When we talk about autumn, we tend to think about the changing colors of the leaves, from green to red to orange then yellow. We don’t actually see it as a season to adore flowers. Why? Simply because, usually, flowers bloom during spring. However, there are places in Japan where you can actually enjoy both autumn colors and flowers in full bloom. One of these places is Awaji Island.
Awaji Island is located in Hyogo Prefecture, and the longest suspension bridge in the world, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, connects it to Kobe City. Some say that it is the best-kept secret of the prefecture since most tourists just visit the main cities and attractions of Japan. Others tend to visit this place only in spring because they are not aware that the island has a lot to offer even during other seasons. As such, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can enjoy autumn on Awaji Island!
Awaji Yumebutai is a complex that caters a hotel and memorial center on Awaji Island. It was built near the epicenter of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995, designed by Mr. Tadao Ando.
As you roam around the area, you will be amazed by its architectural design, and the dedication and effort exerted by Japanese people to restore this complex.
Plus, since its autumn, you get to see the different colors of the trees. The complex has indoor art exhibits, too, which connects to the Westin Awaji Hotel.
The Hyakudan-en Garden, or the Hundred Steps Garden, is a group of flowerbeds designed as a tribute to the victims of the earthquake. But mind you, the steps of the stairways are not actually 100 but thousands! It is the flowerbeds that are actually 100.
In here, you can see different kinds of flowers which you wouldn’t believe exist during the autumn season. And as you reach the top, you’ll have an amazing view of the steps and the flowerbeds. Wonderful, huh? Who said flowers are to be enjoyed only in spring?
As you continue climbing up the Hyakudan-en Garden, you will be stunned at how beautiful the island is! The tiredness you probably feel from taking all those steps will immediately be gone. And since it’s autumn, the cool breeze will help a lot in reducing your fatigue.
But if you are really tired and don’t think you can get down using the staircase, you can use the elevator that is conveniently located at the top.
The Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum is a greenhouse on Awaji Island where you can enjoy different kinds of botanical plants. It has a fern room, a tropical garden room, a healing garden, and more. And they are not just ordinary plants and flowers as some are really huge!
Your trip to Awaji would not be complete if you don’t stop by this park. Here, you can see different designs and arrangements of trees and flowers which are maintained by the government. If you want to see the whole area but don’t think can walk anymore, don’t fret as there’s a tram that you can ride!
There is also this gigantic plant/flower phoenix called “Hanahidori.” It is very important to the Japanese people because it symbolizes their prayer for recovery from the great earthquake.
You can also ride a boat in the park if you want! Quite a fascinating experience, right?
There are a lot more things to see and do during the autumn season in Japan. But if you really want to have a different experience of this season and at the same time get a feel of spring, then Awaji Island is the place to visit!