Japan’s Autumn Leaves in 2016: 10 Best Places to Visit

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  • Japan in the autumn is beautiful no matter what region you are in. There are several locations for locals, residents and tourists alike to take leisurely walks and creative photos of the unique nature that Japan has to offer during this season. If you are hoping to travel to Japan just to see the amazing autumn colors, or you’re looking for a new place within the country to travel – look no further. Below are 10 of the most fascinating places to visit in autumn throughout Japan in 2016!

    1. Onuma Quasi-National Park (Hokkaido)

    Ohnuma park 3

    Located on the Oshima Peninsula of Hokkaido, this park has plenty of famous landmarks! The most noticeable being the Hokkaido Komagatake, a large volcano, at its center. It also has two gorgeous bodies of water, Onuma, and Konuma ponds. With these picturesque views already in its possession, Onuma Park is twice as beautiful when the autumn colors begin to show!

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    2. Naruko Gorge (Miyagi)

    naruko-gorge

    Naruko Gorge is quite possibly Miyagi prefecture’s most famous natural scene. It is also quite famous for its autumn colors! The leaves of the trees covering the gorge being to change color in October and you can see them at their peak until around mid-November. After enjoying the scenery, you can also take a dip in one of Naruko’s many hot springs. But hurry if you want to catch the best view!

    Naruko Gorge Hot Springs Website
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    3. Fukuroda Falls (Ibaraki)

    fukuroda-falls-autumn

    At the northernmost part of Ibaraki in a town called Daigo, are the Fukuroda Falls. They are 120 meters high and stunning in any season. Their rushing water can sometimes freeze during the cold winters, but they can still be seen flowing freely in the autumn! Fukuroda Falls may have been named the third most beautiful waterfall in Japan, but it would certainly take first place for many when seen among the colorful foliage it also offers.

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    4. Mount Takao (Tokyo)

    Mount Takao 1

    If you live in Tokyo and can’t go on an adventure in the autumn, or if you’re visiting the capital but looking for somewhere to take you away from the busy city, Mount Takao is the right place for you! This mountain is located in the city of Hachioji in the Tokyo Metropolis and is about an hour away from Shinjuku by train. Mount Takao has an abundance of colorful trees and leaves all over its numerous trails. Don’t feel like hiking? Take a cable car or lift ride if you want the perfect view from the top. You can also see the Momiji Matsuri (festival of the maple leaves) every year from November 1st through the 30th!

    mount takao tunnel

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    5. Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

    Fujikawaguchi ko 1

    This lake is shared by two towns, Minobu and Fujikawaguchiko. As they name of the second town might suggest, Lake Kawaguchi is near Mount Fuji! With its long shoreline and a fantastic view of Japan’s most famous mountain, it is a must-visit place in the autumn. The shoreline has plenty of maple trees with perfectly red leaves for you to relax underneath. You won’t want to miss such a breath-taking view – especially when the leaves in the Maple Corridor are lit up at night!

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    6. Korankei Gorge (Aichi)

    Kourankei

    The town of Toyota in Aichi prefecture boasts some wonderful nature all year round, but the best time to visit is certainly autumn. The gorge has a large, red bridge going across it where crowds of people cross over to view and photograph the changing leaves. The water flowing underneath the bridge makes its way around some beautiful stones. Korankei Gorge is beautiful day and night since it is also illuminated after dark.

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    7. Kiyomizudera (Kyoto)

    Kiyomizudera illumination

    Kiyomizudera is arguably the most famous temple in Kyoto. It is renowned for its history, its many unique halls and the marvelous views of nature and the city below. But did you know it is also quite well-known for its seasonal illumination? The temple has special night hours three seasons out of the year. In the autumn, they are open after dark from 6 PM until 9 PM starting November 14th and ending on December 6th! Check their website for more details!

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    8. Lake Biwa and Keisokuji (Shiga)

    lake biwa

    You may know Lake Biwa if you’re interested in Japan, geography or both! It is the largest freshwater lake in the country and it is located in Shiga prefecture in the Kansai region. Not only does the area surrounding the lake offer a view of mountains, trees, and beautiful blue water; Shiga prefecture also has a beautiful temple that is perfect to visit in the autumn – Keisokuji.

    Lake Biwa temples

    Keisokuji has become quite the popular place to view autumn leaves and it’s easy to see why! The pathways are covered in the red leaves that have fallen from the abundance of trees and the temple sits perfectly at the top of a flight of leaf-covered stairs, making the whole landscape very picturesque.
    Access (Lake Biwa)
    Access (Keisokuji)

    9. Kikuchi Gorge (Kumamoto)

    kikuchi valley

    If you want to explore Kyushu in the autumn, why not start with Kumamoto? Kikuchi Gorge looks like a landscape that you would picture when reading an epic novel. With its rushing water and the sunlight that shines through the thick trees, you would have plenty to absorb and to photograph in all seasons. The colorful landscape and the leaves carried across the water in the autumn make it an even more wonderful place to visit. You can check their website for more information.

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    10. Hyugami Dam and Ravine (Fukuoka)

    hyugami dam

    Our last stop on this autumn tour is in Fukuoka. Another scenic gorge in Kyushu is Hyugami. Hyugami is quite an interesting place! There is a dam that is perhaps less exciting to look at from a nature lover’s perspective, but the enormous bridge and area surrounding the dam and the ravine are fascinating. There are high hills and sturdy rocks that are perfect for any active nature lover. Imagine gazing out at the water and the cliffs from underneath some colorful trees. Who would want to be anywhere else?

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    Autumn is such a great time of year in Japan, so you don’t want to miss the beautiful foliage. Be sure to visit at least one of these locations before it’s too late!

    Related Articles:
    Experience the Beautiful Autumn Leaves at Mount Takao
    5 Hot Spots to see Autumn Leaves in Tokyo