Autumn is a sweet spot between the warm summer vibes and the chill of winter. The best nature attraction during this season is the sight of leaves changing color. Attracting many visitors, Japanese maples, wax trees, rowan, burning bush, ginkgo, and elms turn vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors. Leaf peeping ("Momiji-gari" in Japanese) is highly popular in Japan and is the main draw for many tourists. Plus, the relatively pleasant temperatures make autumn a peak travel season in Japan.
When is the best time to see fall foliage in Japan
Leap peeping season in Japan starts in mid-October and can last until the end of November. The timing varies depending on altitude and geography. For example, in the mountains, the leaves typically turn yellow a bit sooner, while the leaves in the milder southwestern island of Kyushu change their color around the end of November. Overall, Japan has a relatively long period for autumn, but September is a little too early for fall foliage.
Best places to see fall foliage in Japan
Even though everybody imagines Tokyo as a concrete jungle, it's abundant with different parks and gardens. You can pay attention to Yoyogi Park, located next to Shibuya, Omotesando, and Harajuku. It's home to many ginkgo and maple trees. Also, you can visit Icho Namiki, Tokyo's iconic fall foliage spot. In the middle of Tokyo, you will find Koishikawa Korakuen—one of Tokyo's oldest and best Japanese gardens. Don't miss a chance to visit Rikugien—a wonderful garden with plenty of trees and a teahouse with a small waterfall near at hand.
Sometimes, Kyoto seems overwhelming. It's one of the oldest cities in Japan, with a rich history and many temples. In addition to historical buildings, this city is full of impressive gardens and parks. One of the most breathtaking spots for enjoying autumn color is Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Overlooking the Higashiyama area, this place offers inspiring views. Another spot is Tofukuji—the main temple of the Tofukuji School. It's full of maple trees, turning red in mid-November. Overall, this city is filled with unique spots to enjoy colorful leaves. We suggest you check our article about autumn foliage in Kyoto to find out more.
The best time to enjoy fall foliage in Osaka is mid-October through December. The most appealing spot is Osaka Castle Park, known as Osaka-jo-koen in Japanese. If you are looking for something away from the city center, check Mino Falls. They are located in northern Osaka Prefecture and offer excellent trails to stroll around while viewing vivid colors.
This popular island has many places where you can enjoy a vivid palette of yellow, red, and orange colors. For instance, you can head to Daisetsuzan National Park—the largest national park in the Hokkaido region. It consists of various hiking trails, mountain ranges, hot spring resorts, and beautiful wildlife. Sounkyo is another Japanese paradise located at the foot of Mount Kurodake. Its forested valleys offer spectacular fall colors. Shiretoko Five Lakes is one more destination that will take your breath away. Just imagine: the crystal clear surfaces of these lakes reflect the shimmering colors and mountain range. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
The best time to see fall foliage in the Kanto area is in September and even in December. Shima Onsen, located right in Joshin'etsu-kogen National Park, is definitely worth your time and attention. The colorful trees of the Hakone Museum of Art are also amazing but less popular, meaning you can avoid the crowds of tourists. The Haruna Mountains offer some of the best places to enjoy autumn leaves, such as Kajika Bridge and Ikaho Onsen.
When is the best time to see fall foliage in Hokkaido?
The period from late September to mid-October is the ideal time to catch the fall foliage in Hokkaido. Popular places to visit during this timeframe include Daisetsuzan National Park, Sounkyo, and Shiretoko Five Lakes. The beautiful red and orange colors make for a stunning display amidst Hokkaido's stunning nature, making it a perfect spot for a visit. Show more
Where are the best places to see fall foliage in Tokyo?
Tokyo has several parks and gardens with gorgeous trees boasting red, yellow, and orange autumn hues. Some of the recommended places to catch the fall foliage are Yoyogi Park, Icho Namiki, Koishikawa Korakuen, and Rikugien. Each site offers unique experiences and atmosphere, with various seasonal events taking place through the autumn month. Show more
When is the best time to see fall foliage in Osaka?
Fall foliage in Osaka is at its best between mid-October and December. Perfect locations for foliage watching during this period include Mino Falls and Osaka Castle Park, offering stunning views of colorful autumn leaves in a natural setting. A visit to Osaka during the fall is a great way to appreciate the city's natural beauty at its finest. Show more
What are some unique spots for fall foliage in Kyoto?
Kyoto has several distinctive spots for experiencing fall foliage. Kiyomizu-dera Temple provides an excellent view of Higashiyama, while Tofukuji's maple trees will start turning red from mid-November. The Philosopher's Path is a popular site for relaxing amidst the stunning foliage. Experiencing fall foliage in Kyoto is an opportunity to witness a marvel of historic and cultural significance. Show more
Where can I see the most vivid fall colors in Japan?
For the most vivid display of fall colors in Japan, Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido, Sounkyo, and Shiretoko Five Lakes would be an excellent choice. These picturesque destinations provide breathtaking views, including mountain ranges, hot spring resorts, and a diverse range of wildlife making Shiretoko an exceptional location for a visit. The shimmering colors of these sites create an unforgettable memory. Show more