Fall in Japan refreshes us with its cooler temperatures and crisp weather. The main highlight of the season is the fall colors in Japan, called koyo in Japanese, transforming Japan into a wonderland of vivid hues.

The Adirondacks in the state of New York or Llanrwst in Wales are world-famous autumn leaf spots. However, Japan’s fall foliage spots are defined by the serene and pure beauty that comes from a unique harmony between nature and man-made buildings and structures.

To let you savor this tranquil spectacle of the seasons, we’re taking you to eight iconic fall leaf spots throughout Japan, show you how to get there, and when to make the most out of the colorful foliage!

1. Lake Kawaguchi (Fuji Five Lakes) in Yamanashi Prefecture

The Fuji Five Lakes area describes the five lakes that lie at the foot of Mount Fuji: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Motosu, Lake Shōji, and Lake Saiko.

Among them, Lake Kawaguchi is the most well-known for its stunning fall colors, most prominently represented in the Maple Corridor and its 60 beautiful trees, as well as a 1.5km-long “fall leaf avenue.”

Furthermore, the “Lake Kawaguchi Autumn Leaf Festival” is held every year on the northern shore of the lake. The colorful Japanese maple trees are lit up in the evening and the area is crowded with food and souvenir stalls, offering local crafts and more! With the majestic Mount Fuji in the background, Lake Kawaguchi is a wonderful spot to feel the beauty of fall colors in Japan.

Best time:From mid-October to mid-NovemberAccess (train):From Tokyo Station to Ōtsuki Station (Chūō Main Line, about 1 hour 16 minutes); from Ōtsuki Station to Kawaguchiko Station (Fujikyuko Line, about 43 minutes)Notes:Accessible around the clockRecommended train passes:JR Tokyo Wide Pass (3-Days)
Lake Kawaguchiko
Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi

5 Best Hotels Near Mount Fuji: Enjoy Spectacular Views Near Lake Kawaguchi and Fuji-Q Highland

2. Meijijingu Gaien (Tokyo) – The Golden Ginkgo Promenade

Photo credit: structuresxx / Shutterstock.com

The numerous ginkgo trees in Meijijingu Gaien (the Meiji Shrine Outer Gardens) were planted in 1926. From mid-November, the 146 trees lining the broad avenue turn to a vivid yellow and transform about 300 meters into Tokyo’s famous “Golden Road.”

Sundays and national holidays are a great time to see fall colors in Japan here, as the area bans all vehicles and becomes a pedestrian paradise, letting you leisurely stroll through this golden spectacle.

Stop by a local café, take a break on the terrace, and allow yourself to be thoroughly enchanted by the scenery. Every year, this fall leaf spot attracts about 1,800,000 people, making it one of the most famous golden ginkgo locations in all of Japan.

Best time:From early November to early DecemberAccess (train):Shinanomachi Station (JR Chūō-Sōbu Line), 10 minutes on footNotes:“Pedest…

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