Autumn in Japan is something truly special. The autumn leaves are unlike any you’ll see in the world. There is a long Japanese tradition of autumn-leaf viewing. In Hiroshima prefecture, the natural beauty of its temples, gorges, and gardens is a perfect setting to see the many fiery colors of Japanese autumn leaves. Whether you like a hike or just a stroll, there is a place for autumn leaf viewing in Hiroshima for you.

The changing colors start in early-November in Hiroshima prefecture. The colors here to be at their peak from mid-November to late-November.

Here are six great autumn leaves spots in Hiroshima:

1. Taishaku Gorge

Taishaku Gorge is an incredible place to visit in autumn. Photo Credit: 帝釈峡観光協会

The Taishaku River cut this beautiful gorge through the mountains. It’s been lovingly maintained and an autumn trip through the forested gorge is full of incredible color. You’ll also see waterfalls and maybe even limestone cliffs. The river is calm in someplace and rapid in others. If you opt not to take a boat on the river, there are footpaths and bridges woven all around the river.

You can reach Taishaku gorge by train of bus. By train, take the JR Kibi Line to Tojo Station, a trip of three and a half hours or so. By bus, you can take a bus from Hiroshima Bus Center to Tojo, a two hour trip, then take a 20-minute taxi ride to the gorge.

2. Momijidani Park

It is looking stunning during fall! Photo Credit: Hiroshima Prefecture.

Located at the base of Mount Misen on the famous Miyajima Island, the park is one of the pretties parks in Japan to see fall colors. Momijidani means “valley of the maple trees” and the park lives up to it. The park is a small bit of wilderness in the heart of Miyajima filled with many trees.

In autumn, it’s the famous maple trees that stand out in brilliant color. There are around 200 maple trees in the park. There paths where you can take long, relaxing walks under the autumn leaves. You also might even encounter some of the park’s adorable deer, though you’ll have more luck in more isolated areas of the park.

3. Shukkeien Garden

Shukkei-en Garden in autumn. Photo Credit: Hiroshima Prefecture.

This garden is listed as one of Japan’s Top 100 Parks and is also a National Scenic Spot. It is located in Hiroshima. It’s beautiful place to see the splendor of nature and the wonder of a traditional Japanese garden. The garden was first built in 1620, though it was destroyed by the atomic bomb and was rebuilt in 1970.

Shukkeien Garden is beautiful in every season, including autumn. The garden stays open late during the lead-viewing season, illuminating its autumn leaves after the sun goes down. You can also go to a night café where you dress in a kimono and have the full Japanese autumn experience.

4. Buttsuji Temple

Photo Credit: Hiroshima Prefecture.

In autumn, this incredible temple turns into a riot of color. Founded by Haruhira Kobayakawa, the temple dates back to 1397, with a Sen Dojo training hall that brings in many visitors from companies and schools. The surrounding maple trees in their autumn colors lead to the spiritual feel of this place. In November, the temple area is illuminated in the evening. You can find this temple near Mihara City.

Buttsuji Temple is accessible from Mihara Station by bus, which will take about 40 minutes to reach.

5. Sandankyo Gorge

Beautiful autumn scenery of Sandankyo. Photo Credit: Gert Hiroshima.

Sandankyo gorge is a perfect paradise for hikers and outdoor lovers. The valley has beautiful virgin forests, waterfalls, caves, pristine streams and walking routes.

This lovely wild place is great for anyone who wants to explore the great outdoors. The crystal clear waters flow through forested hills. You’ll see Sandan-no-taki, a three-tiered waterfall, and narrow walls. In the autumn, many of the leaves turn red or bronze. You can hike or paddle through the gorge. There are a few small shops at the entrance to the gorge as well as a hot spring bath and a small charming hotel.

6. Daisho-in Temple

Daisho-in Temple in Autumn. Photo Credit: Dumphasizer at Flickr.

Daisho-in temple, located on the island of Itsukushima (Miyajima) is one of the most important ones in Shingon Buddhism. It’s a large complex, featuring many beautiful buildings and statues. A hiking trail leads from the temple grounds to the summit of Mount Misen, a journey that will take about one and a half hours.

In autumn, the trees on and around the temple turn red as the weather turns, offering scenic views that you can’t find anywhere else. Along with Momijidani Park on Miyajima, this without question is the best autumn foliage spots in Hiroshima. The Temple is a fifteen minute walk from the nearby ferry pier.

Hiroshima’s sacred island of Miyajima is known for its autumn colors but there are also other popular leaf-peeping hot spots in the prefecture. We believe that this page will inspire you to travel all over Hiroshima during the fall foliage season.