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Autumn in Japan 2023: Fall Foliage Forecast & Where to Enjoy the Colorful Leaves (+Tour Info)

Planning to visit Japan this autumn for captivating fall foliage? Get ready for a visual feast! As famous as cherry blossoms, Japan’s autumn season paints landscapes with breathtaking hues. From October to December, vibrant reds, oranges, and golds adorn the country, creating a stunning display of nature’s artistry.

Here we share the best time and places to see autumn leaves in Japan. Our Japan Autumn Leaves Forecast includes a map of Japan with estimated peak foliage times according to the Japan Meteorological Corporation.

From Tokyo to Kyoto, read on to discover the best spots for Japan’s autumn colors and create unforgettable memories on your journey.

When is the autumn season in Japan?

Autumn in Japan spans from September to November, with foliage changing from mid-October onwards. The end of November is the peak time to witness vibrant foliage across the country.

Two waves of foliage occur: yellow leaves (ginkgo trees) in late October, followed by red leaves (Japanese maple) in early November. Peak colors vary by region, influenced by elevation and weather, sometimes extending to late November or early December.

1. Hokkaido (Sapporo/Hakodate)

Jouzankei (Sapporo City) (Photo: Shutterstock)

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, unveils the country’s first autumn colors, making it a spectacular destination. The fall foliage begins at Mount Asahi in the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group and gradually spreads southward. The unique combination of broadleaf trees and conifers, including maple, Japanese rowan, black locust, Ezo spruce, and Sakhalin fir, creates a mesmerizing blend of red, yellow, and green hues.

Notable places to enjoy autumn leaves in Hokkaido include:
Sapporo City: Hokkaido University and Nakajima Park offer stunning fall foliage views.
Jozankei Onsen: This hot springs resort near Sapporo boasts picturesque autumn colors along the peaceful Toyohira River.
Sounkyo: Located in central Hokkaido, this area captivates visitors with its towering cliffs, waterfalls, and vibrant foliage.
Noboribetsu: A volcanic region in southwestern Hokkaido, where fiery foliage surrounds bubbling pools of water.

Enjoy exploring these remarkable spots and immerse yourself in Hokkaido’s autumn beauty.

2022 Foliage Forecast for Hokkaido (Recommended areas to visit)

SounkyoBest time to see: From October 8-18Jozankei OnsenBest time to see: From October 13-24Miharashi Park (Hakodate)Best time to see: From October 29-November 5Lake Akan (Kushiro)Best time to see: From October 10-19Sapporo CityBest time to see: Around November 6

Browse recommended places to stay in Hokkaido

Sounkyo
Jozankei
Sapporo
Hakodate

Browse & Book ▶ Fun outdoor activities in Hokkaido

2. Tohoku (Sendai/Aomori)

Zao Mountain Range (Yamagata Prefecture) (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tohoku, located in the northern part of Honshu, Japan’s largest main island, offers a captivating autumn …

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