Autumn Colors in Kinugawa Onsen 鬼怒川温泉の紅葉 Part 1

Last year, I went on a girls’ trip to a 旅館 (ryokan – traditional Japanese-style hotel) in Kinugawa Onsen, a hot spring resort area. (Although onsen itself means hot spring, the whole area is named Kinugawa Onsen, and not just Kinugawaーapparently just to confuse people like me.) Kinugawa (鬼怒川) literally means “angry demon river”, which may quite possibly be the coolest name for a place and river, ever. And in case you haven’t heard of the place, it’s located in Nikko, TochigiーNikko is of course famous for Nikko Toshogu Shrine, home of the famous three “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkeys.

We went to Kinugawa Onsen for a relaxing overnight stay, and it was heavenly! One of the best partsーapart from the onsen and the foodーwas being able to experience the change of the seasons in the countryside, surrounded by mountains. I don’t get out of Tokyo as much as I’d like, but with Kinugawa Onsen only being a 2 hour train ride away, it’s an easy trip to make for a two-day visit. I’d like to write about the ryokan we stayed at at some point, but this time I’ll let the 紅葉 (kouyou – autumn colors) speak for themselves. We stayed there November 20-21st, which is pretty close to prime viewing season, but it can differ depending on the year. In our case I think we hit it a little bit early, as many of the trees weren’t quite in full scale red/orange/yellow regalia yet. These photos are just from outside our ryokan, and though the weather wasn’t great on the first day (plus it was already starting to get dark by the time we arrived), the second day was absolutely stunning!

autumn in japan

autumn foliage

autumn foliage kinugawa onsen

autumn colors japan

autumn foliage japan

autumn foliage in kinugawa onsen

mini shrine in kinugawa

stunning autumn foliage

kinugawa onsen


I realized I took far too many photos, so I’ll be posting another set of autumn color photos from the town of Kinugawa Onsen itself later this week! ^^

What’s your favorite pastime during the autumn/fall? ^^

12 responses to “Autumn Colors in Kinugawa Onsen 鬼怒川温泉の紅葉 Part 1”

  1. marghini says:

    Man… wanna be back in Japan RIGHT NOW!

  2. Timo says:

    Once again, I want to go there! The pictures are really great, I wish I could have been there with my cameras 😀

    • Ri says:

      It’s a lovely area! The place we went to was outside of the main town and just heavenly because it felt like there was no one around, even though the hotel was almost fully booked apparently! 😀

  3. Wow! The place looks absolutely beautiful!! I know the food and the hot springs were amazing but I would make the trip just to see the amazing autumn foliage. It is absolutely breathtaking. I just love the vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow!! I look forward to seeing your next set of photos – as you know, I love taking photos as well and you can never take too many photos! 🙂

    • Ri says:

      Yes, I wanted to make more of an effort to go to different spots this year, but time/studies have not been kind, haha!
      Very true about how you can never take too many photos! (Thank goodness for the digital age, though! Otherwise I’d be in trouble! XD)

      • You are so right!! My husband and I went to the flower festival yesterday and we took about 200 pics each. Imagine how much it would cost if we were to develop them. However, it was quite a large task sorting through 400 photos to pick the best ones. But I did realize that my husband and I have the same eye for detail as a lot of our pics were the same!

        • Ri says:

          It must have been hard to chooseーbut judging from your post, you took a lot of amazing ones! Is your husband as interested in photography as you are? 🙂

  4. Muza-chan says:

    Beautiful colors…

    • Ri says:

      Thank you! I wish I’d taken my “real” camera rather than just using my cellphone, as the colors would have come out much better, but… maybe next year. 🙂

  5. Mabel Kwong says:

    Those trees look so gorgeous! Bright, flaming red. I am sure your eyes were opened wide when you were walking through Kinugawa 😀 I am sure the ground will look so, so, so colourful when winter comes. We rarely get these bright leaves in Melbourne city, though.

    I always love a good girls outing or excursion, always all up for that. It’s so much fun, I don’t know how to explain that 🙂

    • Ri says:

      They wereーat least until the boozing started! 😉

      Yes, there’s definitely a different atmosphere when it’s girls only, isn’t there? 🙂

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