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

“ Wonderful day with Hiroko ”

Excellent
6 minutes ago Traveler: W -   Tour Guide: Hiroko

We spent a very hot and sunny day with Hiroko touring 4 major attractions including the Golden Palace. Because we were staying in Gion, Hiroko created a thoughtful itinerary that took us to the south, west and north of Kyoto. She thoughtfully included stops in places to cool off as well as a wonderful local truly Japanese lunch spot. Hiroko was very knowledgeable and made the trip interesting a...
read more

“ Book Taka now! ”

Excellent
5 hours ago Traveler: Nancy -   Tour Guide: Taka

My sons (ages 26 and 22) and I had a wonderful two days with Taka in Tokyo last week. We discussed prior to arriving what exactly we were looking for and Taka delivered all that and more. He was on time, his English was excellent, supplied enough history, etc. for the sights we delivered and was fun to be around. We asked for a mix of the not to be missed sights along with visiting restaurants ...
read more

“ Customized Osaka Day Tour ”

Excellent
11 hours ago Traveler: Ryan -   Tour Guide: Kaori

Kaori tailored the route with our interests in mind. She was very friendly and knowledgeable about all the locations we visited. We also took the least crowded routes possible. Her English is also on point. Definitely would recommend.
read more

“ Fantastic visits to Osaka and Kyoto ”

Excellent
12 hours ago Traveler: Sasha -   Tour Guide: Chikako

Thank you Chika for a wonderful tour. We saw so much of Osaka and Kyoto at a perfect pace for my six year old daughter, despite the heat.
read more

“ Exceptional day with Tomomi ”

Excellent
18 hours ago Traveler: Otak -   Tour Guide: Tomomi

Tomomi is a knowledgeable and personable guide who took us for a full day visiting the Aokigahara Forest and surrounding area. She was both responsive to our requests and able to offer suggestions that always were the best option. We hiked several miles in the forest with Tomomi pointing out intriguing natural features. We also visited the Bat Cave and the entrance to the Water Cave. All the l...
read more

“ Excelente guia y persona ”

Excellent
19 hours ago Traveler: Pablo -   Tour Guide: Aya

Aya demostró durante todos los tours una increíble profesionalidad. Se expresa y comunica en español de forma perfecta. Además de tener un gran conocimiento de la zona, está siempre pendiente de cualquier cosa que necesite el grupo. Es una excelente elección como guía en español. Recomendable 100%
read more

“ The BEST tour guide in Tokyo! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: ANTHONY -   Tour Guide: Tomoko

What an incredible first day we just spent in Tokyo with our wonderful tour guide Tomoko. She tailored our day as we requested to include both some history of the city and shrines, as well as the busy shopping areas and the train system. She has a great knowledge of Tokyo and it was an absolute pleasure to spend our day with her learning about Japan. She speaks excellent English and was great a...
read more

Plan your trip to Japan

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