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Where to See the Fall Colors! Five Recommended Spots in Nagasaki

Momiji-gari (fall foliage touring) is recommended as a way of enjoying Japan in the autumn. The colorful foliage that adorn the mountains and surrounding nature is a moving sight that you'll want to see at least once in your lifetime. Here are five recommended spots in Nagasaki.

1. Mt. Unzen

Mt. Unzen is in the middle of Shimabara Peninsula in southeastern Nagasaki. It is a volcanic mountain with numerous peaks including Fugen-dake and Heisei-shinzan. There are many popular spots at the base of the mountain, including Unzen Onsen hot springs, which are frequented by foreign visitors.
In the fall, various types of maple trees paint the mountainside red, creating a fantastic view. It is usually lit up at night during the foliage season, so be sure to check it out (the 2017 schedule has not yet been announced.)

Best time to see the foliage: Late October - early November
Unzen Ropeway fare: Round trip - 1,260 JPY/adult, 630 JPY/child

1. Mt. Unzen

Unzen, Obama-cho, Unzen-shi, Nagasaki

2. Nita Pass

Nita Pass is also in the Mt. Unzen area. You can get on the ropeway to the top of Myoken-dake to enjoy an aerial walk at 1,300m above sea level with a fabulous view of the foliage below you. The foliage on the mountain slopes is very beautiful, and you can see fantastic views including the Fugen-dake Foliage, which is designated as a natural monument by the Japanese government. There is an observation deck at the top, from which you can enjoy an expansive view of the Unzen mountains and the Ariake Sea with its various islands.

Best time to see the foliage: Late October - mid November
Unzen Ropeway fare: Round trip - 1,260 JPY/adult, 630 JPY/child

2. Nita Pass

551 Unzen, Obama-cho, Unzen-shi, Nagasaki

3. Ohashi Kannon

Official Name: Sekkyozan Ohashikannon-ji

This is a temple of the Chisan Sect of Shingon Buddhism in Sasebo. When you pass through the temple grounds to the back of its elegant garden, there is a natural stone bridge that is 20m high and 30m long in an area famous for cherry blossoms in the spring and the colorful foliage in the fall.

Best time to see the foliage: Mid to late November

3. Ohashi Kannon

Maedake-men, Yoshii-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki

4. Todoroki Gorge

Todoroki gorge in Isahaya is a scenic spot with more than 30 waterfalls of different sizes, with clear water that has been selected as one of Japan's top 100 waters. There are many spots where you can see the combination of the falling water and colorful foliage, including the loud and powerful Todoroki falls and Tairyu fall.

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

4. Todoroki Gorge

1106-37 Zenjuji, Takaki-cho, Isahaya-shi, Nagasaki

5. Shinden-an

Shinden-an is a historic building that was built during the Edo Period (1603 - 1867). Every year, the beautiful Japanese garden and tea house are opened to the public in the spring and fall (the schedule for 2017 has not yet been announced.) You can see a wonderful view surrounded by colorful foliage. Matcha green tea is served in the tearoom (for a fee).

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

5. Shinden-an

2-18-18 Katafuchi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki

Autumn is a wonderful time of year when the temperature and weather is just right without it being too hot or cold. You can generally enjoy your sightseeing comfortably, but it can be cold in the mountains or when you go out in the evening to see the lights, so be sure to dress warmly.

*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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