You should definitely not miss the autumn leaves in Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima boasts many great places for fall foliage that you can enjoy on scenic drives, plus charming historical spots.
Here we’ll look at 10 of the most popular areas in Fukushima for autumn colors. Albeit for a short time, there will also be illuminations that make the landscape look even more fantastic.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Azuma Sports Park: Beautifully lit up Ginko trees in autumn
- 2. Bandai Azuma Sky Line: Gorgeous fall foliage seen from a mountain road
- 3. Urabandai Autumn Leaves Ropeway: A stunning aerial view of foliage in Fukushima
- 4. Goshikinuma Lakes: Feast on the mysterious energy and the beautiful autumn colors
- 5. Hanitsu-jinja: Admire the red maple carpet
- 6. Shingu Kumano Shrine: A gorgeous 800-year old ginkgo tree illuminated at night
- 7. Tsurugajo Park: Autumn leaves framing the beautiful Tsurugajo Castle
- 8. Yukiwari Bridge and Yukiwari Valley: Colorful autumn foliage landscapes in Fukushima
- 9. Nanko Park and its 17 scenic spots
- 10. Yamamoto Fudoson: Stone steps and autumn colors that guide you to a sacred place
1. Azuma Sports Park: Beautifully lit up Ginko trees in autumn
Azuma Sports Park is easily accessible by bus from the center of Fukushima City. From JR Fukushima Station, take the Fukushima Kotsu bus #7 at the East Exit Bus Pool, bound for Sawara; get off at Shimobayashi, and walk 10 minutes.
By mid-October, you will be able to see golden splendor of the 116 ginkgo trees that stretch for 520 meters to the center of the park like a beautiful yellow tunnel.
The trees are lit at night from mid-October to mid-November, making them emerge in the dark, creating a magical scene. As you walk down the golden ginkgo tunnel, you’re sure to fall right in love with the season.
The Azuma Sports Park Line of Ginkgo Treesあづま総合運動公園 いちょう並木
- Address Kamikotoba 1, Sabara, Fukushima 960-2158
- Phone Number 024-593-1111
・Open: 9 AM - 9 PM (varies depending on the facility). Lit up every year from mid-October to mid-November 5 - 8 PM.
2. Bandai Azuma Sky Line: Gorgeous fall foliage seen from a mountain road
The Bandai Azuma Skyline is a driving course that will take you through the Azuma-renpou area and by many incredible viewpoints, like Tengu's Garden, where the mountainside is painted with autumn leaves, or Tsubakuro Valley, where the entire valley is dyed red and orange.
From these locations, you will be able to see not only the foliage on Mt. Bandai but also that by the four lakes in the area, like Lake Inawashiro and Lake Hibara, which are also spectacular spots you won’t want to miss.
The starting point of the Bandai Azuma Skyline is at Takayu Onsen. To get there, from JR Fukushima Station, take the Prefectural Road 70 on the Fukushima Azuma Ura Bandai Line for about 30 minutes.
The best time to see the autumn leaves here is between late September and mid-October.
Bandai Azuma Sky Line磐梯吾妻スカイライン
- Address Wasikurayama, Tsuchiyu Onsen Machi, Fukushima, 960-2157
・Phone: 0242-64-3478 (Fukushima Prefecture Kita Construction Office)
・Usage period: Free tour (time restrictions may apply due to weather conditions)
・Closed: Late November-early April
3. Urabandai Autumn Leaves Ropeway: A stunning aerial view of foliage in Fukushima
45 minutes away from JR Inawashiro Station by shuttle bus (reservation required), you will find Grandeco Resort, a leisure facility with hotels and ski resorts. From here, you can use the ropeway that will offer an amazing view of the mountainside dyed in crimson and gold.
The ropeway takes about 10 minutes each way. It will take you 1,400m above sea level to an observation deck offering a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains. To enjoy the scenery, even more, be sure to stop by the footbath, where you can soak your feet and warm up while gazing out at the colors.
The best time to see the autumn leaves here is from early to late October.
Urabandai Autumn Leaves Ropeway裏磐梯紅葉ロープウェイ
- Address Arasunasawayama, Oaza Hibara, Kitashiobara-mura, Yama-gun, Fukushima, 969-2701
- Phone Number 0241-32-2530
・Open: Green season, from July 15 to August 27; for autumn: from September 16 to November 5
Hours: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (Last descent at 4 PM)
・Price: Ropeway round trip 1,800 yen (adults)
・Closed: Open daily
4. Goshikinuma Lakes: Feast on the mysterious energy and the beautiful autumn colors
Goshikinuma Lakes refers to a series of 20-30 ponds formed after Mount Bandai erupted in 1888, which generated a cascade that blocked a river.
What makes these places unique is that the landscape changes depending on the time of day and the way the sunlight hits the water.
In autumn, the beautiful contrast of the red and yellow foliage permeates the area, and it reflects in the emerald green and cobalt blue colors of the lakes.
The best time to visit the Goshikinuma Lakes for autumn leaves is from mid-October to early November. We recommend enjoying the view from the Goshikinuma Sightseeing Road, which will lead you around the ponds.
You can reach it in 30 minutes from JR Inawashiro Station by Bandai Toto Bus bound for Ura Bandai Kogen Station. The entrance is by the Urabandai Visitor Center, a short walk from the Goshikinuma Entrance.
5. Hanitsu-jinja: Admire the red maple carpet
Hanitsu-jinja is a shrine dedicated to Masayuki Hoshina of the Aizu Clan. To get there, take the Bandai Toto Bus from JR Inawashiro Station and get off at the Bus Center stop in about 7 minutes, then walk about 18 minutes.
The area's highlight is the yellow ginkgo and the red maple trees on both sides of the bridge. The best period to enjoy these sights is from late October to early November. You’ll love the maple leaves falling and creating a beautiful carpet extending as far as you can see.
From mid-October to mid-November, the trees are lit up. The most popular spot is the bridge by the entrance to the shrine. You can take fantastic pictures of the red maples by the bridge with a white torii gate in the background in the magical evening lights.
- Address Mineyama, Yama Gun Inawashiro Machi, Fukushima, 969-3102
・Phone: 0242-62-2048 (Inawashiro Tourism Association)
・Open: Always open
・Closed: Open daily
6. Shingu Kumano Shrine: A gorgeous 800-year old ginkgo tree illuminated at night
Shingu Kumano Shrine is a 20-minute bus ride from JR Kitakata Station on the “Burarin-go” city bus. Get off at the Shingu Nagatoko stop, and you will be just a short walk away.
Buses operate on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from April 1 to November 29 only. Alternatively, it is about a 10-minute drive from JR Kitakata Station, so we recommend using a rental car or a taxi.
When you enter the area around the shrine, you will see the Nagatoko, a hall of worship with no walls, designated as an Important National Cultural Property.
The best time to admire autumn leaves here is mid to late November. Among the many trees, you will also see a large ginkgo, 30 meters in height, and a trunk circumference of 7.73 meters. The trees are surrounded by a large garden carpeted with bright golden leaves.
Night illumination usually takes place from November 15 to November 22. Walk up the path to better enjoy the view of the golden fluttering leaves.
7. Tsurugajo Park: Autumn leaves framing the beautiful Tsurugajo Castle
Tsurugajo Park is built around the famous Tsurugajo Castle, the symbol of Aizu-Wakamatsu. The park is about 20 minutes from JR Aizu-Wakamatsu Station via the Machinaka “Haikara-san” sightseeing bus. You’ll find the popular foliage spot just a 5-minute walk away from the Tsurugajo Castle entrance.
Depending on the angle, you can enjoy different views of the ginkgo and maple leaves. While walking through the park, find your favorite spot to immortalize your visit at Tsurugajo Castle.
The best time to visit for autumn leaves is from late October to mid-November. The Tsurugajo Autumn Leaves Illumination, one of the popular autumn events in Fukushima, is typically held during this period. The sight of red leaves and the pure white walls of the castle illuminated at night is simply stunning.
(*As of August 15, 2023, there are no plans for autumn illumination in 2023. LED light-up of the castle tower takes place every day from sunset to 9:00 PM.)
- Address 1-1, Otemachi, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, 965-0873
- Phone Number 0242-27-4005
・Open: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
・Admission: Free; 410 yen for Tsurugajo Castle Tower
・Closed: Open daily
8. Yukiwari Bridge and Yukiwari Valley: Colorful autumn foliage landscapes in Fukushima
The Yukiwari Valley spreads for 4 kilometers, and at its center is the Yukiwari Bridge, an iron bridge connecting the two sides of the Abukuma River.
During the autumn foliage period, flocks of tourists head to the area to snap pictures of the red iron bridge and the valley dyed in green and yellow hues.
A popular spot from which to take pictures is the Nishinosato Promenade, extending along the river.
The best time to visit in autumn is from late October to early November. You can take the Fukushima Kotsu Bus from JR Shin-Shirakawa Station and get off at Yuigaharairiguchi, which is about 30 minutes away; you can then reach your destination on foot in 15 minutes.
Yukiwari Bridge, Yukiwari Valley雪割橋・雪割渓谷
- Address Mineyama, Mabune, Nishishirakawa Gun, Nishigo Mura, Fukushima, 961-8071
- Phone Number 0248-25-5795
Free to visit
9. Nanko Park and its 17 scenic spots
Nanko Park, considered the oldest public park in Japan, is where you can enjoy a garden of green pines and red maples overlooking the beautiful Lake Nanko.
Scattered around the south side of the lake are 17 viewing spots, giving access to just as many unique sights. Here, you can also find a monument engraved with Japanese poems reflecting each scenic spot's view.
The best time to admire the foliage is from late October to mid-November. To get there, it’s a 10-minute bus ride from JR Shin-Shirakawa Station on the Tohoku shinkansen to Iwaki-Tanakura Station.
- Address 1, Nanko, Shirakawa Shi, Fukushima, 961-0812
・Phone: 0248-22-1147 (Shirakawa Tourists Association)
・Free to visit
10. Yamamoto Fudoson: Stone steps and autumn colors that guide you to a sacred place
Legend says that Yamamoto Fudoson appeared when Kobo Daishi prayed to rid Yamizo mountain of all evil spirits. The trees in the area take on beautiful reds, greens, and yellows. The most spectacular of these are the trees that line the 130 stone steps, extending over the whole mountainside.
Access is approximately 10 minutes by car from JR Chikatsu Station. Yamamoto Fudoson is located in the beautiful Yamamoto Park.
- Address Kohizawa 94-2, Kitayamamoto, Tanagura-town, Higashishirakawa-gun, Fukushima, 963-5685
- Phone Number 0247-33-2445
Free to visit
Text by: ShoePress
*This article was originally published in July 2022 and updated in August 2023. Please refer to official websites for the latest information.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
Share this article.
Limited time offer: 10% discount coupons available now!
Recommended places for you
Kamaishi Japan: Kamaishi Unosumai Recovery Stadium and Sightseeing Spots in Japan’s Rugby Town
Racing Across Japan in the Joetsu Shinkansen: From Tokyo to Niigata's Sake Country In Style
20 Best Things to Do in Fukushima Prefecture (Sightseeing Attractions, Local Foods & Activities)
10 Must-See Autumn Foliage Spots in Aomori (2023): From Tsutanuma to Oirase Stream, Enjoy Breathtaking Views