Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori in Saga


Autumn marks the start of momiji gari (紅葉狩り; autumn leaves hunting), and travellers flock to famed places that are dyed in amber and crimson hues. Besides visiting spots situated in major cities, which can get a little noisy or crowded, the Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori in Saga offers a quiet fallviewing experience.  


Built with nature in mind 


Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - fuyusanso
Fuyusansō, a villa located in the private forest.
Image credit: @kankyougeijutsu_no_mori

At the midpoint of Mount Sakurei sits Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori, a private forest that’s celebrated for its stunning fall foliage. Born out of a hope to preserve the beauty of nature through human intervention, the 20-hectare forest was designed by Masaaki Tsuruda, a famous environmental artist and garden master in Japan. 

Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - fuyusanso
Image credit: @gohan_to_futon

It took 30 years to plant over 10,000 maple trees and arrange natural elements such as ponds and stones to create a breathtaking space where visitors can get close to nature. 

Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - fuyusanso
Image credit: @gohan_to_futon

Particularly noteworthy is Fuyusansō, a spacious villa that’s situated within the forest. It was built by reusing scrap materials from a 100-year-old house. 


Stunning views in autumn and summer


Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - fall view from the fuyusanso
Image credit: @aki_photo_sub

Though the forest offers gorgeous views all year round, it is best visited in autumn. From the second floor of Fuyusansō, the sea of vivid red fall leaves stretch out as far as the eye can see. Floor-to-ceiling windows are installed instead of walls, providing a 360° view of the maple trees.  

Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - fall view from the fuyusansoImage credit: @kankyogeijyutunomori

Within the room, a low lacquer table is also placed, which works as a mirror that perfectly reflects the scenery outdoors. The month of November marks the peak of foliage viewing, though you can opt to visit earlier or later to avoid the crowd.   

Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - summer view from the fuyusanso
Image credit: @tmkt_2

Though the warm autumn colours are a stunner, Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori is not to be missed during warmer periods too. In particular, early summer months see the forest take on a new life with fresh lush greenery. 

Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - summer view from the fuyusansoImage credit: Kyushu Tourism Information


How to get to Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori


Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori - pond
Image credit: @kankyougeijutsu_no_mori

As Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori is located on a mountain, it is best accessed by car. To get there via public transport, take the JR Karatsu Line from Saga Station, and alight at Kyūragi Station. The one-way trip will cost ¥570 (~USD4.06) and take around 40 minutes. From there, it’s a 15-minute taxi ride to the forest.

Admission: ¥700 (~USD4.98) for adults and high school students, ¥300 (~USD42.14) for middle and elementary school students, free for children
Address: 667 Kyuragimachi Hirano, Karatsu, 849-3115 Saga
Opening hours: 9am-4pm, Daily
Contact: 0955-63-2433 | Kankyo Geijutsu no Mori Website

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @kankyougeijutsu_no_mori, @aki_photo_sub and @tmkt_2

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