Oirase Gorge is well known for its autumn foliage. From mid-October to early November every year, the season for Kouyou, which means autumn leaves in Japanese, the place welcomes scores of sightseers and tourists.
One of the resort hotels at Oirase Gorge, Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, is offering the “Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour,” which runs from October 18, 2020 to October 31, 2020.
In this article, we’ll be introducing some of the things you’ll get to see on this tour, and the measures in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 so that you may enjoy the tour with peace of mind.
What is the Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour?
The Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour is a tour offered exclusively to guests of Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryū Hotel, which runs along the gorge on an open-topped double-decker bus (limited places are available for guests of Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya and Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru). You can soak in the beauty of the autumn leaves along the Oirase Gorge from all 360 degrees, satisfying yourself with mother nature, all while on a bus.
This time, the open-topped double-decker buses used for the tour were developed in Tokyo by the Hinomaru Limousine Group. This is the first bus tour in Japan that allows you to fully enjoy autumn foliage along a gorge.
Enjoy champagne selected by sommeliers along Lake Towada!
Though many sightseers flock to Oirase Keiryū during the daytime during the Kouyou season, the Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour starts in the early morning instead. By starting out in the quiet of the early morning with few people, you can see the beauty of the colors of sunrise, which increases the contrast of the autumn leaves.
After arriving at Lake Towada, the source of the Oirase Gorge, champagne is provided. You can choose from a selection of ten champagnes, which are hand-picked by a sommelier for their strong character. One draw of this tour is the chance to pass the time in nature blissfully while appreciating some fine champagne.
Enjoy autumn leaves from angles you can only experience on an open-top bus
The chance to appreciate the beauty of autumn leaves while riding atop a double-decker bus is one of the main draws of the Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour.
As the tour runs along the U-shaped valley which the Oirase Gorge flows through, the road which the bus runs along and the pedestrian walkways are at the bottom of the valley, which makes the standard viewpoint of the leaves to be from the bottom up.
But with the added height provided by the bus, you can see the leaves on taller trees up close, providing an alternative perspective for enjoying the leaves. It almost feels as though you’re heading into a tunnel of autumn leaves, and it’s not wrong to say that you can feel your heart and soul being refreshed
Ample measures to prevent the spread of infection
To provide guests with peace on mind while participating in the tour this time, the following measures have been taken to prevent the spread of COVID infection.
・Driver and staff are required to wear masks
・Alcohol disinfectant provided while boarding the bus
・Before the departure of each tour, all handles, seatbelts, windows, and seats are disinfected
Social distancing measures
・Empty seats left between passengers to ensure social distancing
Kouyou Premium Open Bus Tour
Dates: October 18, 2020 to October 31, 2020
Location: Oirase Gorge (return trip between Yakeyama and Ne-no-Kuchi)
Time: 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Price: 3,500 yen per person (with tax)
Seats available: 26 (free seating)
Minimum number of people per tour: 1 person
Reservations: Required beforehand, via the official website (https://www.oirase-keiryuu.jp/en/) or until 6:00 p.m. the day before at the hotel
Available only to hotel guests.
* Limited seats are available to guests of Hoshino Resorts Aomoriya and Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru. Please check the official website for more details.
Age limit: In the interests of safety, passengers should be at least 4 years old.
Other notes: Tour will be canceled in the event of rain
Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel星野リゾート 奥入瀬渓流ホテル
- Address 231, Tochikubo, Okuse, Towada-shi, Aomori-ken, 034-0301
- Phone Number 0570-073-022
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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