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Fukuoka: Top 8 Fall Foliage Spots in 2023

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Fukuoka is an excellent destination for a fall trip. Learn eight famous foliage spots around Fukuoka, including the Akizuki Castle Ruins, Kokura Castle, and Maizuru Park.

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Relish the Fall Colors in Fukuoka

Located in northern Kyushu, Fukuoka is famous for its beautiful nature, friendly people, and a variety of delicious cuisine.

The fall foliage in Fukuoka can be enjoyed from early November to late November (it can last up to early December, depending on location). Be aware that the season may vary slightly depending on the yearly climate and location.

Read on to learn eight famous fall foliage spots in Fukuoka, from gardens and parks that are easy to access to splendid remote locations.

8 Fall Foliage Spots in Fukuoka

1. Maizuru Park
2. Yusentei Park
3. Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin Temple
4. Akizuki Castle
5. Kamado Shrine
6. Kokura Castle
7. Hikosan Shrine
8. Shiranoe Botanical Park

1. Maizuru Park: Easy to Access from Hakata

Fukuoka maizuru park

Picture courtesy of Fukuoka City

Maizuru Park is centered around the ruins of Fukuoka Castle. Built during the Edo era, Fukuoka Castle still retains its stone walls and yagura (*1) towers, reminding visitors of its long history. The castle is open to the public as a park area and is a place where residents relax and refresh themselves.

Though the castle is famous for its cherry trees, in autumn the gingko trees change color, turning the area into a great spot for viewing the leaves.

Fukuoka

Picture courtesy of Fukuoka City

In the neighboring Ohori Park, you can also see fall foliage in the Japanese garden. Easily accessible from the central area of Hakata via a ten-minute subway ride, visitors can readily drop by as they please.

*1: Yagura towers are command centers and watch posts that were built atop castles.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the leaves between early November to late November.

2. Yusentei Park: Beautiful Japanese Gardens

Fukuoka Yusentei Park

Picture courtesy of Fukuoka City

Yusentei Park is a Japanese garden open to the public, formerly a villa owned by the lord who ruled this domain (*2). The park is filled with all the charms of a Japanese garden, including a large pond, a teahouse, and a cascading waterfall.

*2: These domains were governed by feudal lords in Edo times, and the lords of these domains were known as hanshu.

Fukuoka yusentei park

Picture courtesy of Fukuoka City

The view from inside the great hall that faces out onto the pond is stunning. The leaves are reflected in the water, making you feel as though you’re being beckoned into another world.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the leaves typically from mid-November to mid-December.

3. A 400-Year-Old Maple Tree! Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin Temple

Sennyoji

Picture courtesy of Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin

Designated as a natural monument, the Buddist temple Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin is a well-known spot for foliage. The temple is around 1,300 years old, and visitors can take in the sight of giant maple tree that is four centuries old and more than 200 Japanese maple trees in stunning crimson and golden colors in the fall.

Located behind Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin Temple, Shinji Park has fragrant sandalwood trees, natural monuments, and more fall foliage for visitors to enjoy.

Between November 1 and November 30, you can enter the grounds for just 100 yen to see the leaves. Pay 400 yen for entry into the main shrine, where you can see designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

You can enjoy the foliage from early November to mid-November

4. Akizuki Castle: Fall Colors and Castle Town in the Mountains

Around Akizuki Castle

Picture courtesy of Asakura Tourism Association

Akizuki, or Chikuzen (*3), is famous for its historic castle town. It is also referred to as Little Kyoto. Akizuki is at an elevation of 860 meters and is located in a basin surrounded by mountains on three sides. The castle itself no longer exists, but the stone walls, gates, and other features remain intact.

Among those, the Akizuki Castle black gate is famous as a spot for viewing the fall foliage. The contrast between the scarlet leaves and black gate is very beautiful, and many spectators gather to see the sight.

*3: Chikuzen is an old name for the Fukuoka area.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the leaves between late November and early December.

5. Kamado Shrine

Kamado Shrine

Picture courtesy of Kamado Shrine

Kamado Shrine is at the foot of Mt. Homan, a mountain venerated as a home of gods. The shrine is known for attracting visitors wanting to deepen and improve their relationships, During the fall foliage season, roughly 300 trees of different species, such as ginkgo and maple, change colors.

Under the fall foliage tunnel, a road leading to the shrine that transforms during autumn, you can enjoy the gradation of red leaves as far as the eye can see. The beauty of the shrine road, coated by autumn leaves dancing down from the trees above is unlike anything you've ever seen before.

At night, the shrine is lit up during the peak fall foliage season. The illumination period changes each year depending on the state of the leaves.

To arrive at Kamado Shrine, you’ll be making your way through Daizaifu Station. We suggest combining your visit to Kamado Shrine with a stop at Daizaifu Temmangu, one of Fukuoka’s most iconic representative shrines.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Mid-November to early December

6. Visit Scenic Kokura Castle in Fall

Fukuoka: Top 8 Fall Foliage Spots in 2023

Photo by Pixta

Kokura Castle is a prominent castle in the northern Kyushu area. First constructed in 1602, the current main keep (*4) was rebuilt in 1959. It has a distinct architectural style known as “karazukuri,” in which the fifth floor is bigger than the fourth. The castle is respected and a favorite of many people.

While it is well-known for its cherry trees in spring, Kokura Castle’s ginkgo trees also bloom beautifully in autumn. They are a must-see for travelers in southern Japan.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the leaves between early November and late November.

7. Mt. Hiko Shrine

Mt. Hiko Shrine

Picture courtesy of Soeda Town Revitalization Department, Tourism Division

As the only sacred shugendo (*5) site in northern Kyushu, Mt. Hiko was an object of worship and is the location of a shrine. The grounds where Buddhist monks historically practiced ascetics remain intact to this day.

When autumn rolls in, the maple trees steadily change color, starting from the summit all the way down to the base of the mountain. As you walk down the road that leads to Mt. Hiko Shrine, you can leisurely enjoy the fall foliage.

You can also ride a monorail up to the shrine, so you can fully enjoy the quintessential Japanese landscape without overexerting yourself.

*3: Shugendo is an ancient school of Japanese asceticism. Adherents would train in the mountains in pursuit of enlightenment. Mountain ascetics are called yamabushi.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the foliage from around early November to mid-November.

8. Shiranoe Botanical Park

Shiranoe Botanical Park

Picture courtesy of Shiranoe Botanical Park

At Shiranoe Botanical Park, you can enjoy different plants with the changing seasons. From late November until early December, you can view trees with their leaves turning scarlet and gold all throughout the park.

Three spots stand out for viewing the fall foliage. These spots are the entrance plaza, the komorebi road (road of sunlight glistening through the trees) containing around 800 maple trees, and fallen leaves on the ground with giant Japanese maple trees towering above.

At the teahouse in the park, you can savor seasonal Japanese treats. The abundance of nature here will make you feel very relaxed.

Annual Fall Foliage Season

Visitors can see the fall colors between late November and early December.

Enjoy the Fall Scenery in Fukuoka

Fukuoka has plenty of wonderful spots to take in the fall foliage. If you’re visiting Fukuoka in autumn, why not take advantage of all the autumn-only sights that the prefecture has to offer?

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Main imag by Pixta

 

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