Autumn in the Mountains

If you saw my “Hello, Autumn” post, you might recognise this place as one of my top picks for autumn this year. I’m happy to say I have checked the Torokko Train off the list. I got to experience the amazing Unazuki Onsen and Kurobe Valley in Toyama prefecture a couple of weekends ago!

It’s always hard to predict when the best time to visit a koyo (autumn leaves) spot will be. The forecasters usually say something like mid-October to late-November, in the hopes that the peak happens sometime in that time frame. For our trip, we got extremely lucky! The leaves were more or less at their peak. These photos don’t do it justice at all! The mountains were covered in splashes of vibrant yellows, oranges, reds and greens. And together with the emerald-coloured river, there were stunning views in every direction. On top of that, the forecasted rain miraculously mostly held off, leaving us with a beautiful light fog throughout the valley.

The Torokko Train left from Unazuki Onsen station, and travelled for over an hour through the valley following the Kurobe River to the final stop, Keyakidaira. At the end, we got off and checked out some walking trails. I was in heaven! If it wasn’t for my friends prodding me to keep going, I may have stayed there forever! When we eventually got back to Unazuki at the end of the day, we relaxed in the Unazuki Onsen rotemburo (outdoor hot springs), from which we could look out and see the train snake around the mountainside on the other side of the river! I think it will go down as one of the most memorable trips I’ve had in Japan!

22 thoughts on “Autumn in the Mountains

  1. トロッコ列車が 止まっているいる駅が 「うなずき」ですか。
    列車の始発駅から 終点駅まで どれくらいの時間ですか。
    黒部渓谷の写真は 列車のまどから とったものですか。


    1. はい、そこは始発駅の宇奈月駅ですよ。そこから終点駅まで80分ぐらいかかります。「キケン」が書いてある写真から「Atmospheric mist」の写真までは欅平駅の周辺で撮って、最後の2つは宇奈月温泉で撮って、そして残りは電車の窓から撮った写真ですよ。


    1. Hi John! Yes, being surrounded by nature is always invigorating. I’m trying to think of some places similar to this around your neck of the woods… maybe in the Yarra Ranges? In Queensland we have the Kuranda Scenic Train but there’s not many deciduous trees.


      1. Hi Celia,
        You’re right that there are pockets of autumn colour around the Yarra Ranges and it terms of scenic train rides, there is the Puffing Billy – an old steam train. However, the reality is that it does not compare with what you are able to view in Japan at the moment. Keep on ticking off those bucket list places, though I bet for every one you tick off you add another one :). Cheers …

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The place looks awesome. Perhaps nature at its best. Entering the den of beautiful nature and with such vibrant colors and manifested flow of water, the view from the vantage points are simply mystical. Such is the beauty and bounty of the nature, you managed to wonderfully managed to capture the moments and it is significantly reflecting in these pictures…the experience of being there and engaging with the beauty of nature is tempting and indulging. Keep sharing such fantastic pictures and we keep enjoying.
    Happy Travelling!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m impressed – what a descriptive comment! I’m very happy that my pictures were able to enchant and inspire you. Thank you for taking the time to write such beautiful words!

      Liked by 1 person

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