Fall foliage fun near Iwakuni
It’s almost that time of the year again. That time when sweaters and boots are being pulled out and soup recipes are being researched. I want to twirl around and sing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Not only because I love soup and sweaters, but mostly because of my excitement for fall colors. The reds, yellows, and oranges that pop up all over the place every year in November. While Japan has so many beautiful spots to enjoy the fall colors, there are some amazing places in and around Iwakuni. These are some of my favorite fall foliage spots!
Momijidani Park at Kintai
This has long been one of my favorite fall foliage spots! I spend most of my lunch breaks walking around here just taking in the colors and this scenery. Most people don’t even realize this gorgeous spot is in Iwakuni. Located in the Kintai area, Momijidani Park is one place I highly recommend during fall. This is also where one of the hiking paths up to the Iwakuni Castle begins. It’s a nice little hike any time of the year, but it can be quite buggy in the summer.
Miyajima is beautiful any time of the year, but it is extra beautiful in the fall. Momijidani Park on Miyajima is my favorite spot to head to in November, but there are some other places that I love to visit for fall colors. Be sure to walk all the way through the park and continue exploring around the back portion. It’s really gorgeous all the way through. Afterwards, head over to the Daishoin Temple. Just like the Momijidani Park area, be sure to walk around the entire temple grounds. Hiking up to Mt. Misen or taking the ropeway up is also very beautiful in the fall.
Mitaki Temple in Hiroshima
Mitaki Temple is one of Hiroshima City’s best kept secrets. Hard to imagine this temple and the lovely grounds that surround it are just 15 minutes away from downtown Hiroshima (depending on traffic). There’s a little pagoda on the grounds with a few maple trees around it that I love. When walking up to the temple, there is a lovely spot on the left where you can enjoy a matcha and a sweet (for a fee) while looking at a garden with a waterfall. I recommend visiting Mitaki Temple early in the morning. The parking lot is not very big and it fills up very quickly. The first time I went, I arrived a little after 0800 (on a weekday) and I got one of the last spots. When I was ready to leave, there were people waiting for a parking space to open up. This is another spot that is really nice to visit just about any time of the year. I went in the rain one summer, and it was so green and so pretty. Be sure to walk around and see everything. The grounds are quite large. They are open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Buttsuji Temple in Mihara
Buttsuji is also a temple that is nivce to visit any time of the year. I first visited this temple in December a couple of yevars ago and really enjoyed walking around the temple grounds. As I walked around, however, I noticed all of the maple leaves on the ground. I started thinking about how amazing this place must be in the fall and decided I needed to come back the following fall.
It was pretty crowded, but so worth it. The colors were amazing! Looking at these photos is making me want to go again this year.
Last year, I visited Buttsuji on the 19th of November. It was very beautiful, but a lot of leaves had already fallen off so I couldn’t help but wonder how it was the weekend prior to that. Of course, every year it is a little bit different because it all depends on Mother Nature. Typically, if you visit around the second and third week of November, you will be able to enjoy the pretty colors.
Buttsuji has a few different parking areas, but they do fill up pretty quickly and stay pretty full throughout the day. We had to park at one of the lots that was further away, but it was a very nice walk to the temple grounds from there so we didn’t mind at all. There are so many beautiful spots to enjoy the autumn colors that are not too far from Iwakuni, and I hope these places help you plan some fall adventures!