In Japan, there are different recommended sightseeing spots for every season, especially in autumn, when the red leaves, before falling, glow in the clear autumn sky, it is like a piece of beautiful photo. This time, we are going to introduce 7 spots for autumn leaves viewing, from Hokkaido where the leaves first turn red in Japan all the way to Tokyo where it can be easily visited by many.
Jozankei Hot Springs, Hokkaido
In Jozankei, the “inner parlour” of Sapporo, the autumn leaves along the walking path from the valley to the hot springs street are beautiful, and the red Futami Suspension Bridge over the valley which turns red is a must see. You can enjoy different views of autumn leaves, from a canoe during the day and its fantastic light-ups in night. Every end of September to mid of October is the best time to see.
- Spot name: Jozankei Hot Springs
- Street address: Hokkaido Sapporo-shi, Minami-ku, Jokansei Hot Springs
- Access: About 100 minutes with direct bus from Shin-Chitose Airport, about 60 minutes with Kappa Liner Bus from Sapporo Station
Oirase Keiryu, Aomori Prefecture
Famous as a scenic spot, the nature of Oirase Keiryu, which flows out of Lake Towada is designated as a national natural monument. You will be able to feel the mystery of nature through the scenic spots such as Ashura Stream, 14 waterfalls, strange rocks, etc. which span over 14km, colored by autumn leaves. The best season is from early October to early November.
- Spot name: Oirase Keiryu
- Street address: Aomori Prefecture, Towada City
- Access: About 120 minutes by bus from JR Shin-Aomori Station (To Mt. Yake), about 90 minutes by bus from JR Hachinohe Station
Nikko Irohazaka, Tochigi Prefecture
There are many popular tourist spots in Nikko, such as the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a world heritage site, and Shinkyo Bridge. While you are walking on Irohazaka, a 15.8km long, and altitude difference of 500m slope connecting the city and Chuzenji Lake, you can enjoy the masterpiece view of gradually red-turning autumn leaves reflecting on Chuzenji Lake. Best time for viewing is from early October until early November.
- Spot name: Nikko Irohazaka
- Street address: Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko City, Hosoo 703
- Access: About 40 minutes from JR Tobu Nikko Line Nikko Station by bus (towards Chuzenji Hot Spring or Yumoto Hot Spring)
Meiji Jingu Gaien, Tokyo
Speaking of autumn leaves in Tokyo, it is the 300m long ginkyo trees along the street from Aoyama Street to Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery. It is like a golden tunnel with the 146 ginkyo trees turning yellow at once. Jingu Gaien Ginkyo Festival is held here, and it has become one of the scenic spots in Tokyo during autumn. The best season for viewing is from late November to early December.
- Spot name: Meiji Jingu Gaien
- Street address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Kita-Aoyama 2-chome
- Access: 3-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Gaien Mae Station, Toei Oedo Line & Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Aoyama 1-chome Station, 10-minute walk from JR Chuo & Shobu Line Shinanomachi Station
Showa Memorial Park, Tokyo
In this state-owned park with a total area of 180 hectares are the autumn leaves spots such as the 200m long canal (waterway) of ginkyo trees, Metasequoia trees in the Children’s trees, the Japanese Garden where one can enjoy tea. It feels like walking in a fairytale world here. The best season is from late October to late November.
- Spot name: Showa Memorial Park
- Street address: Tokyo, Tachikawa City, Midori-machi 3173
- Access: 2-minute walk from JR JR Ome Line Tachikawa Station, 10-minute walk from JR Chuo Line Tachikawa Station
Sankeien Garden, Kanagawa Prefecture
Many buildings including 10 important cultural properties from Kyoto and Kamakura, etc. were relocated to here. The garden feels like the ancient capital and everywhere is like a photo. The Choshukaku which is only opened during this period is a must see! You can also enjoy the original matcha at Taishunken in the park. The best season for viewing is from late November to mid of December.
- Spot name: Sankeien Garden
- Street address: Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City, Naka-ku, Honmokusannotani 58-1
- Access: Board the bus from JR Negishi Station, alight at Honmoku Station, then take a walk of about 10 minutes; about 35 minutes by City Bus 8/148 from Yokohama Station to the entrance of Sankeien Garden
Kawaguchiko North Coast, Yamanashi Prefecture
From the north coast of Lake Kawaguchi, one can see Mt. Fuji beyond the lake which reflects the autumn leaves. In addition, the 150m long red leaves tunnel as well as the light-ups of the maple corridor consisting of about 60 huge maple trees are worth seeing too. Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival is held every year and the best time for viewing is from early November to mid-November.
- Spot name: Yamanashi Kawaguchiko North Coast (Maple Corridor)
- Street address: Yamanashi Prefecture Minamitsuru-gun, Fuji Kawaguchiko-machi, Kawaguchi
- Access: 25 minutes by Kawaguchiko Sightseeing Retro Bus from Fujikyuko Kawaguchi Line Kawaguchi Station, then alight at Itchiku Kubota Art Museum