Autumn Sceneries you can Meet Traveling Around the World


Montreal, Quebec City (Canada)

One of the highlights of autumn is to see nature’s art as tree leaves change to red and yellow tones. With maple roads as long as 800 kilometers, Canada is known as the mecca of autumn colors. This time we asked photographer Mizumoto Shunya to introduce us to the seasonal charms that can only be seen during autumn.

Mizumoto Shunya (Photographer) Born in Tottori Prefecture, and currently residing in Yokohama. As part of his school’s sailboat club, he developed a great love for the sea. He became a freelance photographer after working as an onboard photographer for a passenger cruise ship. Since 2004 he has been participating in Peace Boat Voyages, capturing the scenery of each country around the world. Member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society.

Scenic Cruises that Sail Between the Autumn Leaves

The Saint Lawrence River, which connects the Niagara Falls with the Atlantic Ocean, is located in Canada’s east and is the perfect stage for a scenic cruise. For a brief period of 30 days each year, many trees including maple, oak, cottonwood, and white birch decorate themselves with myriad colors and create a breathtaking view along the riverside. Cruising a wide river like the Saint Lawrence on a big passenger ship is something that can’t be done in Japan. As you sail through the calm river stream, you can enjoy how the scenery changes during the day. Mr. Mizumoto describes this joy as “the feeling of a dynamic nature that intertwines with the autumn leaves.”

Although we say “autumn,” eastern Canada is quite cold, so you can feel the chilly air surrounding you as you go out to the deck. The wide bank of the Saint Lawrence River gets narrower as we approach Quebec, making us feel as if the mountains are closing on us from both sides. Along with the burning colors of red, yellow, and orange from the tree leaves, we also can see evergreen trees and the blue sky. Adding the reflections on the river surface, we get a world-class scenery full of beauty and nature colors. It is a magnificent scene that can only be seen at this particular place during this particular season. To Mr Mizumoto, this is such a emotive scenery that rivals the two big canals and the Fjords.

Taking a Stroll around a Town that Fuses Old and New

The day after our cruise around the Saint Lawrence River, we visit the old town and downtown of Montreal. Just ten minutes from the ship, we can find the Montreal Cathedral, the landmark of the Old Town. While this cathedral has an impressive facade of neo-gothic style, its main highlight is the spectacular inner decoration. Just after entering the cathedral, you will see a golden altar bathed in cobalt blue light, with a blue and gold contrast created by the stained glass and the altar.

Walking the town along the Saint Lawrence River, you can find a view that weaves historical stone-built buildings with autumn-colored trees. If you go all the way to the downtown, where many skyscrapers have been erected, you will feel the activity of Canada’s second most important city. When visiting the downtown, don’t pass the oportunity to visit Montreal’s Underground City, the biggest underground city in the world. Here you can buy all kinds of souvenirs, including traditional maple flavored sweets and canned salmons, or enjoy some window shopping. There are even stores specialized in maple syrup that will let you taste the various kinds.

A World Herigate City Painted in Autumn Leaves

After visiting Montreal, we head to Quebec: one of the oldest towns in North America. The old town of Quebec has been registered as a World Heritage Site as it preserves most of the scenery from the time of its establishment. Enjoy one of the most beautiful scenes as the ship enters this city colored by the autumn leaves. The distance between the port and the city is not far, so you can walk around this World Heritage area as soon as you disembark from the ship.

Quebec’s Old Town can be divided in two parts: the Upper Town, constructed on the top of a hill, and the Lower Town, spreading along the river. Admiring the leaves from both up and down the hill will provide you two completely different sceneries to enjoy.

One spot that Mr. Mizumoto recommends when visiting Quebec is the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, a castle-like hotel located in the Upper Town. Presidents from all around the world, Queen Elizabeth, and even Charlie Chaplin have stayed in this elegant hotel. As it was built on the top of the hill, you can see a panoramic view that includes the Saint Lawrence River, the autumn leaves, the historical town, and the boat stationed in the port. Day visitors can also use the restaurants and bars of the hotel, making it perfect to enjoy the atmosphere of this classic and elegant château.

The Harmony Between Magnificent Nature and Autumn Leaves

The Montmorency Falls, on the outskirts of the city, are another must-see. Situated at the confluence of the St Lawrence and Montmorency Rivers, the waterfall has a drop greater than that of Niagara Falls. The sheer volume of water cascading down is awe-inspiring. As in Quebec City, you can view the falls in two different ways – from below and from above. In particular, the aerial walk on the suspension bridge over the waterfall, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the whole area, is very impressive. You can enjoy the harmony of nature with the dynamic waterfall and the colourful autumn leaves.

PHOTO: PEACEBOAT, Mizumoto Shunya, Yuruki Shiho,, AdobeStock