Japan in Autumn Foliage – A Guide For Your Visit

April 1, 2024

Fall is a wonderful time to be in Japan. In many points of view, autumn in Japan outshines spring (and cherry blossom season) for its many delights. Seeing Japan’s Fall Colour become one of the country’s most beautiful experiences you couldn’t miss for centuries. When is autumn and where are the best viewing locations? This handy guide is designed to help you plan the perfect Japan vacation.

Autumn in Japan is known as Aki (秋) and the fall foliage is classified by two different terms: Koyo (紅葉) and Momiji (紅葉). Koyo describes foliage with red and yellow colors, while Momiji (紅葉) specifically applies to the intensely red maple leaves that are particularly spectacular during the season.

The maple leaf symbolizes fall in Japanese culture and its use is widespread. Autumn or Momijigari have the same meaning. A popular phrase of Momiji-gari literally means “hunting red leaves”, which is the main draw for many visitors to Japan in autumn. Surely when you come to Japan in this season and won’t regret even every single moment.

When is Autumn Foliage in Japan?

Maybe you know, the fall season lasts roughly from mid September, through October and November, and into early December. Temperatures are cool but mild, ranging from about 45 Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) in the evening in late autumn, to as high as 75 F (24 C) on warm September days.

In general, you could see some gorgeous fall foliage in the northern island of Hokkaido at the earliest time of mid-September to early October. And in the lovely and remote Tohoku region you’ll see beautiful autumn colours from mid-October onward. Tokyo, Kyoto and middle parts, the best viewing times typically range from mid-October through early December. While the much milder southwestern island of Kyushu tends to peak later, around the end of November. Asia Vacation Group usually welcomes visits during the viewing season during 4 weeks to more than 2 months across the country.

Beautiful maple leaves with Mount Fuji

If you are bearing the scorching summer or feelings of numbing cold somewhere, Japan’s autumn will not only cool your body but also fill up your soul with brilliant scenery. The time temperatures dip is when the leaves begin to change. All create breathtaking vistas of vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves everywhere. This fall foliage is a magnificent sight that has inspired artists and poets for centuries. 

While the sakura are very unpredictable, there’s a relatively long grace period for autumn in Japan. This makes planning around autumn colours a slightly easier process. Here are the approximate times you can expect to enjoy autumn colors in Japan. 

Where is the Best to See Autumn Leaves in Japan in 2024?


Autumn in Tokyo is spectacular. It is internationally known as a bustling metropolis packed by green spaces of many parks and gardens. It is home to some truly lovely places to enjoy the autumn colours. 

Some of the most popular include:

  • Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue – A famous street lined with ginko trees which turn a bright yellow in the autumn
  • Koishikawa Korakuen – A popular garden, close to the Tokyo Dome, which boasts a large number of maple trees
  • Mount Takao – Located on the outskirts of the city, this busy weekend destination is ideal for an autumn hike
  • Oze National Park – Another popular hiking spot, located around 100 kilometers to the north of the city

A view of Tokyo at Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue

  • Rikugien Garden – An impressive landscape garden popular for both red leaf and cherry blossom viewing
  • Shinjuku Gyoen – A large city park popular for autumn picnics
  • Ueno Park – This large green space boasts over 9,000 trees with spectacular colors in the fall
  • Yoyogi Park – Located close to the trendy Harajuku neighborhood and offers a mix of both ginkos and maples with spectacular autumn colors.

Autumn foliage in Rikugien Garden, Komagome, Tokyo

Mt. Fuji

As an iconic symbol of Japan, everyone desire to just having Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) once time in life. While winter is generally considered the best time to view snow-capped Mount Fuji peak, autumn is a fantastic season by its particularly coloured way.

At the foot of Mt. Fuji and around Lake Kawaguchiko, you can enjoy autumn foliage from early October to late November, including the best time to see the Lake Kawaguchiko foliage at Mt. Because the foot of Mt.Fuji is over 800 meters above sea level, the difference in temperature between day and night increases in autumn, and this difference in temperature makes the colors of the autumn leaves even more vivid.

Fuji make you “fallen” in love with amazing spots including:

  • Oishi Park famous for its kochia plants (コキア kokia) that turn a brilliant shade of red during autumn. 
  • Momiji Tunnel offers a beautiful view of Mount Fuji through the maple trees. 
  • Kubota Itchiku Art Museum is primarily an art museum showcasing the beautiful silk kimono works of Kubota Itchiku, it is also known for its stunning garden with seasonal displays.

Kochia plants (コキア kokia) at Oishi Park turns a brilliant shade of red during autumn. 

  • Maple Corridor, a tree-lined path on the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchi. 
  • Mt. FUJI PANORAMIC ROPEWAY which is not only a means of transportation, but also an attraction in itself, offering breathtaking views of Lake Kawaguchi, Mount Fuji, and the surrounding autumn foliage. The ropeway takes you to the top of Mount Tenjo, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas of the area’s natural beauty, including the fall colours.

Maples Corridor in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan

Kyoto to Kasuga Shinto shrine route

Kyoto is a heaven of fall foliage in Japan. Every foot to this oldest city of Japan in autumn, you will be amazed because it has many stunning Buddhist temples & shrines, beautiful Japanese style gardens, tea houses, mountains, ponds, garden bridges, etc.  and ofcourse, to admire a whole sky of romantic, brilliant yellow leaves.

Some of the best Momijigari spots in Kyoto include:

  • Enjoying the lit up splendour of autumn foliage at Kiyomizudera is without a doubt. This is one of Kyoto’s most famous temples with over 1200 years of history.
  • Daigo-Ji Gardens – A large green space popular with photographers in the autumn
  • Daitoku-Ji – A temple with an impressive tunnel made out of maples at the entrance.
  • Eikando Temple – The trees in these temple grounds are impressively lit during the fall
  • Kinkaku-Ji – The gold-leaf coating of this famous temple is perfectly complemented by the colours of its surrounding trees in the autumn

Enjoying the lit up splendour of autumn foliage at Kiyomizudera is without a doubt

  • Todai-ji Temple – The autumn foliage of Todai-ji Temple is awe-inspiring. You can enjoy seeing deer, maple trees and grazing at the temples through the trees.
  • Nanzen-Ji – Made famous by the film Lost in Translation, which shot scenes at this temple during the fall
  • Tenryu-Ji – A UNESCO World Heritage Site with an impressive landscape garden
  • Tofukuji Temple – The Tsutenkyo Bridge in the temple grounds is one of the most popular leaf viewing spots in the city.

Todai-ji Temple – The autumn foliage of Todai-ji Temple is awe-inspiring

When to start planning your autumn trip to Japan?

There Are a thousand reasons for Japan Autumn Foliage being hot in 2024. Those wishing to experience “Momijigari” in Japan are advised to start planning their autumn around 6 months in advance of travel. In addition, accommodation for major Japan autumn leaves destinations will quickly fill up in early April, 2024, so it’s not actually early to plan for a Japan vacation booking.

Have ideas in your mind or not yet, if you still need help stringing all messes together? Don’t worry too much, let’s drop a call to destination experts now!


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