluded valley but also fall hills blanketed with fall foliage pleasing to the eye. The surrounding dam, bridges, lakes, waterfalls and shrines are elaborately adorned with fall foliage as well. Here is an itinerary for a walking tour of the valley to view fall foliage.

Nagasaki Kunchi – A fall festival complete with an impressive dragon dance!

This exciting fall festival celebrated at Nagasaki City's Suwa Shrine is one you won't want to miss. With a history of over 370 years, it is the most famous festival in Nagasaki. At the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival you can watch dances which incorporate the influence of Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese culture on the area. While watching the spectacular dragon dance, spectators encouragingly yell "Mottekoi!"which means "Encore!"

The Shinto Ritual of Yabusame at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura (Autumn)

Yabusame is a type of traditional Japanese archery in which a rider on a running horse shoots arrows at a target.
At Kamakura's Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine, Yabusame events are held in the spring during the Kamakura Matsuri and in the autumn at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Reitaisai festivals.
As an event where the 800-year-history of samurai can be felt, it attracts a lot of people.

Fukuoka Prefecture – Hakata Gion Yamakasa

A Festival Registered as a UNESCO World Intangible Heritage in 2016.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a Shinto festival of Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka City’s Hakata-ku. The festival’s formal name is Kushida Jinja Gion Retsu Oomatsuri.
It is a powerful festival, where a large number of men carry wheel-less mikoshi shrines on their shoulders throughout Hakata-ku.

Enjoy the hydrangeas at Kanagawa Prefecture’s Meigetsu-in Temple!

Japan’s rainy season may be coming up, but there’s still plenty to look forward to! While June is generally wet and muggy, it’s also when varying colours of hydrangea begin to bloom beautifully all over Kanto. If you’re looking to see the flowers in all their glory, we suggest heading to the history-rich city of Kamakura, which was once the capital of Japan.

Chiba Prefecture – Hondo-ji Temple’s 50,000 Hydrangeas

Hondo-ji Temple, in Chiba Prefecture’s Matsudo City, is a temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism that was built in 1277.
Every year in June, around 50,000 hydrangeas of over 10 varieties beautifully bloom. Because of this, the temple is also known as the “hydrangea temple.”
It is easily accessible, with Kita-Kogane Station, the station nearest to the temple, being only 50 minutes by train from Tokyo Station.
However, it truly is a well-kept-secret place, and you can be sure that you’ll be able to leisurely enjoy the flowers without worrying about crowds!