21 Best Places for Fall Foliage in Japan

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By Cher

If you’re looking for the Best Places for Fall Foliage in Japan, then this post is for you. Japan’s autumn season brings about a breathtaking transformation of vibrant fall colors, as leaves turn various shades of red, orange, and yellow. From tranquil temple gardens to majestic mountainsides, Japan provides an array of stunning locations to witness the beauty of fall foliage. Here are 21 of the best spots to see autumn leaves in Japan 2023.

Eikando Temple, Kyoto

Eikando Temple
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Eikando Temple, located in Kyoto, is one of the most captivating places to see autumn leaves in Japan. This historic temple, also known as Zenrinji, is renowned for its vibrant autumn foliage, attracting visitors from around the world. As the leaves begin to change color, Eikando Temple transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of red, orange, and gold hues. The serene atmosphere of the temple grounds coupled with the stunning autumn scenery creates an unforgettable experience.

Autumn in Japan is a magical time, and Eikando Temple showcases the beauty of the season in all its glory. The temple’s vast complex encompasses multiple gardens, ponds, and walking paths, offering countless opportunities to immerse yourself in the enchanting fall atmosphere.

This temple, a foliage spot, is famous for its stunning autumn colors, especially the Japanese maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The temple is illuminated at night during the peak season, creating a magical atmosphere. The temple’s main attraction, the Tahoto Pagoda, stands amidst a sea of fiery maple trees, creating a picture-perfect scene that captures the essence of autumn in Japan. The gradual slope leading up to the pagoda is lined with maple trees, allowing visitors to enjoy a leisurely walk amidst the striking fall foliage.


Arashiyama, Kyoto

Arashiyama
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Arashiyama, located in Kyoto, is a must-visit destination for those seeking the beauty of autumn colors in Japan. This picturesque district is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and iconic bamboo forest. As the autumn season arrives, Arashiyama transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors, offering breathtaking views of the vibrant foliage.

This area is known for its bamboo forest, but it also offers beautiful autumn leaves on its forested mountains along the river. The peak time to visit is usually from mid-November through early December. The colors in Japan during fall are truly a sight to behold, and Arashiyama showcases this natural beauty in its full glory. 

The combination of the breathtaking autumn scenery, peaceful temples, and picturesque landscapes makes Arashiyama an unforgettable location to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall.


Tofukuji Temple, Kyoto

Tofukuji Temple
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Another autumn leaf spot in Japan is Tofukuji temple. Tofukuji Temple in Kyoto is a renowned destination that attracts numerous visitors seeking to enjoy the autumn beauty of fall in Japan. 

This historic Zen temple is particularly famous for its magnificent Tsutenkyo Bridge, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding maple trees during the autumn season. The best time to visit Tofukuji Temple is in mid to late November when the foliage reaches its peak, creating a stunning display of vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves.

As you cross the Tsutenkyo Bridge, you’ll be surrounded by a canopy of fiery red leaves, creating an enchanting and immersive experience. The elevated view from the bridge allows visitors to fully appreciate the beauty of the temple’s gardens and the vibrant autumn colors spread out below. It’s truly one of the best places to visit when you travel to Japan during the fall season.


Icho Namiki, Tokyo

Icho Namiki
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Another place to see fall foliage is Icho Namiki. It is a stunning avenue lined with ginkgo trees that transforms into a captivating sight of autumn colours during fall. Known as the “Gingko Avenue,” this popular spot in Tokyo allows visitors to see fall foliage at its finest. As the weather starts to cool down, the ginkgo trees shed their leaves, creating a vibrant golden carpet that stretches along the avenue.

This avenue of ginkgo trees is one of the most famous spots to see autumn leaves in Japan. The trees turn into a beautiful golden color during the peak season, which is usually from mid-November to early December. The avenue is especially enchanting during sunny afternoons when the golden leaves shimmer in the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing sight.

Walking down Icho Namiki, you can’t help but be captivated by the gorgeous fall leaf display. The golden hues of the ginkgo leaves fluttering in the autumn breeze create a serene and tranquil atmosphere. It’s a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and appreciate the changing seasons.


Rikugien Garden, Tokyo

Rikugien Garden
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Rikugien Garden, located in Tokyo, is one of the most breathtaking fall foliage spots to visit in Japan. This expansive traditional Japanese garden is renowned for its spectacular autumn colors, drawing visitors from all over the world. 

This famous landscape garden is well-known and loved especially during the autumn months, thanks to its numerous maple trees. The garden is illuminated at night during the peak season, creating a magical atmosphere.

When fall arrives, Rikugien Garden transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, showcasing the spectacular autumn foliage of Tokyo. The garden features a variety of maple and other deciduous trees that burst into shades of red, orange, and yellow.

 Strolling through the garden’s meandering paths, visitors are treated to picturesque views of the brilliantly colored leaves against the backdrop of traditional tea houses, bridges, and ponds. It’s definitely one of the best destinations in Japan for viewing autumn leaves.


Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido

Daisetsuzan National Park
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Daisetsuzan National Park, located in Hokkaido, offers some of the best views to see fall colors and enjoy the spectacular autumn season in Japan. This expansive national park is a paradise for nature lovers, boasting a diverse range of landscapes, including towering mountains, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. As the summer transitions to fall, the park transforms into a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and yellow, making it a prime destination for experiencing the beauty of autumn.

This national park is one of the best places to see autumn colors in Hokkaido. The park is home to a variety of trees, including birch, maple, and oak, which turn into beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow.

If you’re planning to visit Japan during the autumn season, make sure to add Daisetsuzan National Park to your itinerary for an exceptional fall experience. 


Lake Towada and Oirase Stream, Aomori

Lake Towada
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Known for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The area is also home to a beautiful lake and a picturesque stream.

One of the highlights of visiting Lake Towada and Oirase Stream during the autumn season is the opportunity to see beautiful autumn foliage. The dense forests surrounding the lake and stream burst into vibrant colors, painting a picturesque scene for visitors to enjoy. Walking along the pathways, the red maple leaves create a stunning contrast against the clear blue waters, providing a feast for the eyes.

These beautiful places are renowned for their natural beauty during the autumn season. The peaceful ambiance and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the magic of fall. The winding paths along the stream and the panoramic vistas overlooking the lake offer numerous vantage points to appreciate the kaleidoscope of autumn colors.


Nikko, Tochigi

Nikko
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Nikko, in Tochigi prefecture, is one of the best autumn foliage spots in Japan, offering a breathtaking experience to enjoy the autumn leaves. As the leaves change color, Nikko transforms into a vibrant canvas of red, orange, and gold shades, showcasing the best of autumn. With its lush forests, serene lakes, and historical temples, Nikko is a perfect destination for immersing oneself in the beauty of fall.

This area is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the Toshogu Shrine and the Futarasan Shrine. During the autumn season, Nikko boasts some of the best autumn views in Japan. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Nikko Toshogu Shrine is particularly renowned for its stunning fall foliage. The gorgeous colors of the surrounding trees create a picturesque setting, making it a prime spot for visitors to witness the best of autumn. To fully enjoy fall in Nikko, exploring the various hiking trails and nature parks is a must. 

The Chuzenji Lake area offers impressive views of the surrounding mountains and the reflection of the vibrant foliage on the clear waters. Additionally, the Senjogahara Marshland and Ryuzu Waterfall are two breathtaking locations where the autumn colors are at their peak, providing an unforgettable experience to enjoy the best of autumn in Nikko.


Kurobe Gorge, Toyama

Kurobe Gorge
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Kurobe Gorge in Toyama is considered one of the best places for autumn in Japan, offering a remarkable experience for those seeking an autumn trip to Japan. As the season transitions, Kurobe Gorge becomes a stunning tapestry of autumn colors, attracting visitors from near and far. With its steep cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and dense forests, Kurobe Gorge presents some of the best spots to see the fall foliage in all its glory.

This area is famous for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The area is also home to a beautiful gorge and a picturesque train ride.

Kurobe Gorge is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and is considered one of the best spots to see fall in Japan. The gorge’s narrow and winding path, flanked by towering trees, provides a feast for the eyes as you venture deeper into the heart of nature. The sight of the vibrant leaves contrasting with the emerald green waters of the Kurobe River is truly breathtaking and offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking the best of autumn in Toyama.


Mitarai Valley, Nara

Mitarai Valley
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In Nara, Mitarai Valley stands out as a beautiful and iconic fall destination where visitors can immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenes of autumn. The valley’s landscape is adorned with a vibrant palette of red, orange, and yellow as the foliage transforms during the autumn season. It creates a picturesque setting that captures the essence of this beautiful and iconic fall scenery.

This valley is known for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The valley is also home to a beautiful stream and a picturesque bridge.

Mitarai Valley offers the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of the autumn season.


Nara Park, Nara

Nara Park
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As the season transitions, Nara Park transforms into a captivating landscape adorned with gorgeous fall colors. The park’s expansive grounds, dotted with ancient temples and historic monuments, offer a serene and picturesque setting to experience the magic of autumn.

Walking through Nara Park during the autumn season is a feast for the senses. The park is home to numerous species of trees, including maple and ginkgo trees, which paint the surroundings with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. The sight of the colorful leaves against the backdrop of the park’s tranquil ponds and lush greenery is truly mesmerizing, making it one of the best places to see fall colors in Japan.

In addition to the stunning fall foliage, Nara Park is home to hundreds of friendly deer roaming freely throughout the area. Witnessing these gentle creatures amidst the gorgeous autumn scenery is a unique experience that further enhances the charm of the park. Visitors can enjoy feeding the deer and capturing memorable moments with the combination of the animals and the stunning autumn backdrop.


Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto

Kiyomizudera Temple
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Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto is a great place to visit during autumn, as it offers a mesmerizing experience that showcases the beauty of the season. 

The temple’s iconic wooden veranda, perched on a hillside surrounded by a lush forest, provides a stunning vantage point to admire the autumn foliage that blankets the area. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create an enchanting scene that perfectly complements the temple’s traditional architecture.

Planning a trip to Japan during the autumn season would be incomplete without a visit to Kiyomizudera Temple. The temple’s name translates to “Pure Water Temple” and is celebrated for its sacred spring, which is believed to have healing properties. Beyond its cultural and historical significance, the temple’s surroundings come alive during autumn, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. It’s definitely one of the top fall foliage spots in Japan.


Hakone, Kanagawa

Hakone
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Hakone, located in Kanagawa prefecture, is a perfect destination to experience the autumn season and witness the gorgeous fall foliage. Known for its scenic beauty and hot springs, Hakone offers a serene escape from the bustling city life, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. 

During autumn, the hills and valleys of Hakone undergo a breathtaking transformation as the trees become adorned with vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow.

Basically, this area is famous for its hot springs and its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The area is also home to a beautiful lake and a picturesque view of Mount Fuji.


Zao, Yamagata

Zao
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Famous for its majestic Zao Mountain Range and stunning fall foliage, Zao offers an enchanting experience during the autumn season. The mountains and forests are transformed into a vibrant display of red, orange, and yellow hues, creating a picturesque landscape that captivates visitors.

Exploring the hiking trails of Zao allows you to immerse yourself in the splendor of autumn. The trails lead through dense forests and offer panoramic views of the mountains and valleys adorned with colorful foliage.

As you hike, you’ll be treated to the crisp mountain air and the gentle rustling of leaves underfoot, making it a serene and refreshing experience.


Kamikochi, Nagano

Kamikochi
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Kamikochi in Nagano is a destination that provides an opportunity to see spectacular autumn scenery. During the autumn season, the valley comes alive with a vibrant display of colors as the foliage changes, creating a truly spectacular sight.

This area is famous for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The area is also home to a beautiful river and a picturesque view of the Northern Japan Alps.

Kamikochi serves as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers alike, seeking to capture the mesmerizing beauty of autumn. The combination of majestic peaks, tranquil rivers, and vibrant foliage provides the perfect backdrop for striking photographs. 


Oze National Park, Gunma

Oze National Park
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Oze National Park in Gunma is an incredible destination to visit during the autumn season, offering a chance to see spectacular landscapes and experience the beauty of Japan’s fall colors. 

With its vast marshlands, pristine forests, and mountain views, Oze National Park transforms into a breathtaking canvas of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows during autumn.

This national park is famous for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The park is also home to a beautiful marshland and a picturesque view of Mount Tanigawa.


Mount Takao, Tokyo

Mount Takao
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As the leaves change their colors, Mount Takao transforms into a stunning tapestry of red, orange, and yellow hues. The vibrant foliage creates a breathtaking sight that attracts locals and tourists alike, making it a popular destination for enjoying autumn beauty.

This mountain is famous for its stunning autumn colors, especially the maple trees that turn into a fiery red hue. The mountain is also home to a beautiful view of the city.

At the summit of Mount Takao, visitors can visit the Yakuoin Temple, a spiritual retreat offering a serene environment to appreciate the beauty of autumn and find tranquility. The temple is surrounded by maple trees, which come alive with vibrant colors during the season, adding to the serene ambiance. Exploring the temple grounds and taking in the panoramic views from the summit provides a serene and unforgettable experience of autumn in Tokyo.


Kegon Falls, Tochigi

Kegon falls
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Kegon Falls in Tochigi is a mesmerizing destination to witness the beauty of autumn. As the season unfolds, the surrounding forest comes alive with vibrant red, orange, and yellow foliage, creating a stunning backdrop for the majestic waterfall. 

The cascading waters of the Kegon Falls, combined with the surrounding vibrant colors, make it a truly breathtaking sight during autumn. Visiting Kegon Falls during the autumn season offers a unique and immersive experience. 

The observation deck located near the waterfall provides an up-close view of the impressive 97-meter drop, along with a panoramic vista of the surrounding foliage. The sound of the rushing water, the invigorating mist, and the radiant colors of the season all contribute to creating a captivating atmosphere.


Shosenkyo Gorge, Yamanashi

Shosenkyo Gorge
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Shosenkyo Gorge in Yamanashi is a captivating destination that truly comes alive during autumn. As the leaves change their colors, the gorge transforms into a stunning display of vibrant red, orange, and yellow foliage. 

The combination of the towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant fall colors makes Shosenkyo Gorge a feast for the eyes and a must-visit location for autumn enthusiasts.

Exploring the walking trails of Shosenkyo Gorge allows visitors to immerse themselves in the enchanting beauty of the season. The trails wind along the gorge, offering breathtaking views and opportunities to get close to nature. As you hike through the gorge, you’ll be surrounded by the vibrant colors of the foliage and the soothing sound of water flowing from the cascading waterfalls, creating an immersive and memorable experience.


Mikuni Pass, Hokkaido

Mikuni Pass
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Hiking enthusiasts will find Mikuni Pass to be a paradise during autumn. The pass is surrounded by a network of hiking trails that lead through the stunning landscapes of Daisetsuzan National Park. 

As you explore the trails, you’ll be treated to magnificent vistas of colorful foliage against the backdrop of towering mountains. The crisp mountain air and the rustling sound of fallen leaves further enhance the autumn experience.

Mikuni Pass showcases the enchanting beauty of fall in Hokkaido. The vibrant colors, majestic mountains, and serene atmosphere combine to create an unforgettable autumn experience.


Minoo Park, Osaka

Minoo Park
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Known for its picturesque waterfalls and scenic hiking trails, the park transforms into a colorful haven during the autumn season. The vibrant foliage paints the landscape with hues of red, orange, and yellow, providing a breathtaking sight that attracts visitors from near and far.

Hiking through the trails of Minoo Park offers an immersive experience amidst nature’s autumn spectacle. As you wander along the paths, you’ll be surrounded by towering trees adorned with vibrant leaves.

The gentle rustling of the fallen leaves underfoot and the cool breeze add to the ambiance, creating a serene atmosphere that makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers.

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