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!
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? ^^