With the turn into autumn, we can all look forward to the changing autumn leaves that blanket the whole country. Japan is such a unique place to experience autumn due to the abundance of both maple trees and ginkgo trees with their vibrant foliage.
Autumn is the best season for stepping outside your comfortable home and spending time in nature. You can find autumn leaves almost anywhere; head to a park, temple, or the mountains and you’ll soon spot some warm autumn colors! Nevertheless, here are some of our favorite spots to take in the delights of nature this autumn!
Daisetsuzan National Park (Hokkaido)
Due to the varying climate in Japan, you can follow the changing of the leaves from the coldest tip down to the warmer areas. Daisetsuzan National Park is a great place to see some of the first vibrant red maple leaves each autumn in Japan. You can usually see the autumn foliage around mid-September to mid-October.
Asahidake, located in the Daisetsuzan National Park, is the tallest mountain in Hokkaido. The volcano, standing at 2290 meters tall, is popular amongst hikers in summer and skiers and snowboarders in winter. In autumn, however, it is one of the best places to view the changing colors of the leaves.
At Asahidake, visitors can enjoy the dramatic contrast of the bright autumn foliage against the volcanic setting. You can take the Asahidake Ropeway and from the top, you can take a variety of hiking trails. From the top of the cable car, visitors may choose to hike up to the summit for more of a challenge. Hiking around the stunning Sugatami Pond is also another popular route to take in the beautiful autumn landscape.
As well as Asahidake, there are various other peaks where you can take in the gorgeous autumn colors of Daisetsuzan, such as Kurodake. If you love watching waterfalls, please check out Shirahige Falls and the Biei Blue Pond.
For a more relaxing trip, there are also various hot spring areas in Daisetsuzan National Park, such as Asahidake Onsen, Sounkyo Onsen, and Daisetsu Kogen Onsen.
Korankei Gorge (Aichi)
Korankei Gorge in Toyota in Aichi has over 4000 maple trees. The maple trees follow the Tomoe River, so the iconic picture of autumn at the Korankei Gorge is the view of the reflection of the trees in the water.
A momiji matsuri, autumn leaves festival, is held annually in November. You can usually see the vibrant maple red colors from late October until late November. During this time the leaves at the Korankei Gorge are lit up at night, creating a magical and sparkling ambiance.
There are also a lot of food stalls and traditional performances at the Korankei Gorge momiji matsuri. You can watch Taiko performances
Miyajima and Momiji Manju (Hiroshima)
Miyajima Island is one of the most picturesque places in Japan, regardless of the season. With the stunning floating Torii gate, Itsukushima Shrine, the deer, and the pagoda, there is plenty to see.
All of this is made so much better by the beautiful reds of the maple leaves in autumn. It is one of the best places to see autumn leaves in Hiroshima, as well as in Japan. Not only is Miyajima a great spot for autumn leaves, but it is also the best place to enjoy Momiji Manju, the popular autumn snack.
Momiji Manju is one of the famous wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet. The Momiji Manju originated from Itsukushima in Miyajima and it is inspired by the maple leaves of the area. The sweet is made from buckwheat and rice cake and it’s filled with red bean paste.
If you visit Miyajima and its beautiful autumn foliage, please make sure to try out this tasty snack and bring some back for friends and family!
Osaka Castle (Osaka)
Osaka Castle, built in 1583, is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan. Residents of Osaka often had to the castle grounds to celebrate the changing of the seasons since it is a popular spot for plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, and maple trees.
One of the best ways to see autumn leaves is by visiting popular landmarks so that you can see how the trees highlight a landmark. At Osaka Castle, visitors can take in the beautiful balance between stunning nature and impressive architecture. Take a stroll around Nishinomaru Park to take in all the vivid colors. There are various benches dotted around the moat where you can stop to take in the views.
The best time for the autumn leaves here is usually around mid-November up until early December. It’s not just maple trees that you can find at Osaka Castle. Keep a look out for the statuesque Gingko trees and their breathtaking golden-yellow foliage too.
Hoshida Park (Osaka)
Osaka is one of the best places to see the changing autumn leaves. Not only do you have the beautifully arranged park and grounds of Osaka Castle, but you can also enjoy Hoshida Park.
Hoshida Park is one of the top places to see the impressive variety of colors of autumn leaves. At Hoshida Park visitors can truly take in the vastness of the maple trees and other trees along the mountains.
The leaves are usually at their best during November. The famous photo spot of Hoshida Park is at the Hoshi-no-Buranko Bridge. Here you can enjoy the impressive suspension bridge surrounded by the warm autumn colors.
It is one of the most popular day-trip destinations in the city. Since it’s so close to Nara you might also be able to squeeze in a trip to see deer roaming around the autumn foliage!
With all the beautiful colors outside during autumn, as well as the temperate weather, it is the perfect time to get outside and truly appreciate your surroundings. Here are guides to the best spots for finding autumn leaves in Shizuoka and Kyoto.
There’s a chance you may fall in love with some of these places when you visit them this autumn. If so, please check out the available rental properties in the area using our Village House website.