‘Kakumanbuchi’, the golden marsh
This small marshland, Kakumanbuchi is located at Mt. Akagi (elev. 1360-meters) in Gunma Prefecture. Kakumanbuchi is a small marsh about 1-kilometer in circumference and its promenade is fully furbished, so you can enjoy a 30-minute hike. The best season for autumn foliage there is the middle of October because the marsh is located at such a high elevation.
Red autumn foliage cannot be seen here, but the other popular fall color, yellow, is very abundant in this area. The golden yellow carpet of grass here is called “Kusa-koyo” in Japanese.
The visit is easy thanks to this promenade which is in good condition. Midway, there are some benches to relax on and and enjoy the scenery.
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The vast golden carpet of Sengokuhara Japanese Pampas Grass Field
In Japan, when Autumn arrives, Japanese pampas grass turns gold and runs rampant in fields and riverbeds.
The Japanese have long had a close relationship with pampas grass. It was used as material to make kayabuki (thatched) roofs and as feed for cattle, making it an important and essential part of everyday life. Because of this there were fields called “kayaba” (pampas grass area) near villages that were designated for growing pampas grass. Also, it is called one of “the seven grasses of Autumn” and is one of the plants representing the Autumn season in Japanese culture. (Spring also has its seven grasses, but they are enjoyed as rice porridge, while autumn’s seven grasses are enjoyed visually through its flowers.)
In the past it was loved as an important material for daily life. Today, it is loved as a beautiful plant that reflects the coming of autumn.
At the Sengokuhara Japanese Pampas Grass Field in Hakone, beautiful pampas grass spreads over vast grounds. Around November is also the best time to see the autumn colors in the mountains, so you can enjoy the combination of the golden Japanese pampas grass and the beautiful autumn foliage.
In order to prevent other weeds from growing at the Japanese Pampas Grass Field there is a controlled burning and the entire field is burned away every spring. The controlled burning of an expansive area is a difficult work, but with the cooperative effort of many community members, the beautiful scenery is maintained.
The field is about 30mn by bus from Hakone-Yunomoto station. Get off at Sengoku Kogen bus stop.
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