20 Recommended Spots to Take in the Autumn Foliage All Around Japan
Japan's autumn begins when the foliage begins to show. The verdant foliage of the thousands of trees makes the hearts of Japanese people beat with the quiet beauty of the changing of the seasons. Because of the differences in Japan's climate, the foliage can last from September to December depending on where you are. However, it changes every year, so if there's a particular spot you'd like to visit definitely check the foliage forecast or the area's website while you plan your trip.
Sep 05 2014 (Nov 01 2021)
1. Koudaiji (Kyoto)
When to go: From the end of October to the beginning of December. Opens after sunset and final entry is at 9:30PM.
The wondrously lit autumn foliage along with the panoramic reflection in the waters of the lake makes this sight a masterpiece. It's a full-body experience that takes your breath away.
2. Chion-in (Kyoto)
When to go: November. Open 5:30PM-9:30PM (final entry at 9)
You can quietly stroll through the grounds while viewing the foliage. From time immemorial, the happiness of going to see the fall colors in Japan is that you can experience them fully with all five senses.
3. Kourankei (Toyota, Aichi)
When to go: November. Open sunset to 9PM.
Viewing the foliage from atop the bridge allows you to experience the view from close up. You can enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by the gold and red leaves.
You’ll need reservations while in Japan. See our writers’ top picks!
4. Iwayado Park (Seto, Aichi)
When to go: November.
You can look at the luxuriously-lit foliage while feeling the cool autumn breeze. If you peer at the river surface full of thousands of maple leaves, it feels like you might be pulled into some sort of mysterious fairytale.
5. Nanzenji (Kyoto)
When to go: November. Opens 8:40AM - 5PM (final entry 4:40PM).
The narrow lights parcel out the light to the foliage floating above in the darkness. The dynamic red of the leaves creates a vivid contrast with the solemn garden that seizes the viewer's heart.
6. Enrian (Kyoto)
When to go: Open to the public only from November 1st to December 7th. Hours are 9AM-4PM.
Red, red, red. The sight of the leaves falling in piles so thick you can no longer see the ground hits the viewers with an intense shock. The sight of all that red cannot be reproduced by a computer screen. If you visit, please make sure that the memory of all this red remains in your heart.
7. Momiji Kairou (Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi)
When to go: November 1st to November 24th, 2014. Hours are planned to be from 9AM to 8PM.
This is a corridor created by the trees with a gentle blend of orange and red. It's a gentle and beautiful scene that might make you unconsciously hum as you feel the autumn breeze.
8. Kouetsujisando (Kyoto)
When to go: November. Open from 8AM-5PM.
If you walk down the Kouetsujisando (the road leading up to the temple Kouetsuji) it will feel like you're being enveloped by the foliage and is a rather wondrous experience.
9. Hitachi Seaside Park (Hitachinaka, Ibaraki)
When to go: Mid-October. Hours are 9:30AM-5PM (open from September 1st to October 31st)
It looks like a completely different world. It's one of the Japan's superb views where all you can see is the definition of autumn. Autumn is one of Japan's easiest seasons to spend time in, due to the mild weather and beautiful scenery. Please enjoy the agreeable weather and the relaxing time in this world of autumn.
10. Hakuba Happoone Winter Resort (Hakuba, Nagano)
When to go: end of September-mid October.
Hakuba Happoune gets completely covered in the sunrise and the autumn colors. It can be said that a completely blissful moment is looking at the mountain completely overgrown with the trees on a clear autumnal day.
11. Konseitouge (Nikko, Tochigi)
When to go: mid-October to November.
Mountain climbing among the autumn foliage is an exceptional experience. The leaves that are filled to the brim in color will easily make the heart and body of the person look at them feel like they should leap.
12. Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido)
When to go: Mid-to-late September
Daisetsuzan's foliage combined with the clear lake surface makes for a beautiful sight. When you're there, it feels like you can look at it forever.
13. Bandai Azuma Lakeline (Fukushima)
When to go: Mid-to-late October
If you can drive in Japan or find a friend who can, you should definitely drive up the Bandai Azuma Lakeline. It's one of the only places where you can be surrounded completely by the foliage as you drive. Maybe you'll subconsciously grow to want to visit over and over.
15. Bishamondo (Kyoto)
When to go: Mid-November to late-December. Hours: 8:30AM-5PM.
A scene where it feels like you're completely transported into another world. You can also try the traditional ways to enjoy autumn of mysterious Japan.
16. Chuusonji (Hiraizumi, Iwate)
When to go: Early October to late November.
Of course, it goes without saying that the foliage is beautiful, but also the incredibly tall silhouettes of the trees is another highlight.
17. Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto)
When to go: Mid-November to late-November.
Kyoto Gyoen boasts a huge 65 hectares of land. The foliage within that land attracts people to spend a tranquil moment there.
18. Toufukuji (Kyoto)
When to go: mid-November to early December. Open from 8AM-4:30PM.
Established in 1236, for these long years the beautiful reddish-brown architecture has been immersed in brilliant reds. If you experience the feeling of overlooking the foliage as it's flooded with light, you might unwittingly feel as though you've been transported to a sacred world.
19. Ooi River, Arashiyama (Kyoto)
When to go: Mid-to-late November
You can boat on the Ooi River in the middle of Kyoto's Arashiyama mountain. If you come to Kyoto in the autumn, you should definitely try to experience it.
20. Kiyomizudera (Kyoto)
When to go: late November to early December
This photo is of Kiyomizudera and the foliage wrapped in the setting sun. It's a scene that might make you unwittingly make noises of wonder.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.