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Autumn in Japan 2019: Autumn Leaves & Fall Foliage Forecast

Autumn in Japan 2019: Autumn Leaves & Fall Foliage Forecast

Date published: 30 October 2019
Last updated: 14 November 2019

Autumn in Japan is almost as famous as spring, boasting stunningly vivid autumn leaf colors! If you plan a trip to Japan between October and December, you absolutely cannot miss the many beautiful spots for autumn leaves.

Based on 2019's autumn in Japan promises regular or slightly delayed fall colors for northern Japan while east and west Japan seem to be earlier than usual. Check our calendar and plan your trip to make the most out of autumn in Japan!

2019 Autumn Colors Around Japan

In this article:
1. Hokkaido
2. Tohoku
3. Kanto
4. Hokuriku
5. Chubu
6. Kansai
7. Chugoku
8. Shikoku
9. Kyushu
10. Related Articles: Best spots for autumn leaves in Japan

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.

Famous Spots for Autumn Colors in Hokkaido
- Hokkaido University Ginkgo Avenue (Sapporo)
- Jouzando (Sapporo)
- Miharashi Park (Hakodate)
- Lake Akan (Kushiro)

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)

2019 Foliage Forecast: Hokkaido
Asahikawa
Late October
Hakodate
Late October
Kushiro
Mid-Late October
Obihiro
Late October
Sapporo
Late October

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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Tohoku
- Naruko Valley (Miyagi)
- Mt. Kurikoma (Iwate)
- Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata)
- Oirase Gorge (Aomori)
- Kakunodate (Akita)

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)

2019 Foliage Forecast: Tohoku
Akita
Mid November
Aomori
Mid November
Fukushima
Mid November
Iwate
Mid November
Miyagi
Mid - Late November
(Already turning golden as of early November)
Yamagata
Late November

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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Kanto
- Meijijingū Gaien (Meiji Shrine Outer Garden, Tokyo)
- Hakone Museum of Art (Hakone)
- Lake Chūzenji (Nikkō)

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

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

2019 Foliage Forecast: Kanto
Chiba
Early December
Gunma
Late November
Ibaraki
Early December
Kumagaya (Saitama)
Early December
Maebashi (Saitama)
Early December
Nagano
Late November
Tochigi
Late November
Tokyo
Late November / Early December
Yamanashi
Late November
Yokohama
Mid December

With the Greater Tokyo Pass, you can save on train and bus fare to many of these places. Now until November 30, 2019 you can even get 2 extra days for free! Details in the link above.
Note: Not all areas mentioned in this article are covered under the Greater Tokyo Pass.

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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Hokuriku
- Kenroku-en (Kanazawa)
- Tateyama between Murodo-Daira and Kurobe Dam (Toyama)
- Natadera Temple (Komatsu)
- Kakusenkei Park (Kaga)
- Lake Kuzuryu (Fukui)

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)

2019 Foliage Forecast: Hokuriku
Fukui
Late November
Kanazawa
Late November
Niigata
Mid November
Toyama
Late 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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Chubu
- Korankei (Toyama)
- Iwayado Park (Seto)
- Gero Onsen (Gero)
- Shuzenji Nature Park (Izu)
- Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

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)

2019 Foliage Forecast: Chubu
Gifu
Late November
Mie
Mid November
Nagoya
Late November
Shizuoka
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.”

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Kansai
- Arashiyama (Kyoto)
- Daihonzan (Kyoto)
- Kyomizu-dera Temple (Kyoto)
- Enkō-ji Temple (Kyoto)
- Hieizan (Otsu)
- Mino Falls (Osaka)
- Metasequoia Namiki Avenue (Shiga)

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

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

2019 Foliage Forecast: Kansai
Kobe
Late November
Kyoto
Late November
Nara
Mid November
Osaka
Late November
Shiga
Late November
Wakayama
Early December

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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Chugoku
- Momijidani Park (Miyajima, Hiroshima)
- Ozekiyama Park (Hiroshima)
- Daisen-ji (Tottori)
- Tsuyama Castle (Okayama)
- Okutsu Valley (Okayama)
- Chomonkyo Gorge (Yamaguchi)

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

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

2019 Fall Foliage Forecast
Hiroshima
Mid November
Okayama
Late November
Shimane
Late November
Tottori
Late November
Yamaguchi
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!

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Shikoku
- Kankakei (Kagawa)
- Kotohira-gū (Kagawa)
- Ritsurin park (Kagawa)
- Mount Tsurugi (Tokushima)
- Iya Valley (Tokushima
- Nametoko Gorge (Ehime)
- Befukyo Canyon (Kochi)

Peak Time for Autumn Colors in Shikoku
Around November 30

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

2019 Foliage Forecast: Shikoku
Ehime
Late November
Kagawa
Late November
Kochi
Late November
Tokushima
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.

Famous Places for Autumn Colors in Kyushu
- Mount Kujū (Oita)
- Yabakei (Oita)
- Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki)
- Kirishima Onsenkyo (Kagoshima)
- Kirishima Shrine (Kagoshima)
- Kiyomizu-dera Garden (Fukuoka)
- Hyugami Gorge (Fukuoka)
- Dazaifu Tenmangū (Fukuoka)

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

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

2019 Foliage Forecast: Kyushu
Fukuoka
Early December
Oita
Early December
Kagoshima
Mid December
Kumamoto
Early December
Miyazaki
Early December
Nagasaki
Mid December
Saga
Early December

Related Articles

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

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