Japan’s cherry blossom may be out of season, but Autumn is another spectacular season for Japans’s nature. The Japanese maple leaf is famous and largely responsible for the mesmerising autumnal colours that can be seen across the country. Autumn leaves are known as koyo in Japan, and start to appear from September right through to November. Here are the top 10 places to view autumn leaves in Japan.
At the beginning of October, autumn leaves in Hokkaido are a breathtaking view. The Daisetsuzan National Park is one of the first places to develop autumn leaves in Japan. With a huge mountainous area within the park, the autumn foliage looks picturesque against the mountains. The Shiretoko National Park is another great spot for viewing autumnal changes in Japan. With various lakes, a waterfall, and forestry, there is plenty to see and do whilst appreciating the wonderful autumnal colours.
Some of Japan’s most spectacular autumn leafage can be seen in Kyoto, a city that is already filled with beautiful culture and scenery. Kyoto’s impressive autumnal display has given the city a famous reputation, and can be seen best from mid-November through to December. The famous temples of Kyoto are among the best spots to see the autumnal leaves. Eikando is among these temples, with the grounds being engulfed in deep reds and oranges as the garden is transformed into warm colours during autumn in Japan.
Tokyo is also injected with fiery colours in Autumn. Rikugien is a Japanese landscape garden that boasts some of Tokyo’s best autumn leaves. But arguably the best landscape garden in Tokyo is Koishikawa Korakuen, and is no doubt another great spot to witness the autumn leaves in Japan. The ginkgo tree is the official tree of Tokyo, with its leaf symbolising the city. These trees line many Tokyo streets, but the most famous of these is ‘Gingko Avenue’, which transforms into majestic autumnal colours towards the end of November and beginning of December.
Tohoko is home to the Hachimantai mountains, and also home to one of the best places to view autumn leaves in Japan. Alongside the volcanic landscape is a wave of autumnal leaves. Travellers to Tohoku are able to witness autumnal foliage in a variety of places. As well as the mountainous terrains, there are many lakes and rivers that are lined with beautiful autumnal leaves in Japan. Lake Towada is a spectacular example of this. Located close to the Hachimantai mountains, this lake is the perfect viewing spot for autumnal foliage.
Oze National Park
Situated north of Tokyo, this national park offers a truly unique autumnal experience. The marshland of this area is filled with a certain grass that transforms into a magnificent colour in autumn. Starting in late December, this national park emanates a beautiful orange colour.
Filled with shrines, temples, and beautiful gardens, Kanazawa has developed a name for itself as ‘Little Kyoto’. Kenrokuen is a world-famous Japanese garden that has been created to encourage viewers to explore its grounds and walk through the foliage. This provides the perfect autumnal viewing experience.
Fuji Five Lakes
Sat in the base of the magnificent Mount Fuji, this region looks wonderful all year round. However, autumn provides an opportunity to view the lakes and Mount Fuji itself among warm hues that cannot be seen during the rest of the year. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the lakes that is particularly well-known for its breathtaking views.
Nikko National Park is a popular destination for hikers wishing to embark on the Senjogahara Plateau Nature Trail, surrounded by magnificent mountains. A beautiful temple holds its place here, as do beautiful grasses of marshland and larch trees, all of which turn a beautiful colour during autumn in Japan.
Miyajima is a wonderful spot to view the autumnal leaves in Hiroshima. This small island in Hiroshima is filled with forestry and ancient temples, alongside a range of multicoloured leaves in autumn.
The highest peaks in Kyushu are the Kuju mountains, home to various hiking trails and volcanic contours. Autumnal leaves can be seen from mid-October, and it makes the already spectacular scenery even more stunning. The higher peaks bring magnificent views of Japan’s autumnal season.
Japan is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and autumn in Japan can be appreciated in areas all of the country. If you’re planning on experiencing Japanese autumnal foliage for yourself, make sure you’re visiting the right area at the right time! Keep up to date with our blog for more insights in Japan and its wonderful culture.