Momijidani Park   紅葉谷公園

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Momijidani Park Miyajima

A deer in Momijidani Park, Miyajima.

Momijidani Park Miyajima

Momijidani Park, Miyajima.

Fall on Miyajima

"All so delicate
Their colors - they color my tears?
The crimson leaves fall."

Matsuo Basho

Deer wander under the trees, rabbits frolick on the slopes, the babbling of the stream sets the tone of a lost paradise hidden in the mountains... Momijidani. Literally the "valley of the maple trees," this park in the heart of Miyajima island offers a rural retreat for visitors.

The arrival of autumn brings out the true beauty of the place. Some two hundred trees of five different varieties cover the hills and valleys, making this one of the most famous koyo spots in Japan. In the same way that hanami, cherry blossom viewing, equals spring, long walks under the autumnal foliage means fall in Japan.

The forest seems perfectly preserved, but a landslide caused by a typhoon actually destroyed part of it in 1945. The Japanese government then undertook major work to save this historical place whose first mentions in Japanese literature date back to the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867). So today can you still enjoy this thirty minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine to Daisho-in temple at the foot of Mount Misen. There, a cable car offers an ascent to the summit where the trees of the park are ablaze with color. For the more adventurous, it's also possible to climb Mount Misen on foot.

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