If you want to experience the beauty of fall in the big city, this is the place!
As we approach the end of October and cold weather sets in, the leaves of trees across the country are also turning from the bright greens of summer to the bold reds, oranges and yellows of fall. And if you’re in town, there’s no better place to admire fall foliage than a park or garden, and one of the best places for that in Tokyo is Happo-en.
Happo-in is a garden and an event venue located near the city center, a few minutes walk from Shirokanedai station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku line and not far from Shinagawa station. It’s known as a privileged place to enjoy the autumn landscapes with his over 100 maple trees and ancient architecture from the Edo era. And every year it holds a hugely popular autumn festival that highlights the amazing changes in the seasons.
This year’s festival, called the Tokyo Red Garden Autumn Festivalmust start on November 18 and until December 11, although of course the actual leaf change will depend on nature. Every night for the duration of the festival, the changing maples will be accented by illuminations to give the 400 year old garden a beautiful and mystical feel.
Happo-en will also host several events throughout the period, where you can enjoy food and drinks while admiring the scenery. On November 23, for example, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., they will host “Sui-Night”, the flagship opening event of the festival, which had not happened for three years. DJ Shuya Okino will be hosting the music for the stage, which will also include booze and food from Happo-en’s Thrush Cafe, making for a night of partying and fun.
November 23 also happens to be Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, so it’s a national holiday. Tickets for Sui-Night range from 1,500 yen (10.01 USD) for admission and a drink (pre-sale price) to 5,000 yen for admission and a “Moët & Chandon free-flow” ticket – which presumably offers bottomless champagne – at the door. Thrush Cafe’s Hamburger Plate will cost 2,000 yen.
weekends and public holidays, a pop-up bar will serve fall-inspired red cocktails and delicious red and rosé wines to complement the season. Regional bar snacks will also be available for tasting. Entrance to the Garden Bar is free, but of course you have to pay for your drinks, from 500 per drink (soft drinks included).
On weekends and public holidays from November 3 until the end of the festival period, Thrush Cafe will be offering a Aperitif evening Shiroganeoffering sustainable meals based on roast beef and other delicious dishes served with Moët & Chandon champagne and more than 28 different kinds of drinks, including original cocktails.
One must reserve for this time-limited meal plan, with a minimum group size of two people and two-hour seating between 4 p.m. and closing. The meal costs 8,800 yen per person and seats on the terrace will cost an additional 500 yen. Reservations can be made here.
Finally, the traditional Japanese Kochuan restaurant in Happo-en will open the moon bar, a moon-themed bar serving drinks produced by the Ethical Spirits liquor distillery. They will be serving Ethical Spirits original gin as well as Seasonal Balls, which are a food item designed to look like rice flour balls that allow you to enjoy the flavors of all four seasons. It will be open on December 9, 10 and 11 only, and tickets, which include admission and a drink or food item, will cost 4,000 yen for adults and 3,000 for children.
If you just want to enjoy the beauty of autumn leaves in Happo-en garden, you can go there anytime. While the festival is in progress, access to the garden is free for all visitors. If you want the best fall view, keep an eye on the park’s social media accounts for updates on the status of leaf change.
Of course, if you are willing and able to travel outside of Tokyo, there are many beautiful places to enjoy the changing leaves all over Japan. In Kyoto, for example, there is a train that goes through what is called a “maple tunnel”, which is well worth the trip. Autumn is a beautiful season in Japan, so don’t miss the chance to see the world painted in rich reds, yellows and oranges!
Source, images: PR Times
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