Autumn Travel Guide

Japan Autumn Travel Guide 2024 | Fall Season

Autumn is a wonderful season when the Japanese like to go out for leaf-peeping. To admire the outdoor autumn beauty, some prefer going for hike in the wild while some other just walk around in the park or garden. That’s how people there enjoy the fall. What about you? Ever thought of enjoying the autumn like the Japanese way?

If you are in the mood for a fall adventure in Japan, this guide will help you make your trip a great adventure and even can exceed your expectation. At this time of the year, the views are astounding and the weather is just perfect for hunting momiji (red leaf).

Sennyuji Temple’s garden and fall foliage in Kyoto. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

Please bear in mind that every year, a lot of visitors come to Japan in the fall. That is not surprising because this is a stunning season to travel around in this beautiful country with a list of exciting things to do and see!

Besides, it has been recognized as one of the very few countries in the world where deciduous trees ablaze stunningly during fall.

Seriously, if you enjoy discovering outdoor nature, visiting Japan in the fall would be a perfect destination for you and your family.

Don’t just make yourself fool thinking that spring is the prime time to visit it. In fact, it is widely renowned for viewing autumn leaves including exploring a list of traditional autumn festivals.

Let’s go and find some very useful travel trips for a trip to Japan during autumn.

1. Annual Autumn Leaves Forecast is Important

Autumn leaves can be enjoyed from early September through late December throughout Japan. Every year, Hokkaido, the second largest island is said to be the first place to appear fall foliage in the country.

The most important thing before planning a trip to Japan in the fall is to check out the latest Japan fall foliage forecast. You must do it if your intention is to hunt for autumn leaves.

Striking fall foliage in Hokkaido! Photo Credit: iyoupapa


2. Try Visiting the Most Popular Fall Colors Spots in Japan

Compared to Japan’s neighboring countries like Russia and China, Japan is a small country, but it boasts endless discoveries when it comes to talking about natural beauty and unique culture. To be honest, there are many places including wild areas to enjoy the fall foliage.

Prior to making your travel plan, choose the best autumn leaves viewing spots including the places that can be experienced year round such as the old historic and traditional towns/villages, museums, temples & shrines, castles, and many more.

3. Think of Making your Hotel Reservation Earlier

Earlier noted that a lot of tourists visit Japan in autumn. Therefore it is strongly recommended to make a hotel/ryokan reservation in advance. Visit this page and find cheap and best hotel deals in Japan.

If you don’t book your room in advance, there is a big chance of paying more cash than the average. I know every tourist wants to save some money for some very good reasons while traveling the world!

Beautiful colored mountains in Yamagata – this sort of awe-inspiring landscape is only possible to see if you go for mountain hiking. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

4. Be Adventurous and Enjoy Outdoor Nature!

Autumn leaves viewing is not the first and last thing you could do in Japan! If you are fond of adventures trip, embark on trip to climb some mountains in Japan.

A lot of guys actually enjoy the season doing both hiking in the mountains and exploring the fall foliage along the way to the top of the summit.

There, from the observation deck, it is just glorious to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In search of the best hiking trails which lead you to discover spectacular autumn color scenery, you can go to Hokkaido, Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, Aomori, Miyajima, Fukushima, Takayama, Tokyo, Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto.

5. What to Wear in Autumn in Japan?

The weather in autumn is good and favorable to visit most of the touristic places across the country! You no longer feel the summer heat instead the weather gets colder making visitors roaming around with lots comfort.

It may rain out there, so check the weather forecast before the day of your trip and if it seems it would be raining then take an umbrella with you. Put on a light jacket if you don’t want to mess with the chilly autumn weather.

Fallen ginkgo leaves in a public park in Tokyo. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr

6. Gorgeous Ginkgo Trees in Tokyo

The change of leaf colors is fascinating and often mystical. You can find many trees whose leaves change colors upon arrival of autumn.

Finding red maple leaves elsewhere in Japan is not a daunting task but probably it is for Ginkgo! Where can you find it in abundance? The answer is simple as it sounds, just plan on traveling Tokyo in autumn.

You can read this page and find some areas in Tokyo to see ginkgo.

7. Experience the Festivals held only in Autumn

Japan is a country of festival (matsuri). You can discover them year round though most of the exciting festivals are held in the summer months.

The Takayama Autumn Festival, Kichijoji Aki Matsuri, Sapporo Autumn Fest, Morioka Autumn Festival, Shuki Taisai Grand Autumn Festival, Meguro Sanma Matsuri and others are considered to be the most popular autumn festivals in Japan.

Along with seeing awesome autumn vistas, the season has got its own specialty featuring a list of popular festivals to make sure you have a memorable visit.

Shikizakura (a variety of cherry blossom) and autumn leaves in Obara city, Aichi. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

8. Cherry Blossom in Autumn!

I have a surprise for you! Have a dream of visiting Japan during spring to see its iconic sakura?

Those of you who have never ever experienced the cherry blossom season in Japan have a great opportunity to make your dreams come true. Surprised?!

Cherry blossom in autumn is surprising! Don’t you think so? Just pay a visit to Obara town, Aichi Prefecture and you will find them together with breathtaking colored fall foliage. In order to find out the best places to see fall foliage in Aichi, please read this page.

9. Fruit Picking in Japan during Autumn

If you think that spending your time doing nothing but only seeing spectacular red maple leaves out there, I have to tell you that you are walking through the wrong path. Fruit picking is a great fun outdoor activity I strongly recommend you to give it a try.

If you are in the Tohoku region for a leaf-peeing trip, manage some time for picking some apples at the fruit farms located mostly in Aomori. The prefecture itself is quite popular picking fresh delicious juicy apples in the fall.

Enkoji temple is one of the best autumn leaves viewing spots in Kyoto. Photo Credit: Norio NAKAYAMA at Flickr.

10. Enjoy the Foods mostly eaten in Autumn by Locals

Autumn is a great time to taste some seasonal mouth-watering Japanese foods such as Matsutake Mushroom Soup, Yakiimo, Salt-grilled Sanma, Korokke, Nabemono, Oden and so on. In many areas across the country you would encounter many food festivals.

Be a guest there, taste the delicious dishes you are offered to have and enjoy a great time! For more info about the foods you should try in Japan, please visit this page.

11. Do you need to buy a Japan Rail Pass?

Most of the first time visitors to Japan usually think that they must buy Japan Rail Pass before arriving in Japan. Is this actually appropriate for all travelers? I don’t think so! Don’t buy a JR Pass if your travel itinerary does not include several long distance train rides.

For example, if you want to travel to Aomori from Tokyo then again from Aomori to Sapporo, purchase it immediately before arriving in Japan; on the other hand, if you just decide to travel around Tokyo and some other towns located adjacent to it, there is no need to purchase a JR pass.

In the end, Japan is a popular autumn destination for many foreign travelers who are looking for specific autumn activities. If you are one of them don’t wait anymore, enjoy this mind-boggling season with the Japanese harmoniously.

Oh…one more thing to mention here, in the evening time, at some places across the country maple trees are lit up. Visit those spots and find a serious tranquil atmosphere. Thank you, wishing you all the best!

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