Tag Archives: 紅葉

2015 Autumn Leaves at Edo Castle remains| Kitain Temple

On the grounds of Kitain Temple there is a very special building, which is home to some important national treasures. The house protects the only remains of the Edo Castle living quarters, which was once located at the site of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The rooms where moved from the Edo Castle on the order of Shogun Iemitsu, including the room he was born in.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the castle was later destroyed by natural disasters.

The building is a museum of sorts, and you have to pay to enter. The ticket also grants you access to the 500 statues of Rakan. A bonus to the museum building is that the gardens are absolutely magnificent, particularly in Autumn. You can’t enter the gardens, but you can enjoy the view from the terrace of the historic house.  With just a smart phone as a camera, you can’t quite see the beautiful red bridge, but in person the view is truly breathtaking.  Red bridges have always been synonmous with Japan for me, but it is actually quite rare to see one. If you are in Kawagoe in Autumn, I would recommend paying in to see the gardens and the imperial rooms of the Edo castle.

For those with children, there is a small playground on the temple grounds and lots of places for the children to explore. There is also rest areas, a toilet, vending machines, a little restaurant and a small shop. To the best of my knowledge none of the toilets have nappy changing facilities, but nobody has ever taken exception to me changing babies on a bench or in their buggy! Visitors from home always enjoy a trip to Kitain, particularly when the leaves have changed colour in the first or second week of November.

 

Kitain Temple is less than an hour from Tokyo. It is a 20 minute walk from Kawagoe Station on the Tobu Tojo Line or 15 minutes from the Seibu Shinjuku Line HonKawagoe Station. You can also get a local bus from either of these stations. By car it is 20 minutes from either the Kawagoe Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway or from the Kawajima Interchange of the Metropolitan Intercity (Ken-O) Expressway. Parking is available at 500 yen for the day. Car park closes at 16.00.

Access from Kawagoe Station

Koedo Kawagoe bus one day pass allows you unlimited travel on the Koedo Kawagoe buses. It costs 300 yen. In the bus they have a monitor with sightseeing information.  Some tourist places give discounts on souvenirs or entrance tickets to people with a one day pass.
Koedo Kawagoe Loop Bus

Koedo Meguri (Loop) Bus from Kawagoe station. You can buy a one day pass that allows you unlimited travel on the Meguri Bus. It stops at 16 different locations. 104 different shops, offer discount services such as souvenirs, food, and entrance fees to facilities for holders of this day pass. There are announcements in English and Chinese as well as Japanese so foreigners can feel at ease.

More information here:
http://www.new-wing.co.jp/koedo/index_e.html

Kawagoe Access by train from Tokyo and Omiya

  • 31 minutes from Ikebukuro on a express train on the Tobu Tojo Line. 470 yen
  • 44 minutes from Seibu Shinjuku on a Red Arrow Limited Express. 420 yen for the express ticket, plus base fare.
  • 66 minutes from Shinjuku or 62 minutes from Takadanobaba on Seibu Shinjuku Line.  You can buy one round trip ticket for 700 yen for either of those stations.
  • 54 minutes from JR Shinjuku on a rapid train of the Saikyo/Kawagoe line. 760 yen.
  • 28 minutes on a regular train from Omiya on the Saikyo/Kawagoe Line or 22 minutes on the rapid train.
  • The Fukutoshin and Yurakucho subways connect to the Tobu Tojo line at Wako-shi. Some of them go all the way to Kawagoe (and beyond) too.

Access by Car

About 21 kilometres from Nerima to Kawagoe using the Kanetsu Expressway. The toll for the expressway is about 840 yen.

About 40 kilometres from Hinode using the Ken-o highway. The toll is about 1400 yen.

For more information about Kitain Temple and all it has to offer:

In English: http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/english/

In Japanese: http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/

On this blog in English:

http://insaitama.com/cherry-blossom-festival-at-kitain-temple/

http://insaitama.com/autumn-leaves-at-kitain-temple-kawagoe/

Kitain New Year’s event: Daruma market on January 3rd. 

Kitain Temple Daruma Festival | KAWAGOE

Fave Foto Friday… on a Monday

This is part of Sandy (of Scribbles and Musings) #FavFotoFriday challenge. I am not a photographer, nor am I aspiring to be one. I just like taking photos. The #FavFotoFriday is a WordPress Daily Post approved challenge. It’s simple; pick a favourite photo you took in the last week, share it, pingback to Sandy and use the tag.

 

This photo was taken in the public part of the Imperial Palace Gardens, Sunday November 29th. It has not been edited in anyway. The autumn leaves are stunning and thanks to the blue sky the reflection in the pond is picture perfect.  More to come on the gardens later in the week.

 

This is my 30th post for #NaBloPoMo meaning that I passed the challenge to post every single day during November.  Party over here!

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Gingko Trees at Ukishima Inari Shrine | Kawagoe

Ukishima Inari Shrine is a little shrine you pass on the walking route from Miyoshino Shrine and Kitain Temple.

 

2 Ukushima 1

The grounds of the shrine have a beautiful water feature and old stone bridge, which unfortunately have been blemished with a vulgar white fence.

Ukushimainari 1
2 Ukushima 2

I have passed it a few times in other seasons and just took a mental note of a playground on the grounds.

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2 Ukushima

 

However, on passing it on my most recent Kawagoe walking tour, the resplendent Gingko Trees brandished their Autumn glory sparking an interest in this rarely mentioned shrine.

Ukushimainari 2

#NaBloPoMo Post #29

 

Fave Foto Friday

This is part of Sandy (of Scribbles and Musings) #FavFotoFriday challenge. I am not a photographer, nor am I aspiring to be one. I just like taking photos. The #FavFotoFriday is a WordPress Daily Post approved challenge. It’s simple; pick a favourite photo you took in the last week, share it, pingback to Sandy and use the tag.

This photo was taken in the monkey park near the top of Mt Takao, a very popular mountain in rural Tokyo. The autumn leaves were absolutely stunning.KIMG4511

Post number 20 for the NaBloPoMo challenge complete. 🙂

紅葉 Autumn leaves at Shinrin Koen

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN 2013.
I won’t pretend to understand the timing of Autumn Leaves in Japan. The leaves around here have started to fall, but 15 kilometres North West, in Shinrin park, the warm colours are coming into their prime. In theory, as the area is higher ground and further North the leaves should fall before this area…? Regardless, Shinrin park is one of the best places to enjoy Autumn leaves when you have young children.




The leaves have started to change colour, but it will be another week or so until the really vibrant shades can be enjoyed. It is still quite pretty at the moment. The reason I like this park for viewing is that there are plenty of playgrounds to keep the kids entertained while we appreciate the scenery. It is a park that you can spend a full day in with the result it attracts tourists, all year round, from near and far. Many commute from Tokyo and surrounding prefectures to see the leaves and illumination at this time of year. They have a special night-time entry for viewing the leaves with illumination for the month of November and part of December.

The park is vast, 304 hectares, to put that in perspective; 65 times the size of Tokyo Dome! You can’t bring your own bikes into the park, but you can rent a bike. It is 450 yen to rent an adult bike or mamachari for 3 hours, 200 yen for children. They have designated cycling courses. We saw segways today, too. There is also the park bus that goes between the gates of the park and stops at the popular spots en route.

Bikes for hire
Bikes for hire
Segways
Segways
Park Bus
Park Bus

The adventure playground, giant ball play area and the musashi kids dome are close to each other and its easy to walk between each. However, the “ponpoko mountain”, Japan’s largest trampoline, is at least a 20 minute walk away. You can use one of the afore mentioned modes of transport to go from the play areas at the West entrance to the ponpoko mountain near the central gate.

Adventure playground
Adventure playground
Musashi Kids Dome
Musashi Kids Dome
Giant Ball play area
Giant Ball play area
Ponpoko Mountain
Ponpoko Mountain

There are many activities and attractions on offer to people of all ages.

ACCESS AND FURTHER DETAILS

Shinrin Park is what the locals call it, but the official name is Musashi-kyuryo National Park.

Address: Hiki-gun, Namegawa-machi, 滑川町Yamata, 1920

Phone: +81 493-57-2111

Hours: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm **Hours change during the seasons and there are extended hours during winter illumination

Access:

Tobu Tojo Line from Ikebukuro Station 

From Shinrin-koen Station on the Tobu Tojo Line

Get off at Shinrin-koen Station on the Tobu Tojo Line, and there is a bus stop and taxi stand at the North Exit. It is approx. a 3 km (approx. 40 min.) walk to the Shinrin Park’s South Gate.

Bus: To Shinrin Park South Exit (Running on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays only), Get on the direct bus to Shinrin-koen,and get off at the last stop

To Kumagaya Sta. South Exit and To Rissho Daigaku, for South gate get off at Namerikawa Chugakko, and walk approx. 5 min. For West Gate, Get off at Shinrin-koen West Ent., and it is directly before you

JR Takasaki Line to Kumagaya

From Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki Line

Get off at Kumagaya Station on the JR Takasaki Line, and there is a bus stop at the South Exit.

BUS: To Shinrin-koen Station, For West Gate: Get off at Shinrin-koen West Ent., and it is directly before you. For South Gate: Get off at Shinrin-koen South Ent.,
and it is directly before you

 

Please visit their website, for information in English and / or to check  opening hours, access and entrance and parking fees; http://www.shinrin-koen.go.jp/english/

紅葉 Last of the Autumn Leaves? Hikawa Shrine

I went to Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe today, in the hope of enjoying some vibrant Autumn Leaves. I think I was too late. There is a river out the back entrance to the shrine (where the famous cherry blossom boat ride takes place) that is usually quite impressive, but today I was disappointed that there are few leaves left. I’ll just have to wait until next year!

Access to Hikawa Shrine in Japanese can be found here: http://www.kawagoehikawa.jp/#/access/

Or more information in English on this blog:

Cherry Blossoms on Shingashi River | Kawagoe

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Kawagoe is just 31 minutes from Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on the Tobu Tojo line (jump to access f…

Source: insaitama.com/cherry-blossoms-on-shingashi-river-kawagoe/

紅葉 Autumn Leaves at Kitain Temple Kawagoe

 

 

One of my favourite local places to bring visitors during Autumn with young children is Kitain Temple in Kawagoe (Saitama). There are some truly beautiful scenes to be captured around the temple and in the period house on the grounds. Unfortunately, my photos were only taken with a camera phone, but they will give you a taste of what is on offer.

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There is a small playground on the temple grounds and lots of places for the children to explore. There is also rest areas, a toilet, vending machines, a little restaurant and a small shop. To the best of my knowledge none of the toilets have nappy changing facilities, but nobody has ever taken exception to me changing babies on a bench or in their buggy! Visitors from home always enjoy a trip to Kitain, particularly when the leaves have changed colour in the first or second week of November.



Kitain Temple is less than an hour from Tokyo. It is a 20 minute walk from Kawagoe Station on the Tobu Tojo Line or 15 minutes from the Seibu Shinjuku Line HonKawagoe Station. You can also get a local bus from either of these stations. By car it is 20 minutes from either the Kawagoe Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway or from the Kawajima Interchange of the Metropolitan Intercity (Ken-O) Expressway. Parking is available at 500 yen for the day. Car park closes at 16.00.

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Address : 1-20-1 Kosemba-machi, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. 350-0036
Phone:049-222-0859
Hours : 9:00 – 16:00

There are some spectacular Autumn Leave photos on their website; http://www.kawagoe.com/kitain/information/annual-events/1201.html

 

More on Kitain on this blog:

2015 Autumn Leaves at Edo Castle remains| Kitain Temple

Cherry blossom festival at Kitain Temple

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