Photo/IllutrationMount Rishirizan provides a picture postcard autumn setting in Wakkanai, Hokkaido, with Japanese pampas grass in the foreground. (Masatoshi Narayama)

  • Photo/Illustraion

WAKKANAI, Hokkaido--Now is the best time to take in the striking autumn scenery of Japanese pampas grass in the Sarobetsu wilderness here in Japan's northernmost city.

Waves of pampas grass swaying in the breeze have overtaken yellow "ezokanzou" alpine plants near the Ororon Line road that runs along the Sea of Japan coast.

By day, the fluffy ears of the grass turn gold beneath the brilliant sun.

Those who want to experience the scene at night shouldn't miss Sept. 13, when the grass can be viewed under a full moon against the light purple silhouette of Mount Rishirizan.