Best Japan Autumn Foliage Destinations Spots Holiday Ideas

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Japan transforms into a refuge for tourists looking for tranquilly and the brilliant colours of the autumn. Join us as we travel to some of Japan’s best autumn foliage locations, which offer a unique fusion of natural splendour, cultural diversity, and wildlife.

Goshikinuma

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Get ready to be enchanted by the ethereal appeal of Goshikinuma, which is Japanese for “five coloured ponds.” These connected lakes and ponds in Bandai-Asahi National Park display ever-changing green and blue hues in a captivating dance that is influenced by the weather, the time of year, and your point of view. Here, rowing and hiking are popular activities, and Goshikinuma even received a Michelin Green Guide Star in 2016. Don’t forget to indulge in the famous soft-serve ice cream from Goshikinuma in the visitor centres!

Showa Kinen Park

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best time to visit showa kinen park

Escape the bustling heart of Tokyo and immerse yourself in autumn’s embrace at Showa Kinen Park, just 30 minutes away in Tachikawa City. Spanning over 180 hectares, this park offers a myriad of activities. Begin your journey in the Green Cultural Zone, where informative guides help navigate the vast park. Rent a bike for easy exploration or bring your furry friends for a delightful dog run. The park’s lush greenery and vibrant flowers make it a fall hotspot. From mid-September to early November, the annual Cosmos Flower Festival paints the park in colorful splendor.

Nara Park

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Nara Park is not just an autumn gem; it’s a haven for over a thousand deer that roam freely. Feeding these friendly creatures with deer crackers is a heartwarming experience. The park also boasts temples and museums, including Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofukuji National Treasure Hall, and the Nara National Museum, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage. Traditional teahouses await those seeking a taste of Japanese culture, while photographers relish the park’s stunning vistas.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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Step into history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, an UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto’s Higashiyama area. Established in 778 A.D., it stands as one of Kyoto’s oldest temples. The iconic wooden stage offers panoramic views of the temple complex. “Kiyomizu” translates to “pure water temple,” a nod to the small waterfalls within, believed to grant longevity, success, or romance to those who partake.

Ritsurin Garden

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Kagawa’s Ritsurin Garden shines during its autumn illumination event in November and December. As night falls, take a leisurely stroll through the garden, beautifully aglow with lights. Alternatively, glide through serene ponds on traditional Japanese boats (known as “wasen”), steered by skilled boatmen. Savor local dishes at garden-side restaurants, and don’t miss the 17th-century teahouse. For a deeper understanding of the region’s culture, a visit to the Sanuki Folk Craft Museum is a must.

Rikugien Garden

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Discover Tokyo’s beloved Rikugien Garden, famed for its mesmerizing maple trees. Take a leisurely afternoon stroll, savor tea in charming teahouses, and relish enchanting views along the streams and viewpoints. The peak of colors graces the garden from late November to early December.

Watarase Keikoku Railway

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Embark on a romantic train journey through vibrant autumn landscapes with the Watarase Keikoku Railway. Traverse from Kiryu to Nikko for an 80-minute ride offering awe-inspiring views, including the breathtaking Takatsudokyo Gorge.

Icho Namiki

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Tokyo’s Meiji-Jingu Gaien boasts the famous Icho Namiki, a golden-lined avenue of ginkgo trees. Wander through these radiant streets and capture stunning photographs. The best time to witness this spectacle is from late November to early December.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, renowned for cherry blossoms, unveils its autumn charm. Explore the Japanese Garden with crimson maples, the British Garden adorned with ginkgo gold, and the French Garden’s blooming roses. Visit between mid-October and mid-December for the full autumn experience.

Mount Nasu

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Ascend Mount Nasu, a captivating active volcano offering spectacular autumn vistas of red and gold. Take the Nasu Ropeway to the Ninth Station for panoramic beauty.

Hitachi National Seaside Park

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national hitachi seaside park

Beyond its famous Baby Blue Eyes, the Hitachi Seaside Park reveals the stunning Red Kochia Hill. These vibrant plants transition from green in summer to fiery red in October, creating a unique and captivating landscape.

Minoo Park

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Escape the crowds in Osaka at Minoo Park, a haven for autumn enthusiasts. Enjoy the fall colors, visit Minoo Falls, and savor freshly-fried momiji tempura—maple leaves deep-fried in batter.

Osaka Castle

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Experience autumn’s allure at Osaka Castle, an oasis of reds and golds. Capture Instagram-worthy shots of this historical landmark draped in vibrant foliage.

Mount Gozaisho

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mt. gozaisho hiking trails

Elevate your autumn adventure with a scenic ride on the Gozaisho Ropeway. Enjoy sweeping views of gold and auburn hues on Mount Gozaisho. Colors start at the summit in mid-October and gradually descend to Yunoyama Onsen Hot Springs.

Sagano Romantic Train

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Embark on the Sagano Romantic Train in Arashiyama for a 25-minute ride through fiery landscapes. This trail, beloved by romantics, offers picturesque views and includes visits to Togetsu Bridge and the famous Arashiyama bamboo forest.

Tofukuji Temple

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In Kyoto, Tofukuji Temple is a local favorite for autumn foliage. The Tsutenkyo Bridge offers breathtaking views of a valley blanketed in lush maple trees.

Tenryuji Temple

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Explore Tenryuji Temple, another Kyoto gem for fall colors. Don’t miss the Hyakkaen Garden for more stunning foliage sights and a chance to view “The Cloud Dragon” painting on the ceiling of Hatto Hall.

Blue Pond

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The ethereal Blue Pond captivates with its cobalt-blue waters, made even more magical in autumn. Visit in October for a mesmerizing experience.

Daisetsuzan National Park

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For hikers, Daisetsuzan National Park offers the most spectacular fall scenes. Explore the Sounkyo area with waterfalls surrounded by rich and crisp autumn colors.

Jozankei Onsen

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Hokkaido’s largest hot spring town, Jozankei Onsen, provides relaxation amidst stunning foliage. Soak in healing onsen baths while surrounded by vibrant colors.

Noboribetsu Onsen and Jigokudani (Hell Valley)

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noboribetsu onsen photos

Noboribetsu Onsen, also in Shikotsu-Toya National Park, boasts multiple hot spring waters with various minerals. Enjoy therapeutic baths alongside breathtaking scenery.

Visit Jigokudani, known as ‘Hell Valley,’ for its hot steam vents and sulfurous streams. Take a leisurely walk through this unique terrain and admire the surreal beauty.

Visitors can sample regional cuisine at the eateries located inside the garden in addition to sightseeing. A teahouse is also present; it is thought to have been constructed about 1640. Sanuki Folk Craft Museum is a must-visit for everyone interested in learning more about the local culture.

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Japan’s autumn treasures await your exploration, promising an unforgettable journey through nature’s vibrant spectacle and the country’s rich cultural tapestry.

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