Visit Japan: Where to View Autumn Leaves in Northeast Japan



Oirase Keiryu

Enjoy the onsen. The best known include Sukayu Onsen (酸ヶ湯温泉), Goshogake Onsen (後生掛温泉) and Toshichi Onsen (藤七温泉)


Enjoy autumn leaves viewing in this samurai town.

Chuson-ji Temple

The real attraction at Chūson-ji is the Konjiki-dō. Built in 1174, in wood, 25square meters, it has been lacquered all over in gold, complements the autumn leaves golden color.

Naruko Gorge

100m deep gorge with a total length of 2.5km along the Arao gawa River. The sight from the suspension bridge is amazing.

Akiu Falls

One of the top three waterfalls in Japan. The word Aki in Akiu means autumn. The trails to the waterfall offers a great experience in the foliage of the autumn leaves.


Visit Japan: Where to view autumn leaves in Hokkaido


Where to view autumn leaves in Hokkaido?




Sapporo Maruyama Park

A beautiful park next to the Hokkaido Shrine. When you visit the Shrine, do remember to try the free red bean pastry. Taste great.


Thirty minutes outside Sapporo. There is a great selection of onsen at Jozankei. Relax after autumn leaves viewing.

Lake Toya

Around the lake, you will find 58 great sculptures. It will definitely make your walking tour more entertaining.

Hakodate Onuma Park

Known for its beautiful lakes and majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake.


Noboribetsu Hell Valley

Sulphurous volcanic pits and geysers. It is smelly like hell. No wonder it is called 地獄谷 Jigokudani Hell Valley.

Sounkyo (Daisetsuzan)

Take the ropeway to the top to enjoy the fantastic view of the largest National Park in Japan.


Abashiri/ Lake Notoro

In autumn, the lake turns red. The Salicornia, a type of marsh, will turn red like the autumn leaves during the autumn. Consider yourself lucky if you see it red, because the time it is in red is considered quite short. 

Shiretoko Five Lakes

Take the Shiretoko Cruise. You may be able to see some wild bears too.

Visit Japan: When to View Autumn Leaves in Japan


When to view autumn leaves in Japan?


Autumn leaves viewing is at its peak during the end of Oct and beginning of November.
偶然に guuzen ni Coincidentally, the peak time for autumn leaves viewing is in this week. Same week this post is published.
You could go for autumn leaves viewing at almost every part of Japan without disappointment.

Enjoy 紅葉狩り momijigari autumn leaves viewing from Hokkaido to Kyushu.
This is the time where autumn leaves viewing time overlaps throughout Japan.

紅葉 Momiji also called 紅葉 kouyou (both with the same kanji which means autumn leaves) starts from Hokkaido in the North and ends in Kyushu in the South.
So if you plan your trip early to Japan, you might want to make Hokkaido your first destination. Or if you are late, chase down south to Kyushu.

It all ends by mid December.


Autumn Leaves Viewing in Japan


Dear Readers,

Next week is the Autumn Leaves Viewing Week. 
I will introduce a series of articles about autumn leaves viewing.

Learn about
  • When to view autumn leaves.
  • Where to view autumn leaves throughout Japan
  • Why view autumn leaves 
Don`t miss the 紅葉狩り momijigari autumn leaves viewing.  

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Nara Mascot

Nara Station

Sento-kun is the Nara Mascot
sento kun ha nara no masukotto desu.

How to Say MASCOT in Japanese

The mascot for Nara is a young Buddhist with antler.
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How To Say I Love You to a Japanese Girl with Success

The key to saying I love you to a Japanese girl with success is indirectness.
How to say I love you to a Japanese girl and yet being indirect?
And why shall I say I love you to a Japanese girl when I meant it but have to be indirect?

I love you is a 3 letter word.

I love you is a simple 3 letter word.
There is a also a simple version of I love you in Japanese - 愛してる Aishiteru. 4 letter word.
Slightly longer, but definitely not hard to pronounce.

Although this sounds like a pretty simple way to say I love you to a Japanese girl, it is not often used.
If I don`t say I love you, what do I say?

If you watch Japanese movies or Japanese drama, you would probably come across scenes where the guys would confess to the Japanese girls.
But they don't say I love you.
They say, I like you.

How to say I love you in Japanese?

Kimi no koto ga suki



Either of the above, it all mean I love you in Japanese.

Wait a minute, isnt 好き suki means LIKE?

But I want to say I love you not I like you.
Isn`t love and like different?

I love you vs I like you

Yes, to many Western culture, it is very direct, I love you is I love you.
I like you is I like you.
Love is stronger than like.

When you say I love you to a non Japanese girl, it is a love confession.

When you say I like you to a non Japanese girl, it is a statement of admiration. A praise. Just that! Dot!

It is pretty direct.
I love you is I love you.
I like you is I like you.

In Japanese culture, it is different.

I like you is I love you.

When you say I like you to a Japanese girl, no matter you say

Kimi no koto ga suki


Daisuki all means I love you.

What if all I wanted is to praise her and just that?
Avoid the word suki.
For example,
Kimi no koto ga subarashii to omou yo.
I think you are great.

Saying I love you is pretty indirect.
You say I like you to mean I love you.


Why do I need to be indirect when saying I love you to a Japanese girl?

It is called 曖昧表現 aimai hyougen (ambiguous expression).
To put it simply, i don't say it clearly, but you know what I mean.

Surprisingly, aimai hyougen (ambiguous expression) is widely used among Japanese people.
It is part of the Japanese culture.

Japanese people are said to be shy and they care deeply with how the other feel.
To avoid embarrassment to others or themselves, aimai hyougen (ambiguous expression) is used.

So is saying I love you.

Kimi no koto ga suki



Above are the aimai hyougen (ambiguous expression) for saying I love you to a Japanese girl.



As a conclusion, if you fell in love with a Japanese girl. Say I love you to her.
Remember how to say I love you to a Japanese girl?

Kimi no koto ga suki



Take the initiative. Be proactive. Tell her before someone does.
Your own happiness lies in these 3 simple words - I love you. 大好き DAISUKI.


Mackerel Fish

Somewhere in Nara

My lunch is rice and mackerel.
hiru gohan ha gohan to saba desu.

How To Say MACKEREL in Japanese

サバ saba Mackerel fish contains the omega fatty acids EPA, DHA and ALA, which are good for brain growth.

Japanese Culture: Why Japanese Like Moss


What is moss?

Moss, to put it simply in laymen term, small green plant that grow on wet and shaded soil.
You can find them under tree shades which is also usually wet since it is not exposed to direct sunlight, thus the ground moisture is not easily evaporated.


Is moss a weed?

Some consider moss as a weed.
Moss is a weed when you try to grow grass, and your grass lost to the moss.
But well, if you are growing moss, grass will be the weed.
It mostly a matter of perspective.

Personal experience with moss

For me, I didn't like moss at first. Moss makes the ground slippery.
When I was a child,I was jumping around in the garden and I accidentally landed on a ground covered with moss.
I slipped and fell on the ground.

My body landed flat on the moss covered ground.

There is also a certain moss smell to it that I can remember until today.
Surprisingly, I kind of like the smell of the moss. It is rather refreshing in my opinion.

There were also a time, I was wearing a white shirt with a pair of jeans and I leaned against a wall. I didn't realize that the wall was covered with moss.
Yucks!!! My shirt and jeans had some green moss attached to it.

Some people hate moss

Whereas, there are also some that feel that moss is an eyesore.
Moss can grow on their rooftops and driveway.
They would prefer the rooftops to be in rooftop color and not green moss colored.
For that, some people hate moss.
If you hate it, you hate it.
They would go all the way to kill moss.
They would buy moss killing spray of super strong moss killing chemical, bleach the moss growing area and if you are rich, hire professional to remove moss, etc.

Some people like moss

While some people hate moss, some like moss.
While some people think it is an eyesore, some think it is a beauty.
Just a matter of aesthetic perception.
While some people want to kill moss, some want to grow moss.
Just a matter of preference.

How to Grow Moss?

As we said earlier, moss like shady, cool places with moisture. Give it the right condition and moss will grow. It will die if it is exposed to direct sunlight. Some said moss grow better if it is on slightly acidic soil.

There are also some methods to grow moss on rocks.
You may refer to How to Grow Moss on Rocks, Bricks or Pots.

Why Japanese like moss?

Japanese grow moss in their gardens and flower pots. To the Japanese people, moss gives a sense of serenity and tranquility.

Moss usually grows after a beautiful rain, a slight sunshine, and by the side of a flowing river.
It will flourish when undisturbed thus come calmness.
Moss also signifies continuation and longevity since it can last for a long time.

The older generation of Japanese people would probably love moss more because they like the moss as it continues to grow and live for a long time. That inspire people to continue to flourish (to be active) so that they would be as vibrant like the moss.


When I first in Japan, I thought why were the gardens not maintained. Moss are growing all over.
Then I found out that moss were allowed to grow on purpose. Some even took the effort to grow moss on rocks and pottery. I came to like moss as it blends into nature and gardens. It does create a certain sense of harmony and tranquility not only to the Japanese people but even to me.

With that, I hope you have can understand better why Japanese people like moss.
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Umemori Sushi

Somewhere in Nara

How about some sushi?
sushi ha ikaga desu ka.

How To Say SUSHI in Japanese

寿司 Sushi are also rated like hotels. They are rated in to 3 categories:
Expensive - 松 Matsu Pine
Moderate - 竹 Take Bamboo
Normal - 梅 Ume Plum



Somewhere in Nara

Pick a tooth with a toothpick.
youji de ha wo hojiru

How To Say TOOTHPICK in Japanese

Some ようじ youji toothpick and disposable chopsticks contain carcinogens (a bleach used to manufacturing toothpicks and chopsticks), which is harmful and may cause cancer.


Japanese Food: Matsushima Fish Market


Japanese Food (Washoku) in Matsushimakaigan

 When you travel to Japan, there is a place up north called Sendai. Near to Sendai coastline, there lies a small town called Matsushimakaigan. There are some good 和食 washoku Japanese food that you should try in Matsushimakaigan.

If you are visiting the Masamune Wax Museum in Matsushimakaigan, you surely need to visit 松島さかな市場 matsushima sakana ichiba Matsushima Fish Market behind the museum. There are various おいしい oishii delicious food inside Matsushima Fish market. One of that is Japanese food stated in the big banner on the right side of the photo.

Arriving at the Matsushimakaigan Fish Market, the very first Japanese food that ~が目に留まった ~ga me ni tomatta caught my eyes was this big pot of nikomi. Nikomi is a Japanese food that contains stew meat and vegetables with miso broth. A hot bowl nikomi makes a perfect Japanese dish during the cold season of spring autumn winter.

Inside Matsushima Fish Market, you will find a wide variety of delicious Japanese food. There are a few Japanese food that I find interesting. First is the seafood 焼き物 yakimono grilled food. Then the 牛タン gyuutan beef tongue yaki. Finally is the カキバーガー kaki ba-ga- oyster burger. I find these Japanese food pretty special. It is not the average Japanese food that you can find in the average street.

The skewered 海鮮 kaisen seafood is what attracted me the most. What`s more, Japanese food are mostly famous for their fresh seafood. Each skewer cost around 300 yen to 350 yen except for the gyutan which cost 500yen. Anyway, I think it is a reasonable price for a 新鮮な shinsen na fresh piece of seafood.

For that, they will grill the skewered seafood for you on the spot. It is grilled on the spot so that the skewered seafood is served hot and moist (juice of the seafood still intact). The skewered seafood is best served with Japanese beers e.g. Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin, etc.

Oyster Burger

For me, I 選ぶ erabu chose the oyster burger. It was my first time I see a burger that is not the usual pork, beef or fish. Instead it contain カキ kaki oyster.

They took a few minutes to make the oyster burger. It is wrapped inside a polystyrene box to keep it 温かい atatakai warm.

Ta-da!!! The oyster burger contains a piece of fried oyster made to look like a コロッケ croquette korokke. With some lettuce squeezed in between two pieces of fluffy bread.
Honestly, the oyster burger is one of the best burger I had. In fact, it is the only oyster burger that I had. I looked for the oyster burger in Tokyo but I can`t find it anywhere. Definitely not available in McDonald or Burger King.

I certainly miss the oyster burger. If you are visiting Matsushimakaigan, remember to drop by Matsushima Fish Market. Try the seafood and oyster burger.
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Lunch in Nara

Somewhere in Nara

My lunch
watashi no hiru gohan desu.

How to Say LUNCH in Japanese

The tips to good weight management
Breakfast like a king
昼ごはん hiru gohan Lunch like a prince
Dinner like a pauper


Japanese Rickshaw

Somewhere in Nara

You need considerable energy to pull a rickshaw.
jinrikisha wo hiku no ni sugoi chikara ga iru.

 How to Say RICKSHAW in Japanese

What is the difference between 人力車 jinrikisha rickshaw vs trishaw?
人力車 jinrikisha Rickshaw is powered by human on foot.
Trishaw is powered by human on a bicycle.

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Charming Charm

Kasuga Taisha, Nara

Hey charming, would you like a charm?
miryouku teki na kimi, omamori ha dou desu ka.

how to say CHARM in japanese

Charm, instead of meaning attractive, it also means an amulet. In Japan, people buy お守り omamori charms from shrine or temple to kept in nearby themselves to get blessing for marriage, work, exams, etc. Some お守り omamori charms are to prevent accidents, sickness or death. Some お守り omamori charms are to bring good luck. Perhaps you would want to go to a fortune teller first before deciding what type of お守り omamori charm you need.

Fortune in English

Kasuga Taisha, Nara

Don`t understand Japanese? Don`t worry, we have fortunes in English.
nihongo ga dekinai? shinpai shinaide, eigo no omikuji ga aru yo.

how to say FORTUNE in japanese

おみくじ omikuji fortune is different does not require a fortune teller. You will shake a bundle of sticks, and only one will drop out. There is a number on the stick. You will get your おみくじ omikuji paper fortune based on that number.

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