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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.
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.
In 2021, peak foliage viewing around Tokyo is expected to be from October 27 to December 1. This article introduces five areas in and around Tokyo with amazing foliage that will make you feel at one with nature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The festival is held from mid -October through mid-November.
The fall foliage at Nakatsukyo Gorge can be enjoyed usually from around mid-November to late November.
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.
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.
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.
Photos by Pixta