Autumn in Japan

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Advisor - Celine Chua
Curated By

Celine Chua

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Japan

  • Outdoor & Nature

  • Relaxation

  • Insta-Worthy

  • Architecture

Autumn in Japan
Curator’s statement

Autumn in Japan wonderland: A symphony of colours awaits! Lose yourself in the vibrant foliage of Kyoto's Arashiyama, indulge in seasonal delicacies and immerse yourself in the serenity of Japan's tranquil landscapes. Embark on a journey through the mesmerizing beauty of autumn in Japan!

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There are a couple of areas in Japan that are renowned for their stunning autumn foliage, offering visitors unforgettable experiences during the fall season.

A couple of highlights for autumn trips in Japan include:

1. Kyoto: Known for its historic temples, gardens and traditional tea houses, Kyoto boasts some of the most iconic autumn scenery in Japan. Places like Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-dera and Tofuku-ji Temple are particularly famous for their vibrant autumn foliage.

2. Tokyo: While Tokyo is a bustling metropolis, it also offers beautiful spots for enjoying autumn colors. Places like Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi Park and the Imperial Palace East Gardens are popular destinations for viewing autumn foliage within the city.

3. Nikko: Located north of Tokyo, Nikko is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage sites and stunning natural landscapes. The area's ancient cedar trees and scenic waterfalls create a picturesque backdrop for autumn foliage viewing.

4. Nara: Home to some of Japan's oldest and largest temples, Nara is a treasure trove of autumn beauty. Visitors can explore Nara Park, where deer roam freely among colorful maple trees, and admire the autumn foliage at Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine.

Unique and seasonal experiences during autumn in Japan include:

1. Onsen Retreats: Embrace the crisp autumn air by soaking in the soothing waters of Japan's famous hot springs or onsen. Nestled amid stunning natural landscapes, onsen towns like Hakone, Beppu and Kusatsu offer a tranquil escape where you can relax and rejuvenate surrounded by autumn colors.

2. Seasonal Cuisine: Indulge in the rich flavors of autumn with Japan's seasonal delicacies. Feast on freshly harvested chestnuts, sweet potatoes and persimmons, or savor hearty dishes like nabe (hot pot). Don't forget to try seasonal sweets like wagashi (traditional Japanese confections) and freshly roasted chestnuts from street vendors that are available only during autumn in Japan.

Here are some home-away-from-home options during autumn in Japan. I highly recommend Kyoto for immersing yourself in the beautiful foliage. There’s something for everyone within your budget expectations!

1. Sowaka: Authentic luxury ryokan ($$$$)

2. Nazuna Kyoto: Comfortable upscale ryokan ($$$)

3. Hyatt place Tokyo / Node Kyoto: Modern hotel rooms ($$)

Need to Know

I highly recommend spending autumn in Japan as it has beautiful foliage across the country, as well as comfortable temperatures for all walks and hikes to enjoy the picturesque beauty Japan has to offer. Autumn is also considered quite the shoulder season in Japan, and reservations for popular places/restaurants are generally easier with upfront planning.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Japan. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Alex Sallis' trip report, Top 14 Must-Try Osaka Foods.

Advisor - Celine Chua

Travel Advisor

Celine Chua

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