Princess Tatsuta gracefully flies from tree to tree and whispers to trees "Time has come. Change colors." Her long scarf is flowing and touching to them one by one. Being waked up with her gentle whispers, the trees start to turn myriad colors - crimson, scarlet, red, orange, gold, yellow and more, astonishing variety of hues. Finally she arrives at Mizuya-chaya (Chaya means a tea room. 水谷茶屋）and finishes her mission. Mizuya-chaya is the last place where people enjoy viewing autumn leaves in Nara Park .
Mizuya-chaya is located at the entrance of the northern approach to Kasuga Grand Shrine. When climbing down the stairs from Mt. Wkakusa or climbing down from the shrine, a traditional thatched house suddenly appears . People catch their breath and feel as if they wandered into the fairy land.
It doesn't look like a restaurant but a tiny traditional house. It serves simple food - noodles and Japanese sweets. You can enjoy the picturesque scenery and food, sitting outside. In all seasons, this place pleases the eye as much as the palate of visitors.
Behind Mizuya-chaya, trickling is a serene stream, Mizuya River, now being covered with autumn leaves. The river is the border between the sacred world of Kasuga Grand Shrine and the ordinary world.
There are a few small paper dolls in the river. In Shinto, there is a purification ritual in which paper dolls are floated down rivers to wash away bad luck.
This picture was taken at the same place on June 30th when the big purification ritual is held annually.
The scenery of the surrounding area welcomes us with the delicate beauty contributing to evoke quiet reflection.
A deer also seems to enjoy glowing autumn leaves.