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Bijin Bayashi: The Forest of Pretty Women

Bijin Bayashi: The Forest of Pretty Women

Where are these pretty women? In the forest of Bijin Bayashi (美人林)! And they’re everywhere! Above, below, and all around you. Will you succumb to their graceful forms, losing yourself in their radiant tresses?

autumn, forest, natural, nature, tokamachi

This beech forest at Tokamachi city, Niigata prefecture, is quite compact and can be visited in a morning. There’s a car park, an entrance, and a path running through the trees, which were planted about 90 years ago.

The most beautiful forest in Japan?

Rare bird species nest here and many birdwatchers come to study them. Keep your eyes peeled! They’re really worth a look, especially the Oriental dollarbird and the ruddy kingfisher.

autumn, forest, natural, nature, tokamachi

Some say this is the most beautiful forest in Japan. Others compare it with the Arashiyama bamboo forest. I won’t keep my favourite forest a secret from you though: it’s still Aokigahara (the famous suicide forest), much larger, mysterious and above all, as mossy as you could wish. But Bijin Bayashi is more joyful, colourful, and especially much better suited to strolling around. By the way, when you’re there, why not play a little game?

autumn, forest, natural, nature, tokamachi

A little game

Look around the forest for the views I’m showing you here. They’re all off the path, to the right, just before you reach the pond. Let’s start with Bandy Legs.

autumn, forest, natural, nature, tokamachi

Here’s Monkfish Moss.

autumn, forest, natural, nature, tokamachi

More difficult: Tintin’s Spider. If you find any of these, share your pictures in the comments!

autumn, forest, natural, nature, pond, tokamachi

Here’s the pond, with its reflections of the long legs of these beech-women. And a last little scene to discover: The Rooted Woman. A tree whose outsize roots vein the mossy ground.

autumn, forest, natural, nature, pond, tokamachi

This little game will take you less than twenty minutes. Maybe I should carry on with the idea in future articles – what do you think?  🙂

animal, autumn, fish, forest, natural, nature, pond, tokamachi

Incidentally, bijin means pretty woman and bayashi forest 🙂  So now you know! Niigata prefecture is off the tourist trail but count on me to introduce you to other cool spots. If you love forests, I’d also direct you to my article on The Giant Maple Tree of Oihara.

Who Am I

I am Jordy Meow, a French photographer living in Japan. I explore discover offbeat and lesser known places in Japan. Wish to see more, or to help me? Here is my Patreon.

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