Travel, Travel Journal

Autumn in Japan Finale: Whimsical Korankei park and Fun in Nagoya

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all happy and well.

Winter has come (at least for me, lol).

So here’s my final blog for this year’s Autumn in Japan blog series.

My first Solo Night bus ride 

I booked another solo bus trip with Willer Express from Ikebukuro to Nagoya station, only this time, I got the night bus! (This is not a sponsored post by the way)

It’s another first experience for me here in Japan. It’s about 7 hours from Ikebukuro to Nagoya station with two toilet breaks on road stations. I’ve experienced a 12-hour night bus when I was a kid going to Bicol, so I know this bus ride was really comfortable. 

Anyway, I have to say the Sunshine terminal bus in Ikebukuro is a bit old compared to Shinjuku’s terminal but it was okay for me. I walked there from Otsuka station but the usual route is from Ikebukuro station.

Although this trip is a solo bus ride, I have my former co-worker and friend Icon, meet me in Nagoya. She was here with her niece to experience Japan’s Autumn and see Shirakawago.

I was really happy that they were there with me because, not only for the good company, I also got some practice with my camera. It was also nice to catch up and talk about Japan 🙂

Higashiyama park morning stroll and vantage point

We were only supposed to visit Korankei that day but I arrived in Nagoya early in the morning and we had so much time to spare.

We decided to go to Higashiyama Park which has the Sky Tower, Zoo and Botanical garden. 

We got tickets for the Zoo and Sky Tower, we didn’t have time to go visit the botanical garden since this place is HUGE. The ticket price for both the zoo and the tower was at 640JPY. 

By the entrance, we got to see their beautiful maple trees, in bright red! 

It’s really amazing, especially for people who don’t experience autumn colors in their country.

From the entrance, it’s a bit of a long walk to the Sky Tower but the zoo was there, it wasn’t bad at all. There were a couple of school trips going on too, so the place felt warm and happy under the morning sun.

Soon we were up in the Sky tower overlooking what seems to be Nagoya’s Skyline. A striking contrast with Tokyo’s Skyline because the place is covered in a vast canopy of trees! I see Nagoya’s Charm from then on.

It was already lunch time when we finished looking around. There was no restaurant at the zoo, only at the Sky Tower which is on the highest floor. However, they were serving western cuisine. Instead, we ate at a local Teishoku restaurant just near the Hoshigaoka station exit 6.

Finally seeing the Amazing Maple Festival at Korankei

With full bellies, we went on a long commute towards Korankei park. I believe it was 1-hour train ride(we had to change lines a couple of times) from Hoshigaoka then 1-hour bus ride from Toyotashi station. We took naps on our way so it felt shorter.

I was imagining getting off the bus and had to hike up to see the maple trees. When we arrived at Korankei, I was surprised that it was just across the bus stop! (Whew!)

Korankei is definitely the highlight of our day.

From Tomoebashi, which is the first bridge you’ll see there, you can already see the stunning colors of Mt. Iimori. As I’m typing this, I realized that Mt. Iimori literally translates to “Mt. Good Forest” in English. The most suited name for it, I must say.

This trip was in late November and Korankei was still having their Momiji Matsuri. It’s a festival of maple trees and nature itself decorated the place with gradient fall colors. Momiji Matsuri is held at the start of November until the end of the month and everyone recommends coming here if you find yourself in Aichi prefecture, and that includes me.

We arrived there around 3pm and walked up to Koranbashi (suspension bridge) and made our way back to Tomoebashi. When we were walking back to the first bridge, we walked under the illuminated Maple trees tunnel in Mt. Iimori! It was fascinating and beautiful, a bit tricky to capture in the dark with my camera but it’s the reason we went there.

They light up Mt. Iimori and it gives this place a fairyland look. I was pretty sure I’d see the Sanggres on top and all sorts of whimsical creatures, just kidding! Comment below if you know the reference.

We left there nearly six, by then, I was too tired for dinner. So at Nagoya station, we said our good nights and I went straight to bed in the hotel.

What’s next for J Beauty Journal blog series?

I have more adventures in Nagoya the next day and for that, I will be featuring it on my キラキラ(Kira-Kira) Winter Blog Series! I also have an upcoming Karuizawa travel blog with my friend Lori(MecchaYUM).

So be sure to follow J Beauty Journal and subscribe on my youtube channel!

Look forward to another brilliant blog series this winter and have a beautiful day everyone!

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