Kansai in autumn is breathtakingly gorgeous. As the fall foliage season approaches, the mountains are as beautiful as the picturesque trees that are colored with warm autumn colors.
Gardens and stone roads filled with fallen leaves resemble colorful carpets that you will love strolling through. Here we introduce the best spots for autumn leaves in the Kansai region.
- Table of Contents
- Best time to see autumn leaves in Kansai: Early December 2021
- 1. (Osaka) Osaka Castle Park: Autumn Foliage with the Beautiful Castle Tower
- 2. (Osaka) Minoo Park: Enjoy Autumn Leaves in Osaka
- 3. (Kyoto) Bishamon-do Temple: Beautifully swept leaves
- 4. (Kyoto) Arashiyama: Kyoto's Most Famous Place for Autumn Red Leaves
- 5. (Shiga) Genkyu-en Garden: Fantastic Autumn Foliage in a Traditional Japanese Garden
- 6. (Hyogo) Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway
- 7. (Nara) Nara Park: Enjoy Autumn Leaves in Japan with Deer!
- 8. (Wakayama) Momijidani Garden: Autumn at its most beautiful
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Best time to see autumn leaves in Kansai: Early December 2021
This table summarizes when the best time to see autumn leaves is in the Kansai region for 2021, released by the Japan Meteorological Association on October 4.
As you can see, the first place to see autumn colors is Nara Prefecture, which is at its peak in late November. Most of the other areas are concentrated in early December.
1. (Osaka) Osaka Castle Park: Autumn Foliage with the Beautiful Castle Tower
Autumn in Osaka is incredible. And Osaka Castle Park is a spot where you can feel the soothing seasonal colors, but without straying far from the city center. The combination of colorful trees and towering castle in between makes for postcard-perfect photos that'll make you the envy of all your Instagram followers.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Early November to mid-December
2. (Osaka) Minoo Park: Enjoy Autumn Leaves in Osaka
Minoo Park, located in Osaka's Mino City, is a long 8.8 hectare park located in the corner of the Meiji-no-mori Mino Quasi-National Park. If you walk about 2.8km on the well-maintained promenade, you'll reach Minoo Falls, which cascades from a majestic height of 33 meters. You can see the autumn leaves right near here too. On the way, you can see shops selling fried maple leaves, which are sweet in flavor - a must-try when you visit Kansai in autumn.
・Best time to see autumn leaves in Osaka: Mid-November to early December
3. (Kyoto) Bishamon-do Temple: Beautifully swept leaves
Bishamon-do Temple is a historical monument and ancient tomb for nobles. Located on a hillside overlooking the Yamashina Basin, you can enjoy the scenery of maple trees, azaleas, and other trees. Going up the stone steps to the shrine, you'll walk through a crimson tunnel of leaves, making for an incredibly tranquil atmosphere.
Also famous for its spring cherry blossoms, Bishamon-do Temple also has spectacular wall paintings and where you can enjoy wonderful works such as carp paintings by Maruyama Okyo and dragon painting ceilings on the 116th wall and cedar doors. It's a must-do place when you visit Kansai in autumn.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Mid-November to early December
4. (Kyoto) Arashiyama: Kyoto's Most Famous Place for Autumn Red Leaves
Arashiyama is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto. It is a place where you can taste new colors no matter how many times you find the beauty of the trees colored by the colorful colors on the surface of the Katsura River. If you have time, you can take a boat ride from Kameoka upstream, or take a Torokko train to enjoy Arashiyama while enjoying the view of the valley.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Late November to early December
5. (Shiga) Genkyu-en Garden: Fantastic Autumn Foliage in a Traditional Japanese Garden
Genkyu-En Garden is located in the northern part of Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture. In the autumnal season, it is lit up at night, creating a fantastic atmosphere. The trees and rocks around the pond are mimicking the eight scenes of Omi (Old Name of Shiga Prefecture).
・Light up period: November 16-December 1
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Mid to late November
6. (Hyogo) Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway
In Kobe, you can see the autumn leaves from the mountain on the ropeway. The panoramic view of the autumn leaves in front of you during the aerial walk of 1,460m in height and 330m in height is fascinating. At the summit station, you'll find Japan's largest herb garden, from which you can see the impressive panorama.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Early November to early December
7. (Nara) Nara Park: Enjoy Autumn Leaves in Japan with Deer!
Nara Park (aka Deer Park), which is built on a vast land of 511 ha, is a place like the face of Nara where rich nature remains. The red leaves are beautiful, but the golden ginkgo trees behind the Great Buddha are well worth seeing. The combination with the deer, which have been regarded as a messenger of the gods since ancient times, makes for a space where you can feel an autumnal mood that is deeply mysterious. The colorful trees reflected in the Daibutsu Pond are also spectacular.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Late October to early December
8. (Wakayama) Momijidani Garden: Autumn at its most beautiful
The Momijidani Garden, located north of Wakayama Castle's tower, is a garden created by the moat of the castle and the ups and downs of Mount Torafusu. You can feel the changes of the four seasons all year round here, but the most beautiful is the maple season. It is combined with the formative beauty of the building floating on the pond, creating an indescribable elegant atmosphere.
・Best time to see autumn leaves: Late November to early December
- Address 3 Ichibancho, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture 640-8146
Business hours: 9:00 ~ 17:00
Closed: December 29-December 31
Nearest station: Take the Wakayama Bus from JR Wakayama Station or Nankai Wakayamashi Station and get off at the "Shiyakusho-Mae'' stop.
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*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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