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Sendai, a city often called "the forest capital," is Miyagi's leading city. While it's famous for Matsushima, one of Japan's top three sights, there are other spots full of nature in the prefecture that you can enjoy. Here are 5 spots that have particularly beautiful autumn foliage.

1. Naruko Gorge

This is a gorge in Osaki that's 2.5km long and has rock walls soaring up to around 100m. It's an absolute must-see in the autumn when the leaves change color! The red and yellow Japanese beech, oak, and maple trees are dotted with green pine trees and rocks of strange shapes and sizes to create a beautiful, enjoyable scenery. A recommended viewing spot is Miharashidai, the rest house. You can enjoy the view of Ofukazawa Bridge stretching across the gorge through the foliage.

Peak season: end of October to early November
*Closed for the winter between late November and early April

1. Naruko Gorge

Naruko Onsen, Osaki-shi, Miyagi

2. Akiu Otaki Waterfall

This is one of Japan's top three waterfalls. You can enjoy the impressive sight of the water flowing over 55m with a width of 6m along with the autumn foliage. There are stairs so you can walk down to the basin. The sight of the water splashing into the basin with a backdrop of the colorful ginkgo, Japanese maple, oak, and maple trees and rock wall is stunning. If you walk down to the basin, please be aware that it's slippery. The view from the observation deck, Takimidai, inside Akiu Otaki Fudoson is very pretty.

Peak season: late October to early November

2. Akiu Otaki Waterfall

Aza-Otaki, Baba, Akiu-machi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi

3. Choro Lake

Choro Lake is a 2km diameter lake at the foot of Mt. Fubo, the southern peak of the Zao mountain range. It's a mystical lake with clear blue water in the middle of deep forest. In autumn, the reflection of Mt. Fubo and the colorful maple, Japanese beech, and oak trees is a beautiful sight to behold. You can also enjoy the autumn foliage from a boat (800 JPY for 30 minutes) on the surface of the lake. There are walking courses along the lakeside, so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake as well.

Peak season: mid-October to early November

3. Choro Lake

Choro, Shichikashuku-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi

4. Yokokawa Valley

Yokokawa Valley is another spot with beautiful foliage near Choro Lake. The pristine valley is lined on both sides with Japanese beech, oak, and maple trees, and in the autumn you can enjoy the area painted in bright colors. A particularly lovely site is the Yamabiko Tsuribashi suspension bridge. It's around 120m long, and it's Tohoku's longest suspension bridge. It's 20m high, and from the center of the bridge you can see the gorgeous site of Mt. Fubo. You can enjoy the clean water running beneath you along with the sight of the foliage.

Peak season: mid-October to early November

4. Yokokawa Valley

Kaminotaira, Shichikashuku-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi

5. Zao Echo Line (Miyagi side)

This is a mountain road that stretches east to west over the Zao mountain range from the town of Zao to Kaminoyama, Yamagata. Both sides of the road are lined with maple, Japanese beech, and oak trees, so you can enjoy a drive surrounded by the bright colors of the beautiful trees. The sight of the mountains covered in autumn foliage from the summit is a must-see. Since the first snow that settles falls early, you may even be able to see mountain snow covering the colorful leaves. There are plenty of spots along the road where you can enjoy even more nature, such as Okama, a crater lake which has beautiful emerald green water.

Peak season: mid-October
*Closed for winter between early November and late April

5. Zao Echo Line (Miyagi side)

Inside the national forest, Aza-Kuraishidake, Togatta Onsen, Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi

If you visit Miyagi in the autumn, why not visit some of these famous places for foliage? Please enjoy the beautiful sights that come together only during this part of the year.

*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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