Best Places in Japan to View Autumn Foliage (Koyo)

Autumn is one of the most awaited seasons in Japan, it is like a reward for everyone for having endured the heat of Japan's summer, and not for nothing, Japan's Fall foliage or Koyo is so breathtakingly beautiful that it has gained popularity with travelers. There are different places in Japan offering the fall foliage along with the backdrop of Japan’s beautiful architecture, the scenery in temples and shrines in autumn in Japan like the ones in Kyoto for example, are one of the must visit because the combination of the red leaves and the magnificent architecture is just so mesmerizing. Here is the list of places that you should definitely visit during autumn in Japan.

1. Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium


With 146 ginkgo trees present along the Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium, flooding it with the gold color of autumn, it is, without doubt, one of the best places to enjoy your autumn leaves viewing in Japan. While enjoying the beauty, you can shop around the nearby shops. You can see the beautiful autumn scenery here from the middle of November to early December, and it is only 5 minutes away from the Shinnanomachi station on the JR line or Gaienmae Station on the Tokyo Metro.


2. Lakeside of Kawaguchiko at the foot of Mt. Fuji


At night, the trees are lighted up brings out the fiery colour of the autumn leaves and having Mt. Fuji as the background makes this spot one of the most beautiful spot to check out during the autumn. You can reach the spot by going from Kawaguchiko Station of Fuji Express line (take the Chuo Main line from Shinjuku Station and transfer at Otsuki Station to get to Kawaguchiko Station), then take the bus going to Oishi Petit Pension Mura from Kawaguchiko Station to Hirose Kubota Itchiku Bijutsukan-mae Bus stop which would take about 20 minutes, an alternative to that would be taking the retro bus (Lake Kawaguchiko Circuit) from Kawaguchiko Station to Kubota Itchiku Bijutsukan Bus stop which would also take about 20 minutes. And while you’re there you can also visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum which is only 3 minutes away from the Kubota Itchiku Bijutsukan Bus stop, 25 minutes ride on the retro bus.


3. Nikko


If you’re hunting for the autumn foliage pictures, Nikko is the place for you. There are many spots for autumn foliage that you can check out in Nikko, some of them includes Irohazaka, Mt. Ohira, Kegonnotaki, Tosyugu, Yunoko, and many more, and what’s better is some of them are within walking distance from each other. October is the perfect time to come here and see it’s beautiful autumn foliage.

Read more about Nikko here


4. Hakone


The beautiful autumn foliage in Hakone can be seen from the late October to late November and the perfect way to enjoy the scenery is by taking a ride on the Hakone Tozan train. The train itself can be said to represent Hakone and is especially popular as a tourist attraction.

Read more about Hakone here


5. Kamakura


Kamakura is known to be the place of some of Japan’s most famous temples. Temples like the Hasedera temple, Kencho-ji temple and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is, without doubt, a beautiful backdrop for the beautiful autumn colors. You can see the beautiful colour of autumn starting from late November to the middle of December in Kamakura.

Read more about Kamakura here


6. Kyoto


Kyoto is the home of many famous temples and shrines in Japan, some of them are Kiyomizudera, Fushimi Inari, Kinkakuji, Tenryu-ji and many more. And as like the case of Kamakura, the shrines and temples completes the beauty of the autumn leaves. You can reach Kyoto from Tokyo by taking the JR Tokaido or the Sanyo Shinkansen. The direct Nozomi trains will bring you to Kyoto from Tokyo in about 95 minutes and it costs 11,100 yen with reserved seating (one way). It would take about two hours to get there with transit at Shin-Osaka Station with the Hikari, Kodama, or the Sakura trains which will cost you around 10,280 yen for non-reserved seating and 10,800 for reserved seating (one way). An alternative for both trains is by taking Willer Express, an overnight highway bus, it departs from Shinjuku station and costs around 7,000 yen for a one-way ticket.


7. Miyajima


The Momijidani Koen in Miyajima, Hiroshima prefecture, is a place that you have to visit during the fall season. Momijidani Koen is located at the base of Mt. Misen and the autumn view here is mesmerizing, making it one of the most visited places in Miyajima, especially in Autumn. The beauty of autumn can be seen here from the middle of November to late November. It is 5 minutes away by foot from the Miyajimaguchi Station of JR line.

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