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5 Spectacular Places To See Autumn Leaves Near Tokyo

5 Spectacular Places To See Autumn Leaves Near Tokyo

Translated by Allie

Written by Eri Okubo

Kanagawa 2019.08.01 Bookmark

Don't miss the stunning fall foliage around Tokyo and eastern Japan between October and December. This article features five great fall destinations in and near Tokyo, like Okutama, Mt. Takao, and Sankeien Garden, and details on when to see the red and golden colors.

See the Wonderful Autumn Colors in Greater Tokyo

Once autumn arrives, leaves change their color to yellow and red, allowing us to admire the view created by the beautiful autumn foliage. In Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Yoyogi Park, Rikugien Garden, and Meiji Jingu Gaien are famous and conveniently located in the city center. For those wanting to trade the crowds for nature, take a day trip and venture to the outskirts of Tokyo for stunning scenery.

This article introduces five areas in and around Tokyo with amazing foliage that will make you feel at one with nature.

1. Hatonosu Valley in Okutama, Tokyo

Okutama fall

Picture courtesy of JNTO

The Okutama area, located in the western part of Tokyo, offers a fabulous natural landscape. While hiking along the 4 kilometer-long trail from JR Okutama Station, you will completely forget that you are in Tokyo. All that surrounds you is the sheer beauty of the trees and valley.

Kanto Koyo photo03

Picture courtesy of Okutama Town tourism industry Division

Hatonosu Valley is full of breathtaking scenery. It is actually said to be one of the best destinations to see the autumn colors in the Okutama area. Gaze down from the suspension bridge at the fall foliage, the impressive valley, and the clear stream flow quietly.

The best time to see the leaves in the valley is usually during November.

Hatonosu Canyon

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2. Mt. Takao in Tokyo

Mt. Tako in fall

Mt. Takao is just about one hour away from Shinjuku Station. There are several hiking trails provided which allows everybody, from beginners to advanced hikers, to have fun. Hike up the mountain and admire the stunning colors of the fall. There is also a ropeway and a cable car you can use.

After working up an appetite, try Mt. Takao's specialty, tororo soba (buckwheat noodles topped with grated Japanese yam). There are also several food stalls selling light snacks, like grilled and skewered dango (mochi). While hiking back to the foot of the mountain, you can make a stop at a local hot spring to relax after the challenging hike.

The fall colors at Mt. Takao can be seen from around mid-November to late November.

Mount Takao

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3. Sankeien Garden in Kanagawa Prefecture

Kanto Koyo photo05

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Sankeien Garden is a Japanese style garden regarded throughout Japan especially for its beauty in the fall. There are historical buildings gathered from various places in Japan such as Kyoto and Kamakura in the garden. Their sight is very relaxing and pleasant. Sankeien Garden is the best place to admire the foliage of maple and ginkgo trees and historical buildings while being close to the port city of Yokohama.

Eateries with Japanese food, like soba and ramen, are inside the garden as well. After enjoying the fall foliage to the fullest, why not enjoy some delicious Japanese food? Matcha and traditional sweet sets are also available for those craving desserts.

The fall season at Sankei Garden is most beautiful typically between mid-November and mid-December.

Sankeien Garden

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4. Nakatsukyo Gorge in Saitama Prefecture

Nakatsukyo Gorge

Picture courtesy of Chichibu Tourism Association Otaki Branch

Nakatsukyo Gorge is located along the Nakatsu River in the Chichibu area of Saitama, known for its vast outdoors. The combination of the 100-meter-high cliffs and the colorful fall foliage astonishes visitors.

Fall marks the Oku-Chichibu Otaki Autumn Festival when maple trees are illuminated at night, and local groups perform taiko and other traditional art forms. In 2018, the festival was held from October 10 to November 18.

The fall foliage at Nakatsukyo Gorge can be enjoyed usually from around mid-November to late November.


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5. Lake Kameyama

Lake Kameyama

Picture courtesy of Kimitsu City Tourism Association Kameyama Branch

Lake Kameyama is the largest artificial lake in Chiba Prefecture. It is a popular scenic spot as visitors can enjoy fishing and sightseeing from boats on the river itself. There are also hiking trails in the area, making it ideal for an afternoon of light outdoor exercise.

Lake Kameyama

Picture courtesy of Kimitsu City Tourism Association Kameyama Branch
Take a sightseeing boats and enjoy a fall foliage cruise. You can view the amazing colors of the maple trees reflecting on the surface of the lake for a truly unique experience. For more details, please view the official website (Japanese).

The fall leaves at Lake Kameyama can be enjoyed best from around late November to early December.

Leave the City and Take in Fall!

The autumn leaves are gorgeous throughout Japan and Tokyo, but to really take in the beauty of fall, it is highly recommended to venture outside the metropolis and see the great outdoors. These five spots offer unique chances to experience this gorgeous season. Bring your friends and family to these destinations for an unforgettable adventure.

Autumn leaves start changing from the north, beginning in the middle of September in Hokkaido. From mid-October to mid-December you can enjoy the scenery throughout the country. In this special feature, we introduce details on the fall foliage for each area in Japan, from famous spots to areas that are lesser known. With MATCHA’s articles as your guide, please enjoy Japan's gorgeous fall foliage!

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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