Korankei Gorge

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One of the many places I was told to visit in Japan (specifically regarding the Chubu region) was Korankei Gorge. Located near Nagoya, Korankei Gorge is hailed as the most scenic location for Fall colors in Aichi Prefecture. This valley helps form Mount Iimori where Kojakuji Temple is located. During the 17th century, the head priest of Kojakuji planted some maple trees near the temple, prompting many locals to do the same in the area. This resulted in the vast landscape of the autumn colors spectacle that exists today.

My students implored that I visit the location before Winter arrived. The group that I went with last month was warned about traveling to the gorge on the weekend due to high volume traffic of tourists traveling to the popular spot. However, mother nature had other plans and proceeding to unleash a steady down pour throughout the day, potentially causing a lot of would-be visitors to reconsidering visiting on a Sunday. Thus, our travel to and from the location was relatively seamless.

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The hour long bus ride from Okazaki to the gorge was well worth it. The valley was a gorgeous painting full of vibrant autumn colors. A soft stream trickled through the valley, adding to the peaceful scenery. Food vendors were set up selling everything from mochi (Japanese rice cake) to warm chestnuts, releasing an intoxicating aroma into the valley. It was an authentic flavor of Fall that I couldn’t experience in my city.

My visit to the gorge proved to be rather nostalgic as the crisp Fall weather coupled with fog, constant rain, and gorgeous leave color combinations hearkened back to my time spent in Oregon. I hadn’t explored any natural spots in Japan up until this trip. Escaping the city life proved to be refreshing and much needed.

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