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10 Recommended Spots for Autumn Foliage in Japan

2016.10.06

Writer name : HITODE 3

The leaves turning color is the biggest treat of autumn, and the sight of the colors in natural areas like mountains is enough to take your breath away. Here are 10 recommended areas around the country that have great foliage listed from north to south.

1. Tsutanuma (Aomori)

Tsutanuma is a popular foliage spot in the Tohoku area. It's best to see them in the early morning. They glimmer in the sunlight, and the vermilion leaves reflected in the surface of the lake is a magical, beautiful sight. You can only see it for a short period of time, so don't miss it!

Peak foliage is from mid-late October.



1. Tsutanuma (Aomori)


Aomori Tourism Information Site Official Homepage (Japanese only)

2. Kenrokuen (Ishikawa)

Kenrokuen, one of Kanazawa's representative tourism spots, is full of trees that turn beautiful colors in the autumn, including maple, cherry blossoms, zelkova, and Enkianthus. The area that's especially recommended is the area around Kotojitourou, the garden lanterns. There's also the attractive sight of the reflection of the leaves in the surface of the water of Kasumigaike.

Peak foliage is from late November to early December.


Photo by Kanazawa city


2. Kenrokuen (Ishikawa)


Official Homepage

3. Lake Chuzenji (Tochigi)

Around Lake Chuzenji, one of Nikko's foremost lakes, are trees including maple, Chinese lacquer, Japanese beech, and more. Many people go to the lake every year to see the trees turn red and yellow reflected in the surface of the lake. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this spot, including taking a cruise around the lake on a pleasure boat or strolling around the shore.

Peak foliage is from mid-late October.


3. Lake Chuzenji (Tochigi)


Nikko City Tourism Association Official Homepage

4. Nagatoro Keikoku (Saitama)

Nagatoro Keikoku, one of Saitama's leading tourism spots, is home to Iwadatami, famous for the autumn foliage. The rock wall which looks like it's covered in tatami mats and the cliff on the opposite shore called Chichibu Sekiheki both get covered with gorgeously colored leaves so that it looks like a painting.

Peak foliage is from mid-late November.


4. Nagatoro Keikoku (Saitama)


Nagatoromachi Tourism Association Official Homepage

5. Mt. Takao (Tokyo)

Mt. Takao is a natural treasure that's just about 45 minutes from the center of Tokyo. It's beautiful all year round, but when the foliage looks like the leaves have been set on fire, the mountain becomes an even nicer sight. There are 6 different hiking courses, so please choose them based on your needs. It's great for the whole family.

Peak foliage is from mid-November to early December.


5. Mt. Takao (Tokyo)


Official Homepage (Japanese only)

6. Lake Ashinoko (Kanagawa)

Lake Ashinoko is a famous spot because you can enjoy the sight of Mt. Fuji with autumn foliage from there. You can take a leisurely walk around and enjoy the foliage on the shore of the lake as well. Onshi-Hakone-Koen Park overlooks the lake, and from there you can command a view of the foliage around the rim of the caldera, Lake Ashinoko, and on clear days even Mt. Fuji.

Peak foliage is from mid-late November.


6. Lake Ashinoko (Kanagawa)


Hakone Tourist Association Official Homepage

7. Shuzenji Nature Park (Shizuoka)

Shuzenji is the oldest hot spring area on the Izu peninsula, and it has plenty of spots for foliage. Among them, in Shuzenji Nature Park's maple forest, there are about 1,000 trees spread, including Japanese maple, trident maple, and Acer palmatum var.amoenum (Japanese maple with larger leaves), out over 1 hectare. It's Izu's most admired area for foliage. On days with good weather, you can see Mt. Fuji from the Fuji observation platform in the park.

Peak foliage is from mid-November to early December.


7. Shuzenji Nature Park (Shizuoka)


Izu Tourist Information Homepage

8. Arashiyama (Kyoto)

Kyoto is filled with innumerable spots to enjoy the autumn foliage, but Arashiyama is one that's especially impressive and popular. The sight of it from Togetsukyo, the bridge that is arguably the symbol of Arashiyama, is breathtaking! In the area there are famous temples like Tenryuji and Nonomiya Shrine, so it's a great idea to stroll around all the temples.

Peak foliage is from late November to early December.


8. Arashiyama (Kyoto)


Kyoto Tourism Navi Official Homepage

9. Kankakei (Kagawa)

Kankakei is a scenic spot on Shodo Island in the Seto Inland Sea. The collaboration of the nature-made rocks and the foliage is satisfying to see. The ropeway that heads to the summit has a view of the area, and when the foliage is tinged with fiery colors, it's breathtaking.

Peak foliage is from early-late November.


9. Kankakei (Kagawa)


Official Homepage

10. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)

Takachiho Gorge is a deep valley made by volcanic activity from Mt. Aso and erosion from the Gokase River, and it's absolutely gorgeous in spring and autumn. You can gaze at the foliage from a boat going down the river, or take a walk from the area from the Manai Falls to the Shinbashi Bridge.

Peak foliage is from mid-late November.


10. Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)


Takachiho Tourist Association Official Homepage

There are plenty of other foliage areas around the country. Please search for and enjoy the sight that you can only see during the autumn season.

*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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