Autumn Leaves Viewing Places 紅葉スポット

  • Published on : 23/09/2022
  • by : Japan Experience
Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Japan


This fall, Japan Experience shares its selection of the best places to enjoy the Japanese phenomenon of kōyō, when the natural landscape is transformed and the leaves turn red. From North to South, discover places to see autumn leaves in every region of Japan.

Japan has two type of foliage : the red momiji and the yellow momiji. The Japan Meteorological Corporation has now released the 2023 foliage forecast. 


According to these forecasts, northern Japan will be the first to see autumn leaves, from late October 2023, with peak foliage in early November 2023.


On the main island of Honshû, autumn leaves will appear from mid- to late-November. In other regions, such as Osaka and Kyoto, the kôyô season will begin towards the end of November, with a peak in early December.


Forecasts show that the best days to see the red momoji are around November 14 in Aomori, November 30 in Tokyo, between December 3 and 11 in Kyoto and Osaka, and December 9 in Fukuoka.

Daisetsuzan National Park
Naruko Gorges
Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park
Mount Koya
Takachiho Gorge

The cliff, about 100 meters high, continues for 2.5 kilometers between pines and rocks. In the autumn, buses run between Naruko onsen and Nakayamapei onsen stations. In the Naruko Valley, trees turn orange in mid-October. The best time to visit the gorge is from mid-October to the beginning of November. You can admire vine leaves (acer rufinerve) and flowering shrubs called koshiabura (chengiopanax sciadophylloides). Narukokyo Resthouse has an observation deck with a magnificent view of the Ofukazawa Bridge and Naruko Gorge.

Scenic view in Tohoku

Scenic view in Tohoku


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Mount Takao

Mount Takao is a mountain rising to 599 meters above sea level and is located in the almost national park of the Meiji-Takao Forest; one of the smallest parks in the country, covering only 7.70 km². Although small in size, it includes 1,200 species of plants, a hundred species of wild birds and more than 5,000 species of insects! The best time to visit Mount Takao and admire its Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) and Japan varnishes (yama-urushitoxicodendron vernicifluum ) is throughout the month of November.

Mount Takao, near Tokyo

Mount Takao, near Tokyo


  • ​​​​​​Kiso Fukushima

Kiso-Fukushima was an important check-point on the Nakasendo and its historic sekisho, or barrier station, is one of only two on the route. Kiso-Fukushima is located about directly half-way on the Nakasendo from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto. The historic town of Kiso Fukushima is the ideal base for hiking into the surrounding mountains to view the autumn leaves. Karasawa Waterfall is a particularly lovely spot.

  • Korankei

Korankei draws visitors by car and bus from the nearby cities of Toyota and Nagoya. The trees line the river and the bridges and viewing spots can get congested on weekends. There are over 4,000 Japanese maple trees in the area and the pathways and bridges are illuminated at night during the leaf-viewing season.

  • Narai

Narai is another former post town in the Kiso Valley and draws many tourists especially on weekends to view the leaves in an Edo Period setting.

Flowers, Narai, Nakasendo Highway, Nagano, Japan

Flowers, Narai, Nakasendo Highway, Nagano, Japan

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Kiyomizu dera temple in Kyoto during fall leaves

Kiyomizu dera temple in Kyoto during fall leaves

©Luciano Mortula/123RF

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  • Sogi no Taki

Sogi no Taki (Sogi Waterfall) is a spectacular waterfall in the countryside of Kagoshima Prefecture. The park is a favorite spot for viewing and for several days in the later part of November the foliage and falls are illuminated.

  • Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge is another of Kyushu's top autumn leaves viewing spots. Visitors can hire a row boat to look up at the foliage and there are hiking trails along the banks of the river.

  • Yabakei Gorge

The Yabakei Gorge is an area of outstanding natural scenery and beauty located on Kyushu in the north of Oita Prefecture, south of the town of Nakatsu.

Fall kaleidoscope at Sogi-no-taki, Kagoshima, Kyushu.

Fall kaleidoscope at Sogi-no-taki, Kagoshima, Kyushu.

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