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Autumn Color Blog 2008

This is the official autumn color blog for 2008 about our reporting trips to various autumn leaf spots across Japan. Check our page on Autumn Leaves for general information.

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2008/09/25 - Daisetsu Kogen Onsen

by schauwecker

Daisetsuzan is a big national park with an area larger than some of Japan's smaller prefectures. As a result, there are numerous bases from which to explore the park. Today, I visited another of them, Daisetsu Kogen Onsen, a one-ryokan hot spring "resort" at the end of a ten kilometer long, unpaved road.

Daisetsu Kogen Onsen

Kogen Onsen's most popular attraction is a circular hiking course through the area's pond dotted highlands. Because bears are often seen along the eight kilometer long course, all visitors are required to pay an initial visit to the "Brown Bear Information Center". In fact, the hiking course starts through the center's back door.

Lecture at the Brown Bear Information Center

After about a 45 minute ascent through the forest and past some steaming sulfur vents, I reach the first pond. The autumn colors were already quite spectacular in the forest, but the real show was only about to start.

When preparing today's hike, I read somewhere that Kogen Onsen "boasts such unrivaled autumnal tints that the mountain might appear to an observer to be burning". My suspicion that this would be just another tourist guide's dramatization proved false by the time I reached Takimi Pond.

Takimi Pond

The path continued upwards for about one hour until it reached an altitude where trees would become sparse, and the views over the burning mountains would become even better.

Kogen Onsen has been my best ever koyo (autumn leaf) experience so far, and I am excited to see whether any upcoming trips on this year's autumn leaf report will be able to beat it.

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List of Posts:
2008/12/03 - Kamakura Report
2008/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2008/11/21 - Kyoto Report (4/4)
2008/11/20 - Kyoto Report (3/4)
2008/11/20 - Miyajima
2008/11/19 - Kyoto Report (2/4)
2008/11/18 - Kyoto Report (1/4)
2008/11/18 - Mino Park
2008/11/12 - Fuji Five Lakes
2008/11/05 - Nikko (2)
2008/10/29 - Lake Towada
2008/10/28 - Shirakami Sanchi (2)
2008/10/27 - Shirakami Sanchi
2008/10/21 - Nishizawa Valley
2008/10/16 - Nikko
2008/10/10 - Akagiyama
2008/10/08 - Shiretoko Peninsula
2008/10/07 - Lake Mashu and Kussharo
2008/10/06 - Lake Akan
2008/10/03 - Tateyama Alpen Route
2008/09/26 - Sounkyo Onsen
2008/09/25 - Daisetsu Kogen Onsen
2008/09/24 - Mount Asahidake

Tours and Experiences