On 22nd October, hubby and I went to autumn leaves festival (momiji matsuri) at Hottai-no-taki. Hottai-no-taki is a waterfall in the southern part of Yurihonjo city in Akita prefecture. This waterfall is one of the most popular spots for autumn leaf viewing in Akita. Hottai Waterfall is about 60 kilometers away from our home, and more than half of the way is curvaceous mountainous road. It took us about two hours to reach there by our car as hubby had to drive very slowly. At the beginning of the curvaceous road near the base of the mountainous area, we noted that the forests were still rather green in color. There were colored leaves here and there but not that significantly striking to our eyes. But as we neared the waterfall located at a higher altitude, we started seeing a fabulous display of autumn colored leaves.
We reached Hottai Waterfall at about 10.30 am. Near the car parking area we saw a colorful banner with ‘momiji matsuri’ written on it. We expected a huge crowd at the festival site but there were only a few people around probably because it was a very cold and cloudy day. The view around us was wonderful and the waterfall looked fabulous. From the parking lot, we walked across a large grassy area and reached near the waterfall. The serenity of the waterfall along with the sound of falling water was very relaxing and peaceful. At the waterfall and the surrounding area, we saw a fabulous display of autumn colored leaves of red, orange, and yellow mixed with green. The view was amazing and I found myself transfixed by the majestic beauty of autumn colors. We stayed near the waterfall and enjoyed the beautiful stunning view for about half an hour. We took several photos of the waterfall and the surrounding area.
‘Hottai Waterfall’ written on a monument sign located at the car parking area
The waterfall and the surrounding area as viewed from the car parking area
I am standing next to ‘momiji matsuri’ banner
The waterfall as viewed while walking along the grassy area
The waterfall and surrounding area
A mountain range near the waterfall
Hubby standing in front of the waterfall
Close-up view of the waterfall
I am standing in front of the waterfall
Hubby standing in front of the colored leaves near the waterfall
Me and the colored leaves
After viewing the autumn colored leaves, we had lunch at a restaurant located near the waterfall. We had noodles, a winter dish named oden, and a delicious grilled river fish named Iwana.
Grilled Iwana fish
While driving back home, we took a different route down the mountain. We enjoyed a spectacular view of forest trees covered with autumn colored leaves during our drive throughout this mountainous road. The fiery display of vibrant autumn colors on both sides of the road was really grand and splendid.
Vibrant autumn colors along the mountainous road
During our car ride down the mountain, we stopped at an observation platform along the road. From this platform we got a beautiful and amazing view of autumn colors. The effect of color gradation was magnificent, which took our breath away.
Stunning panoramic view from the observation platform
Enlarged view of the left side of the panoramic photo
Enlarged view of the middle portion of the panoramic photo
Enlarged view of the right side of the panoramic photo
When we reached the base of the mountainous area, we saw a bridge with an observation platform. We stopped our car and climbed a few steps that led to the platform. The platform protruded out from the bridge and it was a bit scary to look down. But the views around us were superb. The autumn colors had not yet peaked at this lower altitude. We saw colored leaves here and there along with a lot of fresh green color in the mountainous forest.
Forest and a bridge at the base of the mountainous area
Forest with autumn leaves that are not yet colored to its fiery best
After driving down the mountainous road, we had to drive for another hour to reach home. On our way we saw several horses grazing in a farm field. Hubby was very happy to see horses grazing so peacefully.
Horses grazing in a field
Hubby enjoying watching the horses
We loved the colored foliage and enjoyed every moment we spent viewing the autumn colors.