When and where to enjoy autumn colors in Japan

When and where to enjoy autumn colors in Japan

Live Japan

Autumn in Japan is almost as popular as spring, as visitors can't get enough of the Japanese maple leaves and other vivid fall foliage colors! Plan a trip to Japan between October and December, and you will be absolutely in love with the many beautiful spots for autumn leaves.
The peak season for autumn leaves in Japan varies by region. Check our fall foliage forecast and make the most out of autumn in Japan!

When is fall in Japan?

Autumn in Japan is from September to November, and it's one of the best seasons to visit the country for foliage. In some areas, the autumn colors may peak as late as late November/early December.

 

1. Hokkaido: Fall foliage forecast

Jouzankei (Sapporo city)

 

One of Hokkaido’s most iconic autumn leaf spots is Hokkaido University’s Ginkgo Avenue. Situated on the premises of the university, it features 70 trees lining 380 meters of the avenue.

During fall, the road is covered in a golden canopy. Hokkaido is also called the “northern land”. As it is the only area of the country with a subarctic climate, fall foliage in Hokkaido can be admired much earlier compared to the rest of Japan.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Hokkaido
October 10 to October 31

Hokkaido Average Temperature in Autumn
7.5℃/45.5℉ (Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, October)

2021 Foliage Forecast: Popular Hokkaido Spots

Early October

Jozankei Onsen

Early October

Hokkaido University Ginkgo Avenue (Sapporo)

Early October

Jouzando (Sapporo)

Early October

Miharashi Park (Hakodate)

Early October

Lake Akan (Kushiro)

Early October

Recommended Hotels Nearby

Sounkyo Kankou Hotel 層雲峡温泉 層雲峡観光ホテル

Address: Sounkyo Onsen, Kamikawa, Hokkaido, 078-1797

Nearest: StationKamikawa Station (Sekihoku Main Line)

 

Jozankei Daiichi Hotel Suizantei 定山渓第一寶亭留 翠山亭

Address: Minami-ku Jozankeionsennishi 3-105 , Jozankei, Hokkaido, 061-2303

Nearest Station: Densha jigyosho mae Station (Sapporo Streetcar Yamahana Line)

 

2. Tohoku: Best time for fall leaves

Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata Prefecture)

 

The Tohoku area is in the northern part of Honshu, the largest of Japan’s main islands.
The best time to see autumn leaves in Tohoku is between mid-October and late November, relatively early compared to fall foliage in Japan, just like Hokkaido.
Tohoku is rich in beautiful foliage spots such as Naruko Valley in Miyagi Prefecture’s Osaki City. It takes about 10 minutes by car from Naruko Onsen Station and once there, indulge in stunning scenery with wild cliffs that are 100 meters high and stretch on for 2.5 kilometers. During fall, the entire valley shines in vivid red, gold, and orange.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Tohoku
November 10 to November 30 (places with high altitude such as the Zao Mountain range: early to mid-October)

Tohoku Average Temperature in Autumn
11.2°C/52.16℉ (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, October)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Popular Tohoku Spots

Oirase Gorge (Aomori)

Mid-Late October

Narukyo Gorge (Miyagi)

Late October - Early November

Ginzan Onsen (Yamagata)

Mid-October - Early November

Mt. Kurikoma (Iwate)

Mid-September - Mid-October

Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata)

Mid-September - Mid-October

Kakunodate (Akita)

Late October - Early November

 

Recommended Hotels Nearby

Ryokan Fujiya 旅館 藤屋

Address: 443, Ginzanshinhata, Obanazawa-shi, Yamagata, 999-4333

Nearest Station: Oishida Station (Ou Line / Yamagata Shinkansen)
40 minutes by bus

Phone Number: 0237-28-2141

 

Takimikan 滝と蕎麦の宿 瀧見舘

Address: 522, Nakayama, Ginzanshinhata, Obanazawa-shi, Yamagata, 999-4333

Nearest Statio: nOishida Station (Ou Line / Yamagata Shinkansen)
40 minutes by bus

Phone Number: 0237-28-2164

 

3. Kanto: Best time for autumn colors

Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture)

 

The Kanto area offers a plethora of popular autumn leaf spots. The Nikkō area and the golden ginkgo avenue in Meijijingū Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer Garden) are especially famous, while the colorful trees of the Hakone Museum of Art are particularly popular while also relatively devoid of the crowds.
For fall foliage in Japan, it's important to note that Japanese gardens are also amazingly tranquil spots to savor the vivid colors of autumn. While peak time varies from spot to spot, this year seems to be late November to mid-December.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kanto
November 30 to December 20

Kanto Average Temperature in Autumn
12.1℃/53.6℉ (Tokyo, November)

2021 Foliage Forecast: Popular Places in Kanto

Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki)

Mid October

Mt. Takao (Tokyo)

Late November

Nikko (Tochigi)

Late October - Early November

Kamikochi (Nagano)

Late October - Early November

Meijijingū Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer Garden, Tokyo)

Late November - Early December

Hakone Museum of Art (Hakone)

Early November - Late November

Lake Chūzenji (Nikkō)

Mid-October - Early November

Recommended Hotels Nearby

Yutorelo-an 四季を楽しむ貸切温泉 ゆとりろ庵

Address: 1300-119, Gora, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa, 250-0408

Nearest Station: Naka-Gora Station (Hakone Tozan Cable Car)
2 minutes on foot

Phone Number: 0570-783-244

 

Kougetsu Sanso -- Moon Villa in Tokyo

Address: Motohachiojimachi 1-60-2, Hachioji, Tokyo-to, 193-0826

Nearest Station: Nishi-Hachioji Station (JR Chuo Main Line)
46 minutes on foot

 

4. Hokuriku: When to see autumn leaves

Kurobe Dam (Toyama Prefecture)

 

The Hokuriku area stretches over central and northern Honshu and is known for an abundance of high mountain ranges and Japan’s heaviest snowfall.
The best time to see autumn leaves in Hokuriku is in mid-November. But if you’re planning a trip, take into account that some spots might be earlier.
Hokuriku’s most iconic autumn spot is Kenroku-en in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. It’s a special scenic spot that is also part of Japan’s Three Great Gardens and exceptionally beautiful in every season, but autumn stands out among them all. The vivid trees are lit up after sunset, creating a fantastical atmosphere sure to enchant.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Hokuriku
November 10 to November 20 (places with high altitude such as Tateyama: mid- to late October)

Hokuriku Average Temperature in Autumn
7.7℃/45.86℉ (Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Popular Hokuriku Places

Kenrokuen Garden (Kanazawa)

Mid - Late November

Tateyama between Murodo-Daira and Kurobe Dam (Toyama)

Late October - Mid November

Natadera Temple (Komatsu)

Early November - Late November

Kakusenkei Park (Kaga)

Mid November - Early December

Lake Kuzuryu (Fukui)

Mid October - Mid November

 

5. Chubu: Fall colors

Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji (Yamanashi Prefecture)

 

The Chubu region is the home of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. Of course, there are plenty of spots boasting beautiful autumn colors not only at Mount Fuji itself but also in the Fuji Five Lakes area. The most popular of these lakes is Lake Kawaguchi.
Every November, there’s the “Autumn Leaves Festival” on its northern shores and an absolute must-see is the “Momiji Corridor,” offering a stunning scenery of Mount Fuji and fall foliage in one picture. It’s a sight often portrayed on postcards and tourist websites, so seeing it for yourself will certainly be a highlight of your trip.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Chubu
November 30 to December 20

Chubu Average Temperature in Autumn
1.7℃/35.06℉ (around Lake Kawaguchi/Mt. Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Chubu

Shirakawa-go (Gifu)

Late October - Early November

Korankei (Toyama)

Late October - Mid November

Iwayado Park (Seto)

Late October - Mid November

Gero Onsen (Gero)

Late October - Mid November

Shuzenji Nature Park (Izu)

Mid November - Early December

Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

Early November - Late November

 

6. Kansai: Best time for autumn colors

Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)

 

The Kansai region is the home of major, historic cities including Kyoto and Osaka. For fall foliage in Japan, Kyoto is incredibly famous for its stunning autumn scenery, combining traditional Japanese buildings with autumn colors at spots such as Daihonzan and Enkō-ji Temple.
Metasequoia Namiki Avenue is another spot has gained quite a reputation thanks to a TV drama that became a national hit. Located in Takashima City in Shiga Prefecture, it features about 500 metasequoia trees lining both sides of a road of about 2.4km, boasting breathtaking colors during autumn. It impressed so many people, it was chosen as one Japan’s “New 100 Scenic Avenues.”

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kansai
November 10 to November 30

Kansai Average Temperature in Autumn
7.8℃/46.04℉ (Kyoto Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Kansai

Arashiyama (Kyoto)

Late November - Early December

Nara Park (Nara)

Late October - Early November

Mino Falls (Osaka)

Late November - Early December

Daihonzan (Kyoto)

Late October - Early November

Kyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto)

Late November - Early December

Enkō-ji Temple (Kyoto)

Late November - Early December

Hieizan (Otsu)

Late November - Early December

Metasequoia Namiki Avenue (Shiga)

Late November - Early December

Recommended Hotels Nearby

LiB PLUS Kyoto Maiko Han-inn

Address: Higashiyama-ku Sennyūji Goyōnotsujichō 20-2 , Kyoto, Kyoto, 605-0974

Nearest Station: Tofukuji Station (JR Nara Line)
7 minutes on foot

Auberge AZABU オーベルジュ 麻布

Address: Shimogyo-ku, Bandoya-cho 277-1, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8439

Nearest Station: Gojo Station (Karasuma Line)
5 minutes on foot

 

7. Chugoku: Fall Leaves

Daishoin (Hiroshima Prefecture)

 

Chugoku is in the western part of Honshu and is made up of five prefectures, including Hiroshima and Okayama. Momijidani Park is one of the most representative autumn spots of the area, located on the famous Miyajima Island (officially called Itsukushima) in Hiroshima Prefecture. Here, numerous Japanese maple trees dip the park into a vivid red, making it almost seem like the branches are on fire.
Among popular places for fall foliage in Japan, Miyajima is most famous for the large torii gate standing in the water and its many historic buildings keep fascinating people from all around the world. It’s a stunning destination for a day trip, offering one of Japan’s most iconic spots dressed in autumn colors.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Chugoku
November 20 to November 30

Chugoku Average Temperature in Autumn
8.5℃/47.3℉ (Hiroshima Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Fall Foliage Forecast

Momijidani Park (Miyajima, Hiroshima)

Early November - Late November

Ozekiyama Park (Hiroshima)

Early November - Late November

Daisen-ji (Tottori)

Early November - Late November

Tsuyama Castle (Okayama)

Early November - Late November

Okutsu Valley (Okayama)

Early November - Late November

Chomonkyo Gorge (Yamaguchi)

Late October - Early December

 

8. Shikoku: Fall Foliage

Ritsurin park (Kagawa Prefecture)

 

Shikoku in southwestern Honshu is a fascinating place full of lush, untouched nature. Especially Kankakei in Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its autumn colors. It is also one of Japan’s Three Beautiful Valleys, covered in vivid foliage during fall.
In 2015, the valley’s ropeway was renewed and offers a mesmerizing panorama of the entire area. Furthermore, Shikoku is dotted with several other noteworthy places for fall foliage in Japan, including Iya Valley in Tokushima and Nametoko Gorge in Ehime. Those are particularly recommended for sightseeing in autumn!

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Shikoku
Around November 30

Shikoku Average Temperature in Autumn
8.5℃/47.3℉ (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Shikoku

Ritsurin Garden (Kagawa)

Late November - Early December

Kankakei (Kagawa)

Early November - Late November

Kotohira-gū (Kagawa)

Late October - Early November

Mount Tsurugi (Tokushima)

Late October - Early November

Iya Valley (Tokushima)

Late October - Early November

Nametoko Gorge (Ehime)

Mid-November - Late November

Befukyo Canyon (Kochi)

Mid-November - Late November

 

9. Kyushu: Autumn Colors

Kyushu’s climate is relatively temperate, gaining popularity as a resort area. Yabakei in Oita’s Nakatsu City is one of the area’s many colorful autumn leaf spots all around the area.
There’s a pleasant promenade that leads you through the gorge, so make the most out of this beautiful natural spot by taking a leisurely autumn walk. The vivid trees of Yabakei are lit up after dark, dipping the entire scenery in an enigmatic glow. Our warmest recommendation is to enjoy the sunset at Yabakei and watch it transform from light to dark.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kyushu
November 30 to December 20

Kyushu Average Temperature in Autumn
10.2℃/50.36℉ (Fukuoka Prefecture, November)

 

2021 Foliage Forecast: Kyushu

Mount Kujū (Oita)

Early November - Late November

Yabakei (Oita)

Early November - Late November

Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Early November - Late November

Kirishima Onsenkyo (Kagoshima)

Early November - Late November

Kirishima Shrine (Kagoshima)

Early November - Late November

Kiyomizu-dera Garden (Fukuoka)

Early November - Late November

Hyugami Gorge (Fukuoka)

Early November - Late November

Dazaifu Tenmangū (Fukuoka)

Early November - Late November

 

Via Live Japan

 

 

 

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