Momijidani Park in Miyajima is the most popular spot in Hiroshima for autumn colors. Peaking between the middle and end of November, it’s always full of people at this time of year!
Momijidani Park is located at the entrance of Mt. Misen – the higher you climb, the greener the leaves are (still). It’s like a color gradient.
The color of the leaves depends on the species and location of the trees. The contrast is spectacular; it feels as if you’re in a valley of autumn foliage. Rays of sunlight glimpsed through the leaves are particularly enchanting.
As it is so crowded in peak season, sometimes you can’t tell which you came to see, leaves or people!
So, I asked some locals the best way to enjoy the foliage while avoiding the crowds.
Firstly, go early in the morning.
It gets crowded after 10am, so walk around before that. While breathing the clean morning air, you can really enjoy the autumn colors.
Secondly, stagger the times and places you visit.
There are some 700-maple trees in Momijidani Park. As they change color first, people gather here first. About a week later, autumn colors can be enjoyed at Oku-momijidani, Kibiyadani Park, and Ōmoto Park.
At Kibiyadani Park and Ōmoto Park, you can see colored leaves among evergreens – and it’s quiet!
Going up from Nagahama, there is a promenade called Uguisu hodō from where autumn foliage can be seen.
(For more information on the location of each park and related promenades, please check the sightseeing maps that are provided at various places such as the port.)
Thirdly, keep in mind that there is other autumn foliage, not just maple leaves!
The bright yellows of the Ginkgo tree are also gorgeous.
Behind Itsukushima Shrine there are giant Ginkgo trees that stand like the sides of a five-story pagoda!
The autumn scenery through the ‘picture frame’ of the incomplete walls of Senjōkaku (Toyokuni Shrine) is particularly lovely.
(When Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, construction of Senjōkaku stopped – it still remains unfinished.)
While walking around, I hope you find your own special viewing spot.
If you do, please visit again next year!
Official Miyajima sightseeing site (English): http://visit-miyajima-japan.com/en/
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Bridge (Ayanori and Youko Okamoto)
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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