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Welcome to Japan’s autumn season of color!


UpdateJune 11, 2018
ReleaseSeptember 10, 2017

Welcome to Japan’s autumn season of color! Here are some of the best spots to enjoy it!
The JR EAST PASS is convenient and affordable and allows travel throughout Japan. Tohoku, Nagano and Niigata regions have great views of the autumn leaves. See below for some of the best places to take in the majestic views of koyo (autumn leaves).

Lake Towada / Aomori Prefecture, Akita Prefecture

Lake Towada is a crater lake formed by two volcanic eruptions on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures. In autumn, the entire shoreline is like a painting come to life filled with brilliant autumn colors. There are also many onsen (hot springs) in the area so you can enjoy relaxing in a hot bath as well.
Peak Season: Mid-to late October
Access: 2 hrs and 15 min by bus from JR Hachinohe Station


Geibi Gorge / Iwate Prefecture

Geibi Gorge is a 2-km gorge at the bottom of 50-m limestone cliffs. Take the boat tour at the pier behind Geibikei Station for a 90-minute ride on the river (round trip) with a magnificent view of the autumn leaves. The cost of the boat tour is 1,600 yen (tax included).
Peak season: Mid- October to early November
Access: 5-min walk from JR Geibikei Station


Dakigaeri Valley / Akita Prefecture

The dramatic red, yellow, and gold autumn leaves of the valley against the blue river create a spectacular scene surrounded by pristine forests. Wander through the valley to find the many strange-shaped rocks, the rapid stream,waterfalls, and the gorgeous autumn foliage.
Peak Season: Mid- October to early November
Access: 15 min by car from JR Kakunodate Station


Hojusan Risshaku-ji Temple (Yama Dera) / Yamagata Prefecture

This mountain temple was built in 860. Its precinct includes all of Mt. Hoju and it is thought to be a source of powerful energy. The area is draped in dramatic hues of red and yellow. The three-tier pagoda, supposedly the smallest three-tier pagoda in Japan, is also worth checking out!
Peak Season: Late October to early November
Access: 5-min walk from JR Yamadera Station


Urabandai / Fukushima Prefecture

Urabandai is a plateau located between Mt. Bandai and Mt. Nishi-Azuma. Take the 3.6-km scenic route to the famous Goshiki-numa cluster of volcanic lakes. The gorgeous autumn leaves on the banks of the lakes are amazing!
Mid- October to early November
Peak Season: 30 min by bus from JR Inawashiro Station
Access: Yahiko Park / Niigata Prefecture


Yahiko Park / Niigata Prefecture

This park features beautiful landscapes with waterfalls, mountain streams, tunnels, and more and is also famous for its autumn leaves. Close by is Momiji Dani (Maple Valley) with 500 Japanese maple trees that are illuminated in the evening to create a fantastic atmosphere.
Peak Season: Late October to mid- November
Access: 1-min walk from JR Yahiko Station

Uedajo Castle Park / Nagano Prefecture

©Ueda City Multimedia Information Center

Uedajo Castle was built by Lord Sanada Masayuki in the late 16th century. Uedajo Castle Autumn leaves Festival is held from November 3 to 5 during which tourists can don samurai armor, taste local delicacies and experience many other exciting events.
Peak Season: Late October to mid- November
Access: 12-min walk from JR Ueda Station


Hitachi Seaside Park / Ibaraki Prefecture

Hitachi Seaside Park, with its many flowers and greenery, is wonderful in all seasons but, particularly in autumn, the kochia bushes paint the slopes of Miharashi no Oka a deep crimson and, at the foot of the mountain, the cosmos flowers sway in the autumn wind.
Peak Season: Early to mid-October
Access: 20 min by bus from JR Katsuta Station