Japanese autumn leaves have become really popular among foreigners these days! Here is a selection of 5 autumn leaves spots from all over the country recommended for foreigners who are interested in them.
①：Kyoto’s Shrines and Temples
As everyone knows, Kyoto is a very famous tourist destination. The whole city can be considered as a tourist spot, but the best spots above all are Kiyomizu-dera and Kōdaiji.
Being a classic must-see spot, Kiyomizu-dera is visited by an extremely large number of tourists. However, the view of autumn leaves from the veranda of Kiyomizu is extraordinarily beautiful, so it’s really worth a visit. The other main spot, Kōdaiji, is probably less familiar to foreigners, but it is secretly gaining popularity as a place to visit in autumn. The red and yellow leaves reflected in the small lake are stunningly beautiful, so don’t forget to bring your camera!
Nara Park is another famous spot near Kyoto. Apart from the amazing Tōdaiji, in its large grounds it is also possible to feed a large number of wild deers, which makes it an even more charming spot. A landscape with both deers and autumn leaves is so picturesque and fascinating, that they have been painted together since ancient times. There aren’t many other places in Japan where you can take close-up photos of Japanese deers and coloured trees together, so make sure you take a good shot.
③：Meiji Shrine outer gardens
Autumn leaves peeping (“momijigari”) is part of Japanese culture. The term momijigari indicates the act of admiring flowers and trees with one’s own eyes. Meiji Shrine outer gardens are recommended to those who wish to quietly enjoy these leaves and trees changing colours. Meiji Shrine outer gardens are particularly famous for their rows of ginkgo trees, offering a different kind of beauty to admire. Since they’re in Tokyo they’re easy to access and you can enjoy them even in a short visit.
Yōrō Valley is a valley situated in Ichihara, Chiba prefecture. The autumn leaves you can see in a place so rich of nature, with rivers and waterfalls, are a different kind of beauty compared to those you can see in the city. How about you forget the clatter of the city and relax in a space where all you can hear is the sound of nature? You can also hike there, so it is perfect for active people.
⑤： A special place of scenic beauty: Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen garden, located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture, is a turist spot representative of the Hokuriku area (west of Tokyo). So far, the classic tourist destinations for foreigners have always been Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, but thanks to the opening of Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet train) and the word of mouth, even Kanazawa is starting to draw attention. In this city, there is Kenrokuen Garden, a beautiful and popular Japanese garden where you can actually feel Japanese unique culture. Those who wanted to go there but didn’t know how to access or even those who weren’t really interested, will be instantly captured by the beauty of Kenrokuen garden in autumn.
The autumn leaves spots listed so far are classic destinations for the Japanese, but seen through foreigner’s eyes they will probably feel different. Those who have never been to Japan in autumn, or those who have always travelled on a classic itinerary, why don’t you try visiting it in this season?
It is also important to check the congestion situation beforehand, considering that, depending on the place, they might be overcrowded during weekends and holidays. Also, because of these last years’ abnormal weather in Japan, the autumn leaves period may vary, so you will need to check that beforehand too. Autumn is usually very crowded during the outdoor activities season, so just check all the information beforehand and find your favorite spot.
This post is also available in: Japanese