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Best Spots to View Autumn Leaves in Japan

Triplelights official blog B.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Triplelights official blog B.

Last updated : Mar 01, 20214 min read

Things To Do

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

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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.


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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

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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.


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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.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Shimizu Tour Guide - Sayori H.

Sayori H.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)

Hello, I can show you the real Japan. You can taste, see and feel the country. I'd like to show the beautiful culture for you to experience. I can organize the day tour from Shimizu port for Cruise customers. Tea ceremony, strawberry picking experience, anything you are interested, I would love to help you plan your tour. I can communicate in both English and Japanese. I look forward to welcoming people from different parts of the world. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(68 reviews)

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

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