Lined with some four thousand maple trees whose leaves take on fiery red, orange, and golden hues, Korankei Gorge in the Asuke district of Toyota City is one of Japan’s premiere destinations for autumn foliage—though its stunning natural beauty can be enjoyed in all four seasons. Let the pristine, murmuring waters of the Tomoegawa River and the sight of seasonally blooming flowers soothe your body and mind as you dine on local specialities such as freshly caught sweetfish (ayu) and artisanal, locally-prepared soba noodles and tofu.
This nature-blessed area is home to festivals and cultural events year-round, from those rooted in Japanese tradition to more modern offerings. The highlight is undoubtedly the Momiji Festival (Autumn Leaves Festival) held each November, when mountains are illuminated after sundown each night in all their golden-hued glory, and the town comes alive with music and martial arts performances, parades, tea ceremony events, art exhibits, food/drink/handicraft stalls, and more.
Aside from the gorge itself, in Asuke you’ll also find charming historic streetscapes immaculately preserved from centuries ago, shrines and temples, and a castle overlooking the picturesque town. Roughly two hours from Nagoya by train and bus and offering plentiful accommodation options, it’s an ideal day trip or overnight destination for any nature-loving traveler looking to venture off the beaten path.
Hours: The national park is open all hours of the day. The Multilingual Information Center is open from 11 am (weekdays) or 10 am (weekends and holidays) until 5 pm.
Admission: The breathtaking natural scenery can be admired free of charge. (Museums and other facilities may require an admission fee.)
Address: 34-1 Miyadaira, Asuke-cho, Toyota City, Aichi (Toyota Asuke Tourist Association)
Airport: Chubu Centrair International Airport
The Asuke area is accessible year-round. (Individual facilities may have different holidays.)
+81-565-62-1272 (closed on Thursdays)
From Nagoya Station, take the Nagoya Municipal Subway for approx. 3 minutes to Fushimi Station. There, transfer to the Tsurumai Line, and travel 45 minutes to Josui Station. From there, take the bus bound for Hyakunenso and disembark at the Korankei bus stop (about 60 minutes).
Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Betsuatsurae
Misokatsu and miso kushi-katsu
National Treasure Inuyama Castle and Castle Town
The Maneki-Neko Museum
Nishio City: Visit Japan’s Matcha Heartland
Tokoname Pottery Footpath (Yakimono Sanpomichi)
Toyokawa Inari Temple and Hill of Foxes