It should be no surprise to anyone that the long, drawn-out warm fall has once again postponed the turning of the leaves. The same thing happened last year. The complete lack of dangerous typhoons has allowed the weather to remain calm, and the peaceful, warm days allow for the leaves to change color slowly and gently. Another beauty of this is that the cherry blossom season next spring will be just as awesome as it was this year!
Well, this year once again I can recommend two very nice places to go: Muro-ji ( 室生寺 ) and the Tamba region north of Takarazuka and Nishinomiya. Pictured here is a typical scene at Muro-ji, a national treasure site consisiting of a wonderful five-story pagoda and an Okuno-in of unique style. A great typhoon in the fall of 1998 wreaked considerable havoc on the area including a near-collapse of the entire pagoda itself when an 800-year-old cedar tree was dumped upon it. Renovations and a full restoration have taken the better part of the past decade, but they are now done and the visions here are extraordinary to say the least.
Near Muro-ji is also Hase-dera, a 9th-Century temple depicting a stage very similar in design and architecture to Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. A car is, of course required to visit both, and that is easily doable from Osaka or Nishinomiya or Kyoto as the two sites are fairly equal distance from all the major starting points in Kansai.
Take care, drive carefully and enjoy!
Martin Werner Zander, Smith’s School of English Corporate Partner
月謝制のスミス英会話 甲東園校 仁川 逆瀬川 門戸厄神