Maple trees change the color of their foliage during autumn and many countries have leaf-watching traditions to enjoy this season. In Japan, the custom of viewing the changing colors of maple trees in autumn is called "Momijigari". Nikko and Kyoto are particularly favored destinations for this activity, because they are mountainous areas richly populated with maple trees which change their leaves into yellow, orange and red.
There are poems about Momiji-gari in Man-yoshu (the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry in 7C). One of them is:
春日野に しぐれ降る見ゆ 明日よりは
I noticed it's raining in Kasugano field and then felt the cool air sweep past me. From tomorrow, we will be able to enjoy the beautiful leaves on Takamato Mountain change their colors. By Fujiwara Hasso
So, why don't you experience Momijigari yourself and feel like aristocrats?
The autumn leaves in Japan are not just orange brown; they also turn into different beautiful colors as red, yellow, orange, etc. This unique phenomenon is caused by the huge differences in temperatures between the day and night in autumn in Japan. Often, it has dry, bright and sunny days but it gets chilly at night. That's why the autumn leaves are so bright and colorful.
There are two kinds of maples in Japan depending on the shape of their leaves—Momiji and Kaede. Momiji has deeply cut, fine feathery leaf. One of the typical Mojimi is Irohamomiji (Smooth Japanese maple or Palmate maple). On the other hand, one common type of Kaede is Tokaede (trident maple). This Kaeda is similar to Canadian maples.
Tokyo offers several autumn leaf sightseeing destinations:
Yoyogi Park -This large, western style park features tall and thick maple trees that shed their leaves into yellow and red. However, if you want to see the main attraction, I suggest you head to the southern side of Yoyogi Park where there are beautiful stands of red maples and golden yellow.
Rikugien - Rikugien is a very popular spot because it showcases picturesque autumn colors. You can enjoy the delightful leaves in red, yellow and brown around Togetsukyo Bridge which offers one of the best views in this traditional Japanese landscape garden. The photos you can take are post card quality and highly Instagrammable.
Ginko Avenue in Jingu Gaien – The Icho Namiki is a popular, gingko-lined avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park. The uniquely trimmed trees that turn into brilliant golden color in late November make this spot highly recommended. The golden tunnel is a perfect scene where people enjoy strolling or relaxing at one of the sidewalk cafes along the street.
Shinjuku Gyoen -If you are looking to escape the city and commune with nature, Shinjuku Gyoen is the place to be. It is famous for having a variety of trees such which include maple trees, gingko and cherry blossoms, among others. One can enjoy a fairly longer autum season here and it is definitely one of the best spots to see some autumn colors.
If you plan to visit Tokyo, it would be a great pleasure to take you to beautiful autumn leaf coloring places. My tour website is https://triplelights.com/profile/3624.