At a lovely little garden located right next to the Beppu Ropeway cable car station, you can witness autumn leaves together with sakura! In Japan they have a special type of sakura that blooms in October, and is appropriately called "October Sakura" or "Winter Sakura" because it blooms in this cold weather. It was really quite amazing to see autumn leaves and sakura next to each other, like getting the best of both seasons in one go!
Right next to the Beppu Ropeway cable car station at the bottom of Mount Tsurumi you can find a little garden called "Tsurumidake Shinzen Garden". It is a quaint little landscape, with no entrance fee. On the cable car ride down, we spotted beautiful autumn colors from above and decided to pay the little garden a visit! When we walked nearer the garden, upon closer inspection we spotted there were sakura trees as well. This was a completely new experience for me as I didn't know there were other types of sakura that bloomed outside of spring!
The garden is small so it can be easily seen in 15 minutes or so. The walking route takes you through beautiful moss covered areas, a little bridge, autumn leaves, and a few sakura. The garden signs said that the park is filled with at least 150 sakura trees and 200 autumn leaf trees. Since we came at the end of November, both the "October Sakura" and autumn leaves were nearing their end. Nevertheless the garden still provided some great natural scenery even at the end of autumn.
Next to the garden is also a specialty Shōchū (Japanese spirits) store, where you can purchase special Shōchū that you can't find anywhere else. With Shōchū having originated from Kyushu, it makes a great souvenir! This store had their own special brew that was made from sweet potato!
After going on the Beppu Ropeway cable car up Mount Tsurumi, Tsurumidake Shinzen Garden is a nice little place to stop over and enjoy some pretty nature scenes. After that, you can visit the Shōchū store for some great souvenir shopping, making a full morning or afternoon sightseeing activity in Beppu!