If you are in Shizuoka prefecture or spending any time during autumn in Shizuoka, you’re in luck! There are so many beautiful places out in nature to enjoy the fall foliage! From Shizuoka City to Hamamatsu City, passing through the popular Sumata Gorge and hidden gems such as Maruyama Park – this prefecture has some of the best autumn leaves viewing spots.
Located deep in the Southern Alps of Shizuoka prefecture, you can find Sumata Gorge, also known as Sumatakyo Gorge. Sumata Gorge is close to the small hot spring village of Sumatakyo, which is accessible by train on the Oigawa Main Line. The journey itself is pretty spectacular and the Oigawa lines in one of the few remaining steam train lines so don’t miss the opportunity for a fun steam train experience on your way to Sumata Gorge!
Sumata Gorge is one of the dreamiest places to enjoy a walk during autumn in Shizuoka. There’s a 3-kilometer hiking trail around the gorge and mountain areas where you’ll be able to take in the fall foliage. You will be able to see a sea of mountains in various shades. It looks magical when the golden sunlight picks up the colors of the fall foliage.
Along the trail, you’ll cross the picturesque Bridge of Dreams (Yume no Tsuribashi). It’s a swing bridge passing over vivid turquoise waters and it’s a particularly popular Instagram spot. It is traditional to stop and make a wish for someone you care about in the middle of the bridge.
Mt. Amagi, part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, forms a border between Izu City and Higashi-Izu Town. Mt. Amagi is another one of our favorite places to appreciate autumn in Shizuoka. It makes a great day trip for any hikers in Shizuoka prefecture looking to get out amongst beautiful autumn leaves. The area consists of a couple of mountains, Mt. Bansaburo being the highest peak.
The mountain is dense with beech trees and is a feasible day-hike for beginners due to the gentle incline. The views of the fall foliage in Mt. Amagi are worth the hours of walking! There are two different hiking routes: Shakunage (approximately 8 kilometers), and Amagi Juso (approximately 15 kilometers).
Mt. Amagi offers views of Mt. Fuji along the trail, and since autumn is a good time for viewing Mt. Fuji, thanks to the crisp air, you could get lucky! The best time to visit for the foliage is usually between late October and early December.
Shizuoka prefecture has its own Maruyama Park close to Ito City. At Maruyama Park you can enjoy the sight of the classic deep red Japanese maple trees, as well as, Zelkovas trees.
The park is in the mountains so you can expect a scenic backdrop. Maruyama Park also has some small waterfalls and there are hiking trails for anyone interested in exploring further.
The peak fall foliage for Maruyama Park is usually in late November.
Close to Hamamatsu City you can find Ryotanji Temple, a place you must visit during autumn in Shizuoka for the fall foliage. The Ryotan-ji garden at the temple is a scenic place throughout all the seasons but especially in autumn. The gardens include plenty of Japanese maple trees, as well as other maple trees and white enkianthus. The fallen red leaves look stunning against the moss ground and rock garden.
There is usually yearly autumn leaves light-up event at Ryotanji temple where the gardens are illuminated. It’s a wonderful spot to enjoy autumn in Shizuoka at night.
From Hamamatsu City, you can take a bus to the temple which takes just under an hour. If you’re in Hamamatsu City around Late November to early December this is usually the peak time for momiji at Ryotanji Temple.
Known as “the small Kyoto of Izu”, there is much to appreciate in Shuzenji. It’s most famous for the temple and the hot springs. In the Shuzenji area there is a yearly momiji festival so please do visit if you find yourself in Shizuoka prefecture.
The whole of Shuzenji shines as it becomes covered in reds, oranges, and yellows. The Shuzen Natural Park is home to over 1000 maples trees so be sure to pop by for some vibrant fall foliage. If you’re still left wanting more, take a stroll around the Shuzen river and make sure to cross all five of the bridges, known as the “love bridges”, if you cross all five, your wish of love is said to come true.
Though spring, the sakura season, is considered by most the best time to visit Japan, autumn in Japan might just top it, with the mild weather and deep vibrant colors. Since autumn in Japan is not as popular as spring, it is a great time to travel to somewhere new since it isn’t usually as crowded (apart from everyone else who knows how great the momiji season is)! No matter where you end up in Japan, you can be sure to see some gorgeous fall foliage in November and early December. Mt. Amagi, Maruyama Park, Ryotanji, Sumata Gorge, and Shuzenji are all wonderful spots to get out of the city, into the fresh air, and be encompassed by nature and all its beautiful colors and textures. If you’re close to Shizuoka prefecture, these are some of the favorite spots to appreciate autumn in Shizuoka, so they are definitely worth the visit.