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Five Outstanding Autumn Views in Kyushu to See Right Away!

Fall – when the weather finally settles down – is the perfect time to go out. Kyushu has many outstanding autumn scenes that can only be seen at this time of the year, such as the fall foliage in the morning mist and rows of gingko trees. Below are some outstanding views that you'll definitely want to take photos of! Take advantage of your days off to go see the fabulous scenery!

Fall Foliage at Lake Kinrin

Lake Kinrin is a classic destination for anyone visiting Yufuin. It is said that it was named Lake Kinrin (gold scales) by Mori Kuso – a Confucian scholar in the early Meiji Period – who saw the scales of the fish swimming in the lake glittering gold. There is fresh onsen (hot spring) water welling up at the bottom, so the lake's temperature is high. From late autumn to winter during the early morning, when the air temperature is low, one may be able to see mist coming off the lake. The lake is surrounded by trees – including various types of maple, Japanese ivy, and gingko – and the view of the foliage in the morning mist is particularly moving. There is a maintained walking path near the lake, so take a walk around the lake and enjoy the view not just from the entrance area, but also from Shitanyu and Tenso Shrine!

【Best Timing】Early to late November
【Access】Approx. 80 minutes by car from Dazai-fu IC

0977-84-2446 (Yufuin Hot Spring Sightseeing Information Center)
Free access

Lake Kinrin

1561-1 Kawakami, Yufuin-cho, Yufu-shi, Oita

Higashiyoka Beach Shichimenso Field

The approx. 16km red carpet that stretches out as far as the eye can see consists of 20cm-40cm high Shichimenso (Suaeda japonica), an annual plant of the Chenopodiaceae family. It is a rare halophyte (a plant that grows in high salinity waters) that grows wildly in parts of the Ariake Sea. It is sometimes referred to as the "autumn foliage of the sea" because of its bright red color during late autumn. You can see a panoramic view of the Shichimenso field and the tidal flat beyond it from the observatory at Higashiyoka Beach. It is lit up between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM from Saturday, October 28 to Friday, November 3 (public holiday), presenting a different appearance from the daytime. The Higashiyoka Tidal Flat next to it is registered as an important wetland under the Ramsar Convention.

【Best Timing】Early to late November
【Access】Approx. 75 minutes by car from Dazai-fu IC

0952-45-1022 (Saga City Higashiyoka Branch General Administration/Regional Development Group)
Free access

Higashiyoka Beach

2885-2 Shimokoga, Higashiyoka-cho, Saga-shi, Saga

Old Bungo Forest Roundhouse

Bungo Forest Roundhouse Park is the symbol for Kusu-machi, which once thrived as a railway town. The fan-shaped roundhouse and railway turntable was completed in 1934 (9th year of Showa), when the entire Kyudai Main Line went into operation, and still remains even after the Bungo Forest engine depot was abolished in 1971 (46th year of Showa). In June 2015, a steam locomotive that was scheduled to be dismantled in Shime Town, Fukuoka Prefecture, was moved here so that visitors can now see a train that looks like it is going to ride into the autumn sky like the train in the famous Japanese novel, Night on the Galactic Railroad. The park has a Bungo Forest Roundhouse Museum, where you can enjoy learning about the history of railroads. Every year, a Roundhouse Festival is held on the Sunday near National Train Day (October 14). This year, it will be held on Sunday, October 15.

【Best Timing】September to November
【Access】Approx. 60 minutes by car from Dazai-fu IC

Free access (no entrance to the roundhouse)
Bungo Forest Roundhouse Museum 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Closed: Mondays

Old Bungo Forest Roundhouse

36-15 Iwamuro, Kusu-machi, Kusu-gun, Oita

Rows of Gingko Trees at Kumamoto Prefectural Government Building

The promenade leading up to the Kumamoto Prefectural Government building has 54 gingko trees that are lined up like a painting. There are 54 trees to represent the 540,000-goku (old Japanese measurement based on a quantity of rice that was used to determine the value of things) territory of the Higo Domain during the Edo Period, and the gingko tree is recognized as the city's official tree. The gingko trees that turn golden in the autumn at Kumamoto are most beautiful when their leaves are just starting to fall. The approximately 80m-long promenade leading up to the main entrance of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government building is carpeted with countless leaves from the trees, giving the impression of a tunnel surrounded by golden gingko trees. Like previous years, the promenade will be lit up from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM from Wednesday, November 1 to Thursday, November 30, giving the golden tunnel an even more magical appearance.

【Best Timing】November
【Access】Approx. 80 minutes by car from Dazai-fu IC

096-333-2335 (Kumamoto Prefectural Government Tourism & Product Division)
Free access

Rows of Gingko Trees at Kumamoto Prefectural Government Building

(Kumamoto Prefectural Government) 6-18-1, Suizen-ji, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto

Cosmos on the Kikuchi River Floodplain

Approximately 1.5 million cosmos flowers bloom on the floodplain around Takashima Bridge on Kikuchi River. The scenery of a pink carpet that has been laid down on both sides of the river can be seen around the Cosmos Bridge walking path, downstream from Takashima Bridge. You can take a comfortable walk in the mild fall weather, enjoying the beautiful contrast of the cosmos and the blue skies. The Kikuchi City Shichijo Furusato Cosmos Festival will be held on Saturday, October 21, during which the cosmos will be lit up from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and a fireworks display will start at 8:00 PM.

【Best Timing】Mid to late October
【Access】Approx. 60 minutes by car from Dazai-fu IC

0968-25-7223 (Kikuchi City Office Commerce & Tourism Division)
Free access

Cosmos on the Kikuchi River Floodplain

(Near Shichijo Onsen Dome Riverside Park) Shichijo-machi, Kikuchi-shi, Kumamoto

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 09.14.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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