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  • Just as how the Japanese enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in the spring, the changing colour

  • of the Autumn leaves, known as Koyo, is an event that draws crowds all across Japan.

  • Today were in Kyushu’s least touristy prefecture, Saga, at Kunenan, a historical

  • Japanese residence that only opens it’s doors to the public for 9 days in November,

  • to allow visitors to enjoy the autumn foliage.

  • The Kunen-an residence was originally owned by a wealthy business man in the early 1900s,

  • and gets it’s name from the fact that it took 9 years to build the majestic garden

  • that draws visitors, even to this day.

  • Now, Saga Prefecture owns and preserves the land, citing it an important cultural asset

  • to Saga Prefecture.

  • Visitors are welcome to roam the garden of the residence, and take a look inside the

  • traditional structure, admiring the sturdy construction of the straw thatched roof, the

  • mud walls, and the bamboo lattices.

  • All while enjoying the rich natural colours of the autumn garden.

  • The site is so well preserved that walking through it, you almost feel as if youve

  • been transported back in time, or youre on a movie set of some kind.

  • Either way, it feels absolutely surreal to be there in person.

  • The tradition of autumn leaf viewing dates back to the Heian period, over 1000 years

  • ago, when the nobles would go on excursions to the mountains, and gather coloured leaves.

  • Now, autumn leaf viewing is an event enjoyed by families, friends, and couples, with popular

  • sites often holding fall festivals to coincide with the changing colours.

  • Shrines and temples are often popular places to visit as well, the beautiful nature is

  • often interpreted as a sign that the gods at the shrine are showing their presence.

  • I always took the autumn leaves for granted when I lived in Canada, funny considering

  • our flag is the red maple leaf.

  • One of the things I love about Japan is their sensitivity to the changing seasons, and their

  • appreciation for nature.

  • Learning to appreciate nature’s beauty helped me recognise the natural beauty in my home

  • country as well.

  • Another popular way to enjoy the changing autumn leaves in Japan, is by illumination

  • after dark.

  • During the peak color-changing season, some shrines and temples will light up the autumn

  • leaves, creating allowing them to glow vividly against the night sky.

  • We decided to visit Daikouzenji, in Saga Prefecture, a shrine where visitors can light spiritual

  • candles and pray for safety of their home and loved ones.

  • Daikouzenji is built on a hill, making it a prime spot for autumn leaf viewing.

  • It’s also home to a luscious botanical garden, all of which is illuminated by bright lights

  • after sundown, creating a romantic and whimsical atmosphere that’s very popular with couples.

  • A popular fall festival dish, and one I wholeheartedly recommend, is zenzai.

  • A sweet red bean soup, with chewy balls of mochi rice cake

  • in it.

  • Fall is not a busy season for tourism in Japan, so flights are usually much cheaper during

  • this time of year, but if you time your trip right, you will be rewarded with some of the

  • most gorgeous scenery Japan has to offer.

Just as how the Japanese enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in the spring, the changing colour

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