One of the wonderful forms of beauty to be experienced in Japan is the way the hues of nature change as the seasons pass. When fall comes, colorful autumn leaves cover the mountains of Japan, and there are some places where the seasonal colors offer something a little different that is certainly worth the trip to take in.


A Golden Gleam on a Mystic Pond

There lies a mystic pond in the woods of one of Japan’s premier upland resorts in the Tateshina Highlands of Chino, Nagano Prefecture. The body of water, found at an elevation of 1,500 meters, is Mishaka Pond, whose name comes from its association with traditional religious rituals. The pond is also notable for a cold, acidic mineral spring that pours in water. That makes the pond uninhabitable for fish, which is why the water is so incredibly clear. The surface acts like a mirror, reflecting the larch trees lining the shore to produce a sight of divine beauty. That spectacle captivated a great Japanese painter who made the pond a motif in one of his most esteemed works. In autumn, the tranquil pond shines with a golden brilliance.



A Spread of Red under Autumn Skies

Abashiri, a city in northeastern Hokkaido, faces the Sea of Okhotsk. There you can take in a vast blanket of vivid red glasswort covering the salt marsh along Lake Notoro, a lagoon where the seawater seeps in. When autumn comes, the flowering plants’ stems turn red, seemingly painting the ground with a scarlet brush. The contrast between the carpet of red glasswort and the blue sky stretching out into the distance is simply stunning. A wooden walking path allows visitors to stroll through this crimson sea.