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Dive into Autumn: Japan's Unique Way to Experience Fall Foliage - With Ryujin Bungy

Dive into Autumn: Japan's Unique Way to Experience Fall Foliage - With Ryujin Bungy

Date published: 20 November 2021
Last updated: 12 September 2023

Going to see fall foliage is a part of Japanese tradition. During this time of the year, beautiful natural landscapes stand out like a painting. Although fall foliage is beautiful on its own, there are also some unique ways to enjoy them!

A prime example of this is the experience offered at Ryujin Bungy. This bungy jumping facility is located in Ibaraki Prefecture’s Ryujinkyo Gorge - one of Japan's best fall foliage spots. In addition to the gorge, we will introduce the alluring experience of jumping into a scenery of fiery fall leaves.

Top Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Japan’s Fall Foliage is Amazing!

Photo: PIXTA
Photo: PIXTA

Most fall leaves in Japan come from deciduous trees. As days get shorter in the fall and the temperature decreases, the leaves slowly change their color. We recognize this change as fall foliage and is a sign that the trees will soon lose their leaves.

Starting from the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, leaves in Japan start to change in color from around September. This transformation first begins in the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group.

Little by little, fall leaves also start to pop up south of Hokkaido and eventually make their way throughout Japan. Fall leaves are quick to change their color in colder climates, so the first regions to welcome fall foliage usually are areas with a high altitude.

In the Kanto region and areas surrounding Tokyo, there are even some regions where you can enjoy the leaves from November to early December!

In Japanese, there is a word to describe the act of going to see fall leaves called momiji-gari. This roughly translates to leaf peeping in English.

The word momiji-gari is said to have originated from Japanese nobles who didn’t hunt in the Heian Period (8th century to 12th century). These nobles would call the act of gazing out at nature kari (gari) or hunting. The custom of enjoying fall leaves has existed in Japan ever since.

Enjoy Fall Colors While Bungy Jumping in Japan!

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

The allure of bungy jumping in Japan during the fall is that you can enjoy feeling exhilarated as you jump into a colorful landscape. Additionally, the view you get during the jump is one of a kind!

For those seeking a thrilling escape, bungy jumping comes highly recommended! As you leap solo, it's a chance to truly let go, releasing stress with a liberating shout.

Also, this alluring activity enables you to have a natural panoramic view all to yourself, making you feel completely refreshed. This collaboration between fall leaves and bungy jumping can be enjoyed at Ibaraki Prefecture’s Ryujin Bungy, which we will be introduced later in this article.

A Popular Fall Foliage Spot: What Does Ryujinkyo Gorge Have to Offer?

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Located in Ibaraki Prefecture’s Hitachiota City, Ryujinkyo Gorge can be found in Okukuji Prefectural Nature Park. This gorge was made by the surrounding land being eroded by the Ryujin River. It’s known as a mystical place where, according to legend, a Japanese dragon has lived for centuries.

Photo Provided By: PIXTA
Photo Provided By: PIXTA

Ryujinkyo Gorge offers beautiful and seasonal views throughout the year, but we especially recommend taking a trip in the fall! Here, Japanese maple leaves, maple leaves, and sawtooth oak leaves paint the entire gorge in a range of colors.

The beauty of this site will take your breath away. Also, walking over the suspension bridge while taking in the view of fall leaves will make you feel like you’re walking on air. No matter where you look, you will find a fantastic 360-degree view of this awe-evoking landscape.

Every year, the best time to see the fall leaves is from around mid to late November. What’s more, Ryujinkyo Gorge’s Fall Foliage Festival is held in time when these leaves change color.

You can enjoy collecting stamps at various tourist spots and trying the region’s specialties available at the local food fare at the festival. Many people travel from outside of Ibaraki Prefecture to enjoy this fun festival!

How to get to Ryujinkyo Gorge
  • By Train: On the JR Joban Line, take the train from Ueno Station to Mito Station (around a 70-minute train ride when taking the limited express Hitachi). Then, take the JR Suigun Line to Hitachiota Station (around 50 minutes).
  • By Car: Take the Misato Interchange on the Joban Expressway to the Naka Interchange (approximately 80 minutes). Then, take the National Route 349 to Ryujin Suspension Bridge (approximately 50 minutes).

Ryujinkyo Gorge’s Ryujin Suspension Bridge: One of the Largest Bridges in Japan!

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Above the impressive Ryujinkyo Gorge and its dam is the Ryujin Suspension Bridge. Rising 100 meters above the river’s surface, the entire bridge stretches out to a whopping 375 meters in length. This is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in all of Japan.

Just walking across is thrilling, but there are even observation windows to enjoy at three different points on the bridge. Since these windows are placed on the ground, you can take in the expansive scenery that spreads out beneath you.

Ryujin Bungy: The Wild 100-Meter Bungy Jump in Japan

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Ryujin Bungy is a bungy jumping experience with a drop that’s 100 meters long. Participants leap from the famous Ryujin Suspension Bridge, known for towering above Ryujinkyo Gorge. It boasts being the highest bungy jumping spot in Japan and the second-longest.

The higher the jumping point, the faster the fall! The exhilaration you feel as you get closer to the river’s surface can’t be matched. With over 10,000 brave people attempting the jump every year, many are enticed by the extraordinary experience of diving into nature!

Bungy Japan: We Asked the Operators of Ryujin Bungy About its Charm!

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Bungy Japan is the only professional bungy jumping company in Japan. Starting with Ryujin Bungy, it operates eight bungy jumping facilities throughout the country.

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Q: Could you describe the unique appeal of Ryujin Bungy?
A: Certainly. The Ryujin Suspension Bridge, overlooking the magnificent Ryujinkyo Gorge, is among our most sought-after jump locations. The highlight here is the breathtaking autumnal display of the gorge.

Q: What are the steps involved in preparing for the jump?
A: First, you'll check in, followed by getting fitted with a harness. There's a brief lecture to ensure safety, then comes the exhilarating jump itself. And as a memento, you receive a jump certificate at the end.

Q: How long is the actual free-fall, and what's the total duration of the activity?
A: The free-fall lasts about four seconds. Overall, between check-in, harnessing, the lecture, and the jump, you should allocate around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the number of participants.

Q: How safe is the jump?
A: Safety is our top priority. Ryujin Bungy adheres to Bungy Japan’s stringent safety standards, ensuring a secure experience for all participants.

Q: Any specific advice for the autumn season?
A: Given the mountainous location, it can be cooler than anticipated. We advise bringing a jacket for warmth.

Q: What kind of feedback do you typically receive from participants?
A: We often hear sentiments like, "It was initially daunting, but the experience was exhilarating!" Others express their sheer joy, remarking, "It was an incredible sensation!"

Q: Who would you recommend this experience to?
A: For those seeking a unique adventure or wanting to challenge themselves, Ryujin Bungy offers an unparalleled experience. We invite all thrill-seekers to join us!

How to Take Part in Ryujin Bungy!

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

How to make a reservation
Please make a reservation from the following website.

You can also make a reservation through the call center (0278-72-8133/English guidance available)
*Although it’s possible to sign up the day of, reserved slots are prioritized, so there may be a chance you won’t be able to participate.
*Up to six people can make a reservation every 30-minute time slot.

Itinerary for the Day of the Bungy Jump
1. Check-in (20 minutes before your jump time)
2. Take your jump ticket after checking in and proceed to the jump area.
3. Attach your harness and get ready for the lecture.
4. Head to the bridge and bungy jump!
5. After the jump, head back to the check-in counter to receive your certificate.

Eligible Participants
・Age: 15 years or older
・Weight: 40 kilograms to 105 kilograms
・State of Health: You may need to submit a medical certificate depending on your state of health or age. If you have any questions or worrying symptoms, please inquire during the application/reservation process.

Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan
Photo Provided By: Bungy Japan

Supported Languages
*English-speaking staff and an English website are available.

  • Ryujin Bungy
    • Address 2133-6 Amagono-cho, Hitachiota-shi, Ibaraki 313-0351
    • Phone Number 0278-72-8133
    • ・Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM (last check-ins are at 4:30 PM)
      ・First jump: 19,000 yen per person, 8,000 yen for two jumps in the same day, more than two jumps in the same day are 11,000 yen per jump (must have a certificate and identification )
      *Getting your photo taken costs another 4,000 yen.
      ・Closed: Irregularly

The Ultimate Way to Enjoy Fall Foliage: Only Those Who’ve Experienced It Will Understand!

Only those who’ve experienced this jump can understand the initial nerves and fear followed by the feeling of absolute freedom!

At Ryujin Bungy, you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind spectacular view of fall foliage. Once you get a glimpse of the view from the bridge, any fear you had will melt away, making the leap super easy! Please try challenging yourself to bungy jumping in Japan - and enjoying fall colors in a totally new way!

(This article was originally published in November 2021 and updated in September 2023. Please see official websites for the latest information.)

Written by:

Miyuki Yajima

Miyuki Yajima

After working in planning, editing, and business development/sales at a continuing education business, she is currently working as a writer, yoga instructor, and traveler in pursuit of a multi-career lifestyle that combines hobbies and work. She also likes fashion, Japanese culture, and music.

*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.

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