Aomori Prefecture, located in far north Japan, is renowned for its incredible collection of fabulous fall foliage sightseeing hotspots. Using a rental car, you can easily a road trip tour places filled with lush, seasonally changing nature like the World Heritage Site of Shirakami-Sanchi or the Hakkoda Mountains.
Given the distance between these beautiful locations, it is more convenient to drive than to take the train. With this in mind, we present a two-day Aomori fall road trip perfect for a weekend getaway!
Complete with access and parking information along with peak color dates, this is the ultimate way to experience the best of northern Japan’s incredible wealth of autumn colors.
Top image: PIXTA

Where to rent a rental car in Aomori

JR Shin-Aomori Station. Photo: PIXTA

As most people visit Aomori via airplane or shinkansen (bullet train), businesses offering rental cars are frequently found nearby or even inside many of Aomori’s major transport hubs.
This includes the car rental terminal at Aomori Airport and the multiple outlets outside the shinkansen stations of Shin-Aomori Station and Hachinohe Station. This makes renting a car in Aomori a breeze!

Photo: PIXTA

There are also rental cars available in major stations like Hirosaki Station and Aomori Station, making it easy for those coming by highway bus to find a ride. Most offer a wide range, allowing you to choose a make and price that suits your travel style.

Enjoy an autumn road trip! Book a rental car here

1. Oirase Gorge: Brilliant fall foliage amongst a treasure trove of nature

The stunning mountain stream and autumn leaves. Photo: PIXTA

Located in Towada, Oirase Gorge is Aomori’s definitive fall foliage spot! Between late October to early November, the beech, rhododendrons, maples, and more adorning the gorge’s 14km track engulf the region in vivid colors.
Being just a 90-minute drive from both Aomori Airport and Shin-Aomori Station, Oirase Gorge is surprisingly easy to access and can be thoroughly explored on a short Aomori autumn road trip.

Yellow foliage surrounding the Choshi Otaki Waterfall, which is 7 meters tall and 20 meters wide. Photo: PIXTA

While driving through the tunnels of foliage is alone enough beauty for most, the true highlights of Oirase Gorge are the grand waterfalls and mountain streams dotting the riverside walking trails.
Of particular note is the Ashura no Nagare, a powerful stream flowing between rocks and trees, along with the Choshi Otaki Waterfall, which offers incredible sightseeing all year round. Encompassed by mystical fall foliage, you won’t be able to put your camera down!

The information boards have multiple languages.

Within the area’s roads are spaces to pull over and park, allowing you to effectively tour the area by car rather than solely on foot. For an encounter with some of Aomori’s best fall foliage, the easy-to-access and pristine beauty of Oirase Gorge…

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