Date: 27th November 2017
Korankei (香嵐渓) is a valley along the Tomoe River, located in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture and is often regarded one of the best autumn spots in the Tokai or Chubu Region.
Boasting over 4,000 maple trees of 11 different species, it is easy to see why this place attracts such crowd (especially over the weekend), which allows autumn seekers to enjoy various maple leaves types and colors along the valley.
Nearby is Kojaku-ji Temple, a temple built in 1427 on Mount Iimori, where the first maple tree was planted in this valley by its 11th chief priest, Sanei in 1634.
Autumn in Korankei is usually at its best colors between mid to end of November, but be sure to check the autumn forecast. I was skeptical about the leaves having already fallen at the time of my visit since Kyoto’s autumn leaves in 2017 were pretty early, but the weather was not getting any colder and overall the leaves were great at the time of my visit.
One of the most famous spots in Korankei is the red Taigetsukyo Bridge – usually pictured as framed by autumn leaves. My picture here is awful, but there is another red suspension bridge which was pictured nicely.
During the Korankei Momiji Festival, typically lasting for the whole month of November, the valley is also illuminated at night. I was rushing to get to Tokyo, so I missed this, but check out Zekkei Japan for the wonderful pictures.
If you miss Korankei in autumn, the valley is also famous for Katakuri or Asian fawnlily (or Japanese dogtooth violet), which blooms from late March till late April.
No admission fees, always open.
Korankei Momiji Festival: 1st to 30th November (2017), check the Aichi Prefecture website for actual dates in the year you are reading this post.
Autumn Night Illumination during the Momiji Festival: Sunset till 9.00 p.m.
Okay, so getting to Korankei by public transport is not ABC, but I will try to simplify it. Here goes.
- From Yakusa Station via Ohwa Bus (1 hour journey, 800 yen, every 2 hours, only between mid to end November)
- From Higashi-Okazaki Station via Meitetsu Bus (1 hour, 5 mins journey, 800 yen, every 1-2 hours)
- From Toyotashi Station via Meitetsu Bus (40 mins journey, 500 yen, hourly)
- From Josui Station via Toyota Oiden Bus (1 hour journey, 500 yen, hourly)
Note that some of these buses only operates during the height of the autumn season, and there are generally additional buses to accommodate the crowd during the peak season.
How to get to the above train stations:
- Yakusa Station
- Via Linimo Line. 17 minutes from Fujigaoka Station, 370 yen. Fujigaoka Station is the last stop on the Nagoya’s Higashiyama Subway Line. From Nagoya Station, Fujigaoka Station is 30 minutes away (300 yen, every 10 mins)
- Via Aichi Loop Line. 17 minutes from Kozoji Station, 18 mins, 390 yen. Kozoji Station is reachable via the JR Chuo Main Line between Nakatsugawa and Nagoya. 30 mins from Nagoya Station @ 410 yen (every 15 mins).
- Higashi-Okazaki Station
- Via Meitetsu Line. 30-45 minutes from Nagoya Station depending on whether you are taking the express (660 yen) / limited express (1,120 yen) trains.
- Toyotashi Station. Via Tsurumai Line and Meitetsu Toyota Line.
- From Fushimi Station, 45 minutes, 760 yen. Fushimi Station is 3 mins, 1 station away from Nagoya Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line.
- From Marunouchi Station, 47 mins, 760 yen. Marunouchi Station is 3 mins, 2 stops from Nagoya Station on the Sakuradori Subway Line.
- From Tsurumai Station, 40 mins, 730 yen. Tsurumai Station is 7 mins, 2 stops from Nagoya Station on the JR Chuo Line (190 yen).
- Josui Station. Basically the access is the same as Toyotashi, but is 3 stops earlier than Toyotashi.
Do note that since this is a REALLY popular autumn spot, the roads tend to get congested especially during the weekends. My advice is simply to arrive early.
Alternatively, driving there from central Nagoya should take you about an hour.