This is what heaven on Earth looks like, delicious and vibrant autumn colors sweeping over mountaintops. This is Shosenkyo Gorge in Yamanashi Prefecture. Shosenkyo is said to be one of nature’s most sublime pieces of work in Japan, and I can confirm that it is indeed a masterpiece.
From afar, the colors and leaves blend together so smoothly that even just for a moment I think that if I jumped I could fly and land in a hammock of autumn foliage like a child jumping into a pile of leaves. The mountains stretch on as far as the eye can see, and I’m just in awe of its beauty. What’s more, it’s hard to believe that, just 2 hours from a bustling Tokyo, a place like this exists. I’m grateful to have the mountains at my doorstep. In a city where standards and expectations are high, streets are always crowded, and trains are always packed, it’s important to step out and recharge.
From here it’s a different kind of quiet. The world is still spinning and life is still moving forward, but I can’t hear a thing. The sound of my camera shutter disturbs the silence as I snap this photo, and it’s like slashing a painting with a knife. The noise disrupts what Mother Nature wants me to see, hear, smell, and experience from her artwork. So I put my camera down and just sit still. Taking in a deep breath, I bask in knowing Shosenkyo will always be here when I need it.
For directions, visit Japan Guide’s Shosenkyo Gorge information page.