Golds, russets and reds — the colours of autumn in Japan are mesmerising.

I recently returned from my first visit to this exciting country and what a fabulous introduction it was. I was one of seven bloggers and journalists invited to Shoryudo, the central region of Japan’s main island Honshu, to promote the lesser-known prefectures (counties/states) of Aichi and Gifu.

We discovered mountaintop castles in the clouds, we bathed in hot springs, learnt how to weave and to make sandals, paper, candles and even imitation food out of wax. We ate crab’s brain (not bad), eel’s liver (yuk) and matcha ice cream (yum!). But most memorable of all, we followed in the footsteps of the samurai along the Nakasendō and Tōkaidō pathways.

I took thousands of photos (quite literally) and I have so many things I’d like to write about that it is hard to know where to start. So first off, here’s a roundup of the trip as shared on Instagram by myself and some of my fellow bloggers — a great group of people that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

Gujo-Hachiman Castle in Central Japan. Perched on top of Hachiman Mountain in Gujo, Gifu Prefecture, the original castle was built in 1559. In 1870, following the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate (when power returned to the emperor) the castle was destroyed as part of the country’s modernisation. It was later reconstructed in 1933. It is nicknamed ‘The castle in the sky’ as when viewed from across the valley, if you are very lucky, it appears to be floating in the clouds. Scroll through to see the blue sky that awaited us above the cloud layer. ———————————————– #visitjapanjp #Shoryudo #JTB #Japan #instatravel #travel #traveltheworld #TravelPics #VisitJapan #travelblogger #travelphotographers #castle #globetrotters #travelphotographer #LPPathfinder #Japanlife #traveladdict #travelguide #japanlover #travelasia #traveltime #travelnow #travellersnotebook #travelbloggers #travelporn #SamsungUK #traveldiary

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One of the many highlights from my trip to Japan was exploring the rural towns in the Shoryudo mountains. This is Gujo-Hachman where we learned to dance, make fake food (made in wax, you often see them in restaurant windows) and drank the most delicious matcha ice cream. ———————————————————————- #GoCentralJapan #visitjapanjp #Shoryudo #JTB #Japan #instatravel #travel #traveltheworld #TravelPics #VisitJapan #travelblogger #travelphotographers #gujohachiman #globetrotters #travelphotographer #LPPathfinder #Japanlife #traveladdict #travelguide #japanlover #travelasia #traveltime #travelnow #travellersnotebook #travelbloggers #travelporn #SamsungUK #traveldiary #riverside #mountainview

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The koi fish around Japan were a joy to observe, especially for those of us who are fans of photographs booming with colour. Due to their strong movements and tenacity, koi fish (and koi fish tattoos) are often thought to symbolize strength of will and the ability to overcome adversity. I would also argue that they symbolize simplicity and beauty. This particular pond was at the Toyokawa Inari Shrine in the Aichi Prefecture, but they were ubiquitous across Japan, something I very much adored. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . . . #japan_of_insta #aichi #toyokawa #koi #koifish #koifishpond #japanfocus #japantrip #japan2017 #japantravel #japanlover #japanlife #japan?? #japan_focus #colourfull #colourfullife #colorfull #colorfulfish #colorfulworld #travelasia #traveljapan #travelporn #travelmore #travelnow #traveltime #tbscommunity #travellove #travelogue #travelwriter #travelphotos

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Have my images over the last couple of weeks tempted you to visit central Japan? Whatever the season, if you love walking, history, culture and magnificent views, you won’t be disappointed. I do have a partiality, however, for autumn along the Nakasendo way and I’ll always think of Japan in hues of gold, russet and red. —————————————————————————#Nakasendo #GoCentralJapan #visitjapanjp #Shoryudo #JTB #Japan #instatravel #travel #traveltheworld #TravelPics #VisitJapan #travelblogger #travelphotographers #globetrotters #travelphotographer #LPPathfinder #Japanlife #traveladdict #travelguide #japanlover #travelasia #traveltime #travelnow #travellersnotebook #travelbloggers #travelporn #SamsungUK #traveldiary #Gifu

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Further reading:

In the Footsteps of the Samurai: Walking the Nakasendo Way

33 top tips for first-time visitors to Japan

 

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Instagramming Japan - Autumn in Shoryudo

Disclosure: My visit to Japan was complimentary but, as always, I kept the right to share with you whatever I like here on Travel With Kat.

 

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