News from JNTO

Fall Foliage in Japan

From around mid-November through December, Japan's nature paints the mountains and valleys with a glorious color displaying vibrant hues of red, gold and yellow. Nature's colorful explosions serve as a backdrop against the bluest of fall skies to unveil a completely different face of Japan. As night falls, Japanese maple trees Illuminate in a calm atmosphere, an experience of wonder. Below are some of the best places to visit during the fall/winter season. Explore the beautiful vivid colors and atmosphere in Japan.


Chuson-ji Temple (Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture)



Located on the top of a hill, the Chuson-ji Temple has a long history dating back to 850 AD. Konjikido, the small golden hall is the only 12th century structure to survive in its original form and was the first structure designated a Japanese National Treasure. In 2011, Hiraizumi's Cultural Heritage, which includes Chuson-ji was registered as a World Heritage Site. The area of the hall is spectacular when the surrounding maple trees offer up bursting burnished colors.

For more information, please visit here.


Gakuen-ji Temple (Izumo, Shimane Prefecture)



The Gakuen-ji Temple is located in the Izumo region of the Shimane prefecture in Western Japan. This region has been termed "land of the Gods" and as the birthplace of the Japanese sprit. The Temple in Izumo has a long history originally dating back about 1,400 years. The Izumo Shinbutsu pilgrimage leads to twenty shrines and temples and Gakuen-ji is part of this pilgrimage. Nestled deep in a mountain, the temple is one of the top destinations to discover fall foliage displayed in the region. Strolling along the narrow path to the temple unveils a deep forest surrounded by Japanese maple trees that are bursting with the color of fall. Steps to the temple form a glowing red tunnel in fall. The Japanese maple here are Quite distinctive, called "Iroha-Momiji" because they are rather delicate with small leaves that turn incomparable shades of vermilion.

For more information, please visit here.


Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu city, Kagawa Prefecture)



Ritsurin Garden was granted three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan and has been a favorite of visitors since its inception in the 17th century. It is one of the largest parks (75 hectares) in Japan and has been designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Unrivaled for its exquisite and historic pine trees, there is a lovely cluster of maple trees whose gold and red colors create a stunning fall palette both from up close or from several viewing points in the garden.

For more information, please visit here.


Kegon Falls (Nikko city, Tochigi Prefecture)



Kegon Falls (Kegon no Taki) is known as one of three great waterfalls in Japan. Among the 48 waterfalls found in the Nikko area, Kegon waterfall is one of most popular spots to visit because of its dynamic scenery where water from Lake Chuzenji falls over 310 feet straight down. It is picturesque all year long but the scenery with the colors of fall as a back drop are stunning. Don’t miss out on the elevator which takes visitors to the observatory platform to embrace the basin of the waterfall with its powerful water flow.

Please visit these websites for more information.

Set out and explore to experience the season of fall - winter travelling in Japan. Glorious vivid colors of nature will inspire as you embrace the wonderful scenery.

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

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