HOME Autumn in Japan 2020: Fall Foliage Forecast (+Best Areas, Nearby Hotels)
Autumn in Japan 2020: Fall Foliage Forecast (+Best Areas, Nearby Hotels)

Autumn in Japan 2020: Fall Foliage Forecast (+Best Areas, Nearby Hotels)

Date published: 2 October 2020
Last updated: 20 October 2020

Autumn in Japan is almost as popular as spring, as visitors can't get enough of the Japanese maple leaves and other vivid fall foliage colors! Plan a trip to Japan between October and December, and you will be absolutely in love with the many beautiful spots for autumn leaves.

The peak season for autumn leaves in Japan varies by region. Check our fall foliage forecast and make the most out of autumn in Japan!

Table of Contents
  1. When is fall in Japan?
  2. 1. Hokkaido: Fall foliage forecast
  3. 2. Tohoku: Best time for fall leaves
  4. 3. Kanto: Best time for autumn colors
  5. 4. Hokuriku: When to see autumn leaves
  6. 5. Chubu: Fall colors
  7. 6. Kansai: Best time for autumn colors
  8. 7. Chugoku: Fall Leaves
  9. 8. Shikoku: Fall Foliage
  10. 9. Kyushu: Autumn Colors
  11. Related Articles
  12. Book a trip you’ll never forget

When is fall in Japan?

Autumn in Japan is from September to November, and it's one of the best seasons to visit the country for foliage. In some areas, the autumn colors may peak as late as late November/early December.

1. Hokkaido: Fall foliage forecast

1. Hokkaido: Fall foliage forecast
Jouzankei (Sapporo city)

One of Hokkaido’s most iconic autumn leaf spots is Hokkaido University’s Ginkgo Avenue. Situated on the premises of the university, it features 70 trees lining 380 meters of the avenue.

During fall, the road is covered in a golden canopy. Hokkaido is also called the “northern land”. As it is the only area of the country with a subarctic climate, fall foliage in Hokkaido can be admired much earlier compared to the rest of Japan.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Hokkaido
October 10 to October 31

Hokkaido Average Temperature in Autumn
7.5℃/45.5℉ (Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, October)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Popular Hokkaido Spots
Sounkyo
Early October
Jozankei Onsen
Early October
Hokkaido University Ginkgo Avenue (Sapporo)
Early October
Jouzando (Sapporo)
Early October
Miharashi Park (Hakodate)
Early October
Lake Akan (Kushiro)
Early October

Recommended Hotels Nearby

2. Tohoku: Best time for fall leaves

2. Tohoku: Best time for fall leaves
Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata Prefecture)

The Tohoku area is in the northern part of Honshu, the largest of Japan’s main islands.

The best time to see autumn leaves in Tohoku is between mid-October and late November, relatively early compared to fall foliage in Japan, just like Hokkaido.

Tohoku is rich in beautiful foliage spots such as Naruko Valley in Miyagi Prefecture’s Osaki City. It takes about 10 minutes by car from Naruko Onsen Station and once there, indulge in a stunning scenery with wild cliffs that are 100 meters high and stretch on for 2.5 kilometers. During fall, the entire valley shines in vivid red, gold, and orange.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Tohoku
November 10 to November 30 (places with high altitude such as the Zao Mountain range: early to mid-October)

Tohoku Average Temperature in Autumn
11.2°C/52.16℉ (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, October)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Popular Tohoku Spots
Oirase Gorge (Aomori)
Mid-Late October
Narukyo Gorge (Miyagi)
Late October - Early November
Ginzan Onsen (Yamagata)
Mid-October - Early November
Mt. Kurikoma (Iwate)
Mid-September - Mid-October
Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata)
Mid-September - Mid-October
Kakunodate (Akita)
Late October - Early November

Recommended Hotels Nearby

3. Kanto: Best time for autumn colors

3. Kanto: Best time for autumn colors
Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture)

The Kanto area offers a plethora of popular autumn leaf spots. The Nikkō area and the golden ginkgo avenue in Meijijingū Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer Garden) are especially famous, while the colorful trees of the Hakone Museum of Art are particularly popular while also relatively devoid of the crowds.

For fall foliage in Japan, it's important to note that Japanese gardens are also amazingly tranquil spots to savor the vivid colors of autumn. While peak time varies from spot to spot, this year seems to be late November to mid-December.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kanto
November 30 to December 20

Kanto Average Temperature in Autumn
12.1℃/53.6℉ (Tokyo, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Popular Places in Kanto
Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki)
Mid October
Mt. Takao (Tokyo)
Late November
Nikko (Tochigi)
Late October - Early November
Kamikochi (Nagano)
Late October - Early November
Meijijingū Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer Garden, Tokyo)
Late November - Early December
Hakone Museum of Art (Hakone)
Early November - Late November
Lake Chūzenji (Nikkō)
Mid-October - Early November

Recommended Hotels Nearby

4. Hokuriku: When to see autumn leaves

4. Hokuriku: When to see autumn leaves
Kurobe Dam (Toyama Prefecture)

The Hokuriku area stretches over central and northern Honshu and is known for an abundance of high mountain ranges and Japan’s heaviest snowfall.

The best time to see autumn leaves in Hokuriku is in mid-November. But if you’re planning a trip, take into account that some spots might be earlier.

Hokuriku’s most iconic autumn spot is Kenroku-en in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. It’s a special scenic spot that is also part of Japan’s Three Great Gardens and exceptionally beautiful in every season, but autumn stands out among them all. The vivid trees are lit up after sunset, creating a fantastical atmosphere sure to enchant.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Hokuriku
November 10 to November 20 (places with high altitude such as Tateyama: mid- to late October)

Hokuriku Average Temperature in Autumn
7.7℃/45.86℉ (Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Popular Hokuriku Places
Kenrokuen Garden (Kanazawa)
Mid - Late November
Tateyama between Murodo-Daira and Kurobe Dam (Toyama)
Late October - Mid November
Natadera Temple (Komatsu)
Early November - Late November
Kakusenkei Park (Kaga)
Mid November - Early December
Lake Kuzuryu (Fukui)
Mid October - Mid November

5. Chubu: Fall colors

5. Chubu: Fall colors
Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji (Yamanashi Prefecture)

The Chubu region is the home of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. Of course, there are plenty of spots boasting beautiful autumn colors not only at Mount Fuji itself but also in the Fuji Five Lakes area. The most popular of these lakes is Lake Kawaguchi.

Every November, there’s the “Autumn Leaves Festival” on its northern shores and an absolute must-see is the “Momiji Corridor,” offering a stunning scenery of Mount Fuji and fall foliage in one picture. It’s a sight often portrayed on postcards and tourist websites, so seeing it for yourself will certainly be a highlight of your trip.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Chubu
November 30 to December 20

Chubu Average Temperature in Autumn
1.7℃/35.06℉ (around Lake Kawaguchi/Mt. Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Chubu
Shirakawa-go (Gifu)
Late October - Early November
Korankei (Toyama)
Late October - Mid November
Iwayado Park (Seto)
Late October - Mid November
Gero Onsen (Gero)
Late October - Mid November
Shuzenji Nature Park (Izu)
Mid November - Early December
Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)
Early November - Late November

6. Kansai: Best time for autumn colors

6. Kansai: Best time for autumn colors
Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto Prefecture)

The Kansai region is the home of major, historic cities including Kyoto and Osaka. For fall foliage in Japan, Kyoto is incredibly famous for its stunning autumn scenery, combining traditional Japanese buildings with autumn colors at spots such as Daihonzan and Enkō-ji Temple.

Metasequoia Namiki Avenue is another spot has gained quite a reputation thanks to a TV drama that became a national hit. Located in Takashima City in Shiga Prefecture, it features about 500 metasequoia trees lining both sides of a road of about 2.4km, boasting breathtaking colors during autumn. It impressed so many people, it was chosen as one Japan’s “New 100 Scenic Avenues.”

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kansai
November 10 to November 30

Kansai Average Temperature in Autumn
7.8℃/46.04℉ (Kyoto Prefecture, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Kansai
Arashiyama (Kyoto)
Late November - Early December
Nara Park (Nara)
Late October - Early November
Mino Falls (Osaka)
Late November - Early December
Daihonzan (Kyoto)
Late October - Early November
Kyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto)
Late November - Early December
Enkō-ji Temple (Kyoto)
Late November - Early December
Hieizan (Otsu)
Late November - Early December
Metasequoia Namiki Avenue (Shiga)
Late November - Early December
  • Auberge AZABU
    • Address Shimogyo-ku, Bandoya-cho 277-1, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8439
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Gojo Station (Karasuma Line)

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

Recommended Hotels Nearby

7. Chugoku: Fall Leaves

7. Chugoku: Fall Leaves
Daishoin (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Chugoku is in the western part of Honshu and is made up of five prefectures, including Hiroshima and Okayama. Momijidani Park is one of the most representative autumn spots of the area, located on the famous Miyajima Island (officially called Itsukushima) in Hiroshima Prefecture. Here, numerous Japanese maple trees dip the park into a vivid red, making it almost seem like the branches are on fire.

Among popular places for fall foliage in Japan, Miyajima is most famous for the large torii gate standing in the water and its many historic buildings keep fascinating people from all around the world. It’s a stunning destination for a day trip, offering one of Japan’s most iconic spots dressed in autumn colors.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Chugoku
November 20 to November 30

Chugoku Average Temperature in Autumn
8.5℃/47.3℉ (Hiroshima Prefecture, November)

2020 Fall Foliage Forecast
Momijidani Park (Miyajima, Hiroshima)
Early November - Late November
Ozekiyama Park (Hiroshima)
Early November - Late November
Daisen-ji (Tottori)
Early November - Late November
Tsuyama Castle (Okayama)
Early November - Late November
Okutsu Valley (Okayama)
Early November - Late November
Chomonkyo Gorge (Yamaguchi)
Late October - Early December

8. Shikoku: Fall Foliage

8. Shikoku: Fall Foliage
Ritsurin park (Kagawa Prefecture)

Shikoku in southwestern Honshu is a fascinating place full of lush, untouched nature. Especially Kankakei in Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its autumn colors. It is also one of Japan’s Three Beautiful Valleys, covered in vivid foliage during fall.

In 2015, the valley’s ropeway was renewed and offers a mesmerizing panorama of the entire area. Furthermore, Shikoku is dotted with several other noteworthy places for fall foliage in Japan, including Iya Valley in Tokushima and Nametoko Gorge in Ehime. Those are particularly recommended for sightseeing in autumn!

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Shikoku
Around November 30

Shikoku Average Temperature in Autumn
8.5℃/47.3℉ (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Shikoku
Ritsurin Garden (Kagawa)
Late November - Early December
Kankakei (Kagawa)
Early November - Late November
Kotohira-gū (Kagawa)
Late October - Early November
Mount Tsurugi (Tokushima)
Late October - Early November
Iya Valley (Tokushima)
Late October - Early November
Nametoko Gorge (Ehime)
Mid-November - Late November
Befukyo Canyon (Kochi)
Mid-November - Late November

9. Kyushu: Autumn Colors

9. Kyushu: Autumn Colors

Kyushu’s climate is relatively temperate, gaining popularity as a resort area. Yabakei in Oita’s Nakatsu City is one of the area’s many colorful autumn leaf spots all around the area.

There’s a pleasant promenade that leads you through the gorge, so make the most out of this beautiful natural spot by taking a leisurely autumn walk. The vivid trees of Yabakei are lit up after dark, dipping the entire scenery in an enigmatic glow. Our warmest recommendation is to enjoy the sunset at Yabakei and watch it transform from light to dark.

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Kyushu
November 30 to December 20

Kyushu Average Temperature in Autumn
10.2℃/50.36℉ (Fukuoka Prefecture, November)

2020 Foliage Forecast: Kyushu
Mount Kujū (Oita)
Early November - Late November
Yabakei (Oita)
Early November - Late November
Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)
Early November - Late November
Kirishima Onsenkyo (Kagoshima)
Early November - Late November
Kirishima Shrine (Kagoshima)
Early November - Late November
Kiyomizu-dera Garden (Fukuoka)
Early November - Late November
Hyugami Gorge (Fukuoka)
Early November - Late November
Dazaifu Tenmangū (Fukuoka)
Early November - Late November

Related Articles

Source: Japan Weather Association
Photos: Shutterstock.com (except the main image)

Book a trip you’ll never forget

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Share this article.

Search