the autumn leaves at Naritasan
the autumn leaves at Naritasan

The second of the Japan Halal Expo 2014 official tours I would like to introduce is the Chiba half day tour. This tour is the cheapest of the three official tours and involves a half-day of visiting  attractions close to Makuhari Messe where the Expo will be held. This half-day tour is jam packed with content and will depart in the afternoon on the second day of the expo, so it is especially recommended to those who are short on time.

The tour begins at the National Museum of Japanese History. This museum, built on the ruins of Sakura Castle, boasts a comprehensive collection of Japanese archeology, history, and ethnicity research and exhibits across a total floor area of over 35,000m². It is impossible to see everything in just a day, so I recommend asking the guide about the highlights in advance.

The next stop is the Shisui Outlet Mall, which was just opened last April. It has around 120 shops and is popular with foreign visitors due to its close proximity to Narita Airport. It is also equipped with a prayer room, so you can enjoy shopping with peace of mind.

The final stop of this tour is Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. It is considered one of the best spots in Chiba, and the autumn leaves of the 250 trees are a must-see. The autumn leaves around the Monju, Tatsuki, Ryuchi ponds in the vast park make great photo opportunities.

Finally, I would like to provide an interesting analysis of “why Japanese like the autumn leaves”.

In 8th century Japan, viewing autumn leaves was referred to as “momijigari” and the autumn leaves looked like a brightly-colored beast. The narrow island nation of Japan is dyed red for a moment when the atmosphere of autumn can be felt. This sight is breathtaking, and people chase this scene like hunters.

Red and yellow are the colors that make us feel the most warmth and the change of the leaves from yellow to red feels like a warm gift in the lonely autumn. Japanese, who inherently have a dark temperament, gain the power to face the upcoming winter by viewing the autumn leaves. How will you feel when you view the Japan autumn leaves?