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Enjoy the Beautiful Japanese Fall! Five Recommended Spots in Kyushu to See the Fall Colors

If you are visiting Japan in the fall, it is recommended to go see the beautiful fall colors. You can enjoy magnificent scenery created by the fall foliage that has turned a variety of colors such as red, orange and yellow. Here are some recommended spots to see the foliage in Kyushu.

1. Shin Yabakei (Oita)

Yabakei in Oita is one of Kyushu's foremost spots to see the fall foliage. It is divided into four areas: Hon Yabakei, Ura Yabakei, Shin Yabakei, and Oku Yabakei. Shin Yabakei, in particular, has a fantastic view of Ichimoku Hakkei (eight sceneries in one look). It is a spot with outstanding views that got this name because of the view of eight strangely-shaped rocks. It offers a magnificent view of sharp cliffs and stone pillars lined up like a byobu screen in a narrow valley. From the observatory, there is a beautiful view created by the rocks and various types of maple trees and gingko trees.

Best time to see the foliage: Late October to mid November

1. Shin Yabakei (Oita)

Yabakei-machi, Nakatsu-shi, Oita

2. Daikozen-ji (Saga Prefecture)

This is an ancient temple of the Tendai Sect of Buddhism at the foot of Mt. Chigiri on the border of Fukuoka and Saga Prefectures. There are approximately 500 maple trees that turn a beautiful red, primarily in Daikozen-ji Chigiri-en, a Japanese garden on the grounds. The scenery created by the combination of the fall foliage and moss-covered thatched roof has great atmosphere. The mystic evening scenery that is lit up is also recommended.

Best time to see the foliage: Mid November to early December

Daiko-ji Chigiri-en entrance fee
Foliage season (November and December): 500 JPY/adult; 300 JPY/junior high and elementary school

2. Daikozen-ji (Saga Prefecture)

3628 Oaza Sonobe, Kiyama-cho, Miyaki-gun, Saga

3. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki is a popular tourist destination. It is a gorge with 7km of sheer 80m-100m cliffs that is designated as a natural monument by the national government. Various types of brightly colored maples add to the beauty of this scenery. In particular, the view of Manai Falls around Onokoro Pond from Mihashi bridge is particularly beautiful. There are paved paths nearby so you can take a walk. It is also possible to rent a boat (2,000 JPY/30 minutes) so you can get your fill of the fall scenery while boating through the gorge.

Best time to see the foliage: Mid November to late November

Rental boats: 2,000 JPY/30 minutes and up

3. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Oaza Mitai Oshioi, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki

4. Akizuki Castle Ruins (Fukuoka)

Akizuki in Fukuoka is a quiet castle town nestled between mountains. The historic townscape is designated as Groups of Traditional Buildings by the national government. A black gate that is designated as a tangible cultural property by the prefecture remains on the site of Akizuki Castle. There are approximately 20 bright red maple trees in the area, creating a beautiful contrast with the gate. There are many tearooms along the Babadori street that leads up to the gate, so you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

Best time to see the foliage: Late November to early December

4. Akizuki Castle Ruins (Fukuoka)

Akizukinotori, Asakura-shi, Fukuoka

5. Sogi-no-taki (Kagoshima)

Sogi-no-taki in Kagoshima is a waterfall that is 210m in width and 12m high. It is a famous waterfall referred to as the Niagara of the East for its grand scale. The sight of the water flowing down the surface of Senjoiwa rock is powerful. The area around it is a natural park where the trees turn vibrant colors in the fall, creating a beautiful contrast with the white spray from the water. The recommended viewing spots are the observatory, Sogi Ohashi, and the ruins of Sogi Power Plant. It is lit up at night.

Best time to see the foliage: Mid to late November

5. Sogi-no-taki (Kagoshima)

628-41 Okuchimiyahito, Isa-shi, Kagoshima

There are many spots to see the fall colors together with the grand landscape created by nature, such as powerful waterfalls and steep cliffs. Please visit when you are in Kyushu.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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