Wanna go hiking in the golden season of autumn leaves? There is no lack of such hiking routes in suburban Tokyo! To show you what Tokyo has on offer, students from the graduate school of tourism in Rikkyo University took a Seibu Railway train to Hanno in Saitama prefecture (adjacent to Tokyo). Our trip features not only autumn leaves, hiking, and onsen, but also surprises for anime fans!
Anime pilgrimage: Yama no Susume
Speaking of anime pilgrimages in Saitama, the top destination might be Chichibu, which is the place featured in “Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day”. While in Hanno, the talk of the town is “Yama no Susume”.
Departing from Hanno Station, we walked through the main shopping street and arrived at Kannon Temple, one of the locations featured in “Yama no Susume”. Be sure to check out those “Emas” (small wooden plaque on which worshippers write their wishes) and a distinctive statue of a white elephant featured in the anime. Take a group photo and see how it compares with the scene in the anime!
Ascending Mt. Tenran for its panoramic views and autumn foliage
Mt. Tenran (a small mountain at about 200 meters above sea level) and Noninji Temple are famous for their autumn leaves, especially when the leaves are expected to be in full glory from the end of November. Though we were here a bit earlier (first weekend of November), we still had a whole lot of fun taking loads of pictures!
An easy autumn hiking trip to Lake Miyazawa
Departing from Mt. Tenran, we continued our casual hiking trip to Lake Miyazawa. The air was refreshing and the forest a perfect location for taking pictures. It took us about 90 minutes to get to the lakeshore. Shall we rent a boat and fish on the lake, or take a walk along the lakeshore path? Well, taking a soothing hot spring bath maybe the first priority!
- Get some food around Hanno Station or refuel halfway in the super market near the Seibu Railway elevated tracks.
- Though this hiking route is beginner-friendly, there are some up-hills and down-hills that may become slippery after raining.
Enjoy a lakeside hot spring bath
Our last stop is Lake Miyazawa Onsen “Kirari”, a hot spring facility boasting lake views from both the open-air hot spring bathhouse and the restaurant. After refreshing our mind and body with a soothing hot spring bath and a good meal, we hopped on a bus and returned to Hanno Station. What a perfect day!
How do you like our trip? For those interested in walking and hiking, do check out Seibu’s pamphlet for various hiking trips departing from stations of Seibu Railway. Hope it will be helpful during your next trip to Japan!
Lake Miyazawa Onsen “Kirari”
Admission: from 1,000 yen (towel included)
Website: click here (Japanese)
Other useful information
Hiking route and map from Hanno Station: click here (Japanese)
Bus Schedule from Lake Miyazawa to Hanno Station (bus departs every an hour or so, takes about 10 minutes and the fare is 180 yen)
Seibu Railway Walking & Hiking Pamphlet (online version)
**For more information about tourist attractions along the Seibu Railway lines, check out Seibu Railway's English website and facebook page!