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Fall Colors 2022: Top 25 Breathtaking Places For Autumn Leaves In Japan

Japan is famous for having fantastic four seasons. Although every time of the year has its own beauty, we can’t deny that fall colors are one of the best!

So, where you should go to make the most of your autumn stay in Japan? We’ve listed up some of the most awe-inspiring places around. Check them out in this article and have a lovely fall day-trip.

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Quick Word on Photographing Autumn Leaves In Japan

Many of the places listed in this article are famous temples around Japan. As these spots can become quite congested, most temples will prohibit the use of tripods/monopods for safety reasons. They may also restrict the use of selfie sticks. Be sure to check at the entrance if you have questions.

As is the case for many famous places for autumn leaves in Japan, most spots mentioned in this piece will offer extended evening hours for when foliage is illuminated.

25 Most beautiful autumn destinations in Japan

1. Eikando Temple/Zenrinji Temple (Kyoto)

Zenrinji appeared in the historic Japanese waka (a sort of poem) collection “Kokin Wakashu” which was compiled by the order from emperor Daigo in 905. Since then, this place has been recognized as a famous spot for autumn leaves in Japan.

There are about 3000 Japanese maple trees. From early November to early December, the breathtakingly beautiful trees are lit up at night.

The best time to visit to see autumn leaves is after mid-November. However, it starts to color at the end of October.

Eikando Temple/Zenrinji Temple
48 Eikando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Access: 3 minute walk from the city bus stop Nanzenji Eikando-michi
Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
*Entrance gate is closed 1 hour before the closing time.
Lighting-up opening hours (Nov. 7 – Dec. 6)
5:30pm – 8:30pm
Admission fee: 600yen

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2. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo)

Do you know there is a massive park in the middle of the city in Tokyo? It was originally made for the royal family. And then, it was open to the public after the war, and now it’s become locals’ oasis in the concrete jungle. They have various trees that show lovely autumn leaves in red, yellow, and amber all over the park.

The best time for autumn leaves here is from early November to early December.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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3. Tofukuji Temple (Kyoto)

Photo credit: THONGCHAI.S /

What makes Tofukuji outstanding is its breathtaking autumn leaves and the refreshing sound of the stream that flows through the temple grounds. Here there is also a valley called Sengyokukan, which is filled with around 2,000 maple trees.

From the Tsutenkyo Bridge, which overlooks the valley, you can gaze out at the combination of vividly colored autumn leaves and the river. However, you need to bear in mind that you might not be allowed to stop and take a picture when the bridge is crowded due to safety reasons.

The best time for autumn leaves is from mid to late November.

Tofuku-ji Temple
15-778, Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Giouji Temple (Kyoto)

Giouji is a convent (temple) that showed up in a renowned historic Japanese literature “Heike monogatari”. It is surrounded by bamboo groves an…

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