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Visit Date: 11/17/2014 (Best viewing Time: early November to early December)

Showakinen Park (officially known as Showa Commemorative National Government Park 国営昭和記念公園) is located in Tachikawa, which is only a little over 30 minutes by train from Shinjuku station. With its about 163 hectares land area, the park includes sport fields, barbecue pits, a boating pond, pools, and different magnificent gardens that blooms at various time throughout the year.

Visitors to the park can choose to get off from several stations and we chose the Nishi-Tachikawa station as it is only less than five minutes walk to the entrance gate.

The koyo season around the park usually tends to begin earlier than most of the Tokyo parks, which starts around late October and peak either mid or late November. The colors in this entrance however is still very green, only few trees have changed color.

Showakinen Park Autumn 2014 - 01 Maple tree with orange, green, and red leaves along the path to the park’s open field.

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Visit Date: 11/02/2014 (Best viewing Time: mid October to early November)

Karuizawa is a laid-back town located at the foot of the active volcano Mt. Asama in southeastern Nagano, Japan. The town is situated on a plateau with an altitude of about 1,000 meters and surrounded by various mountains giving it a breezy and refreshing environment. It was introduced as a mountain resort by a Canadian missionary in the late 1800s.

The town offers various outdoor activities, scenic locations, shopping opportunities, and relaxing dining places. It is an ideal venue for nature as well as fashion lovers. Its lovely natural attractions provides magnificent views of fall colors and offers many sight-seeing activities.

 Pond near the Yagasaki Park, a few meters away from Karuizawa Station.

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Niijima 01Summer in Japan is hot and humid and most people find it stuffy and suffocating. With this kind of weather, most people take this time to travel to places with higher elevations or to go to the islands and mountains. This year we took the opportunity to visit Niijima again and we included a side trip to the neighboring Shikinejima as well.

Niijima 02Niijima

Niijima is the fourth largest of the Izu Seven islands administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.  It is an archipelago in the Philippine Sea which is about 163km south of Tokyo. The island is a popular place for surfers but it is also a perfect place for a relaxing holiday. Other outdoor activities include camping, trekking, fishing, bird watching, swimming, cycling, sightseeing and hot spring bathing.

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Spring is a beautiful season, it marks the start of a new beginning just like the many kinds of flowers that start blooming. When the season of spring commence, we also start to pick up the slack that the winter and snowy season installed in us. The moderated climate temperature gives us enough strength to explore and discover new things within ourselves and around us.

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Summer in Japan generally falls on the months of June, July, and August and extends up to early September. Summer months can be hot and humid with temperature ranging from 30-40 ℃. Most people take advantage of the warmer temperature spending more time outdoors and traveling to the beach is surely a top pick. And like most of them, we also took this opportunity to have a short get-away from the busy city and enjoy the white sand, clear water, and forested mountains of Niijima.

Niijima is a fairly small island located approximately 163km in the south of Tokyo and despite the island being nearer to Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, it is actually a part of the metropolis and administered by Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The island is famous for its good camping grounds, different hiking trails, island bicycle riding, and most of all a surfer’s surfing paradise because of its many good waves.

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