Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

by TripleLights travel specialist

If you're in Japan this autumn season, you definitely won't miss the warm colours of the autumn foliage. The trees start to change in colour from September all through to December in different areas of Japan, so there is plenty of time to enjoy nature at its best. Our top viewing spots include a wide range; from popular tourist meccas to other less-known gems. If you want to make the most of your autumn viewing experience, this quick guide will give you some great ideas.

Tokufuji Temple

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Kyoto

When: Mid – late November

The Tokufuji Temple is a popular temple in Kyoto, attracting a large number of tourists particularly in autumn. It is not surprising, as the views of the 2,000 maple trees against the Zen temple backdrop makes this a sight not to miss.

Arashiyama

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Kyoto

When: Late November – early December

Arashiyama, home to the infamous “Monkey Mountain”, is covered by forests of trees. With the fields, rivers, temples and shrines around the area, it is a lovely place to explore and view the Kyoto “Koyo” (autumn leaves).

Fuji Five Lakes

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Around Tokyo

When: Late October – mid November

Set against the majestic Mount Fuji backdrop, vivid colours of the maple leaves can be viewed on a nice walk around the Fuji Five Lakes. A stroll inside Lake Kawaguchi’s special “Maple Corridor” will definitely bring a smile to any visitor’s face.

Nikko

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Around Tokyo

When: Early – mid October

Located less than two hours away from central Tokyo by bullet train is a mountainous area filled with natural, as well as cultural sites. The sites to visit in Nikko include Lake Chuzenji, Toshogu Shrine, Sacred Bridge and Kegon Waterfall, to name a few. With an amazing array of autumn colours surrounding these sites, Nikko a must-see destination in autumn for those around the Tokyo area.

Hachimantai

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Tohoku

When: Early – late October

The shades of green, yellow and red all blend together in harmony in the vast landscape of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The area provides scenic roads, perfect for autumn foliage viewing, as well as a number of swamps and hot springs.

Lake Towada

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Tohoku

When: Late October

A crater lake situated at the top of a mountain, Lake Towada boasts clear blue waters that reflect the autumn colours beautifully. The views can be enjoyed on one of the four observation points around the lake, or even from a sightseeing boat for a completely different perspective.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Central Japan

When: Late September – early November

Located in the Northern Alps of Honshu, visitors are able to enjoy the changing colours of the trees against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. The white snow, blue skies, and green and red trees merge together to create a spectacular view.

Koishikawa Korakuen

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Tokyo

When: Late November to early December

The Koishikawa Botanical Garden, the oldest garden in Tokyo, is located in the Bunkyo ward of the Tokyo Prefecture. There is a pond in the garden grounds surrounded by paths and “Momiji” (maple) trees, perfect for a peaceful stroll and autumn foliage views.

Daisetsuzan National Park

Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Where: Hokkaido          

When: Mid September – mid October

Located in central Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, the Daisetsuzan National Park contains a diverse range of plant and animal life, as well as rock formations and waterfalls. There is no shortage of vivid autumn colours, as well as lakes and mountain ranges in this protected site.

 Update: Here is  an updated version of this blog so you can have more information, video, and location of each place: Best Places in Japan to View Autumn Foliage (Koyo)

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Japan, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Japan


14 Jul 2014

Plan your trip to Japan

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews

“ Warm, knowledgable and accommodating ”

Excellent
6 hours ago Traveler: Johnson -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima San hosted my wife, son and I on a days' tour of Tokyo. We had prearranged the itinerary to include some sites, some shopping and a museum. He met us at our hotel and talked us through the Tokyo Rail and Subway system which once you understand it is very efficient. We saw the Imperial Palace Bridges, Zozoji Temple (which is lovely), then we had time in Ginza including time in a quaint...
read more

“ Fun trip through Akihabara ”

Excellent
7 hours ago Traveler: Seth -   Tour Guide: Yuko

We had a fairly diverse group of people. Akihabara is, of course, known for its electronics shops and for catering to various "Otaku" interests. However, Yuko adeptly guided us through not only those areas, but to other places off the main strip so that we would all have a good time. She also courteously helped plan the tour around the opening times of the shops. Very knowledgeable, helpful, and p...
read more

“ Great introduction to Japan. ”

Excellent
8 hours ago Traveler: Cynthia -   Tour Guide: Mitsuru

We had a wonderful day with Mitsuru in Tokyo. We wanted a guide for our first full day in Japan as all but one of our five member family had never been to Asia. Mitsuru was so nice and very knowledgeable about Japan and Tokyo. He took us on and off the subway to all corners of Tokyo. Most importantly, he showed us how to purchase tickets for the subways and walked us through the process of getting...
read more

“ What a fun day! ”

Excellent
8 hours ago Traveler: Ginger -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

Toshi has expert experience navigating the subway system and had a good plan for seeing everything I had wanted. He seemed to be able to read my energy level & so we accomplished so much in a day. Not only that he was also fun & cool to hang out with. A big thank you goes out to him & I would highly recommend him to others.
read more

“ Thank you Hero! ”

Excellent
13 hours ago Traveler: Despina -   Tour Guide: Hero

Hero was the perfect guide to Kyoto! He explained so much of the culture, the customs, the temples, the food! It made a huge difference to our trip to have Hero host us in Kyoto - like having a good friend show us around. Thank you so much
read more

“ Very patient and fun ”

Excellent
17 hours ago Traveler: EDGAR -   Tour Guide: Kosuke

He knows many interesting little facts and drove us to some not so known places. He is flexible with places and timing. He is fun to talk to. Good English and very lively.
read more

Plan your trip to Japan

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started