It's not such an uncommon occurrence on our planet. Discovering a place that looks so different that you'd think you stepped through a portal into another land, or perhaps even another time. Some of these special spots, like the Polish village of Polonezköy in Turkey which was settled in 1842 by a small group of Polish emigrės, have a long history and are inhabited by people whose cultural identity matches their surroundings. Others, like the Alpine village of Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps recreated in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, are "artificial" and touristic in nature.

Japan also has its share of the latter. For example, the theme park Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki, which recreates a Dutch town, and on a much smaller scale, there's the Mediterranean Harbor in DisneySea.

But when you come across a place like this in the middle of a forest, the illusion of stepping into a different world and the accompanying sense of wonder is eminently greater.

Such was the nature of what Takuya (@Takuya05187) experienced on the occasion of his recent visit to the Tove Jansson Akebono Forest Park in Saitama Prefecture, just an hour away from Tokyo. Thanks to his skilled camerawork and the beautiful fall foliage provided by mother nature, the photographer created a series of stunning shots which have collected over 155,000 likes and 24,000 retweets at the time of writing.

"It may look like a foreign location, but this is actually Saitama Prefecture"

Reproduced with permission from Takuya (@Takuya05187)

If the name of the park sounds familiar, you're probably acquainted with the Moomins, who are the Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator's most famous creations.

Not to be confused with the Moomin Valley Theme Park, which opened last year, the Tove Jansson Akebono Children’s Forest Park has been around for at least two decades.

Reproduced with permission from Takuya (@Takuya05187)

The second of its kind, the first being in Jansson's hometown of Helsinki, the park features “Mushroom Houses” and “the House of the Forest” from the Moomin picture books.

Reproduced with permission from Takuya (@Takuya05187)

Reproduced with permission from Takuya (@Takuya05187)

The beautiful autumn wonderland in the forest inspired many comments:

"That place can look as different as this with shooting (skills). These are really wonderful photos."

"Wow! So wonderful! These are great photos that really convey the feeling of autumn."

And fellow photographer wasabitool (whose works we have introduced before), who probably saw an excellent shooting destination, said:

"This is one of the places I want to visit in Saitama (Prefecture)"

If you'd like to enjoy more of Takuya's gorgeous photography, like the exquisite panoramic shot of the Tokyo skyline below (click to see it in full), follow Takuya on Twitter here.

By - Ben K.