3 Autumn Events in Japan Worth Checking Out in 2018
(Free tickets to one of the events! Just keep reading.) Every season in Japan brings about new events, but which ones are actually worth visiting? When you've got a limited amount of time to explore, making the right choice becomes everything. We've selected some of the best autumn events in Japan that are still running. Whether you're in popular tourist cities like Kyoto and Tokyo, or located in a more rural area like Aichi, Japanese flowers, famous old castles, fall foliage, delicious festival food, and more await you!
Oct 31 2018 (Apr 16 2019)
Admire the Mix of Art and Gorgeous Fall Scenery at Nijo Castle (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo) is one of Japan's most famous castles. Not only is it a registered World Heritage Site, but it is home to national treasures such as Ninomaru Palace, pictured below.
It also has three gardens: Ninomaru Garden, which is ranked as the 8th most beautiful garden in Japan; Seiryu Garden (Seiryu-en), ranked 6th in the same list; and Honmaru Garden. The picture below shows what Ninomaru Garden looks like at the peak of the fall season.
Nearly every year, some sort of autumn event is held at Nijo Castle to celebrate the lovely autumn colors. This year, it is collaborating with NAKED, one of the top creative media companies in Japan, to transform the inside and outside of Nijo Castle into a gorgeous flower-themed light art exhibit.
On top of seeing the lovely autumn leaves around the grounds lit up, you will get to enjoy a variety of other flowers like cosmos, as well as admire Nijo Castle in a completely different way from the daytime.
If that sounds like something you'd be interested in: Surprise! We got approval to give a couple of tickets away! Just submit an expression of interest through this Google Form here: https://goo.gl/forms/tFbL9cKhNL0FjJF93
Enjoy Street Food and Surround Yourself With Gold Leaves at Meiji Jingu Gaien (Tokyo City, Tokyo)
With sports facilities, restaurants, and an art gallery, Meiji Jingu Gaien manages to offer leisure and culture for locals and tourists year round. It gets the most visitors in the autumn, which is when its famous ginkgo-lined road, Ginkgo Avenue, turns into a gold wonderland.
For over 20 years, the Jingu Gaien Icho Matsuri (Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival) has been held at this location to celebrate the peak of the fall season. With food stalls selling snacks like rainbow-colored cotton candy and street performances lined up, it always promises to be an entertaining and lively event!
The stunningly golden ginkgo trees are also illuminated at night during the event period, making for a romantic scene that perfectly ends a great day out.
Even if you're too busy to come during the day, definitely make a bit of time to see how gorgeous it can still be at night! Just don't forget to bring a jacket, since it's expected to be pretty cold.
On the day, there will surely be festival foods up for sale that you won't know about. If you do spot such foods, take a look at this festival food guide below to learn more about it!
Take in the Beautiful Fall Colors of Japanese Flowers at Flower Lagoon (Gamagori City, Aichi)
This Japanese garden that's open all year is actually home to some of the prettiest flowers and illuminations you can see in Japan. Every season, they change the flowers, decorations, and illuminations around, and autumn is no exception.
There are many gorgeous flower art installations set up throughout the garden, but one of the most popular places to take a photo at is the flower arch tunnel. Can you imagine what sort of fall colors might decorate it?
Like many other Japanese events, night brings about a change in scenery with special illuminations. Apart from seeing the beautiful Japanese flowers lit up in lovely fall colors, you can take in specific artworks that have blended in with nature, such as the one in the image below.
You can take a free shuttle bus from Gamagori Station to get to Laguna Ten Bosch, which is where you will find this garden. The city itself is about 2 hours away from Tokyo and 1 hour away from Osaka by shinkansen (bullet train), so if you really wanted to, you could visit it for a day trip!
When you are there, make sure to check if any of the autumn flowers in the article below can be found there! We're pretty sure you'll spot a bunch of them.
Though we personally think that the above events are the ones you really shouldn't miss, the truth is that you will find plenty of other interesting and worthwhile events scattered all across Japan. If you're looking to fill in your travel itinerary with something more interesting than regular sightseeing, definitely try out these events or take a look at a few others in the article below.