Nature lovers on Tuesday morning took in the brilliant red foliage reflected in Tsutanuma pond, a famed spot to view fall colors in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Aomori, under restricted conditions to prevent crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 107 people chosen by lottery had to reserve time slots to view from an observation deck the surrounding beech trees that cast shades of red and orange in the morning light at the national park.

The surface of Tsutanuma Lake in Towada in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, reflects autumn foliage on the morning of Oct. 27, 2020. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

An Environment Ministry official responsible for the park said the measures were put in place for six days through Tuesday, when the foliage was at its finest, to prevent the usual crowding.

The number of visitors Tuesday was only about 30 percent of the turnout the previous year.

The parking lot was limited to around 35 cars, which had to arrive by 7:30 a.m., at 4,000 yen ($38) per vehicle. The park, located in Towada, plans to continue the crowd-reducing measures next year and beyond.

"I saw scenery that you can't see very easily. I think admission restrictions are a good idea," said Hajime Urahashi, 53, who came from Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, to take photos.


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