Autumn leaves spots from Tokyo
Take a short trip from Tokyo to picturesque autumn spots in just 2-3 hours!
Late September to early November is the perfect time to see autumn leaves in many areas along the Tobu Railway, which winds through Tokyo and four surrounding prefectures. These areas are full of World Heritage Sites and picturesque scenery, reachable from the heart of the city in just around two hours. Each year the Nikko and Kinugawa areas, noted for their wonderful hot spring resorts are abuzz with visitors who have come to soak in the views of the fabulous sightseeing spots which are popular with both Japanese and visitors from abroad.
Tobu Railway offers a convenient and economical discount pass for touring Nikko and Kinugawa.
Nikko and Kinugawa
This locale is a source of pride for Japan, boasting temples and shrines that truly give visitors a sense of Japan’s long history and abundant nature. It’s even said to be an area where mystical energy flows. With numerous historical buildings, including the famed World Heritage Site of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, along with amazing natural beauty in every season of the year, visitors are sure to be charmed, no matter when they visit. Located just 2 hours from Tokyo in Tochigi Prefecture, it’s an area you can easily visit.
Best visited early to late October
Situated 1,269 meters above ground by the entrance to the deeper area of Nikko, Lake Chuzenji is the premier lake of Nikko National Park. Red, yellow and orange leaves reflect brilliantly on the surface of the lake. The shoreline is populated by embassy villas, showing how internationally renowned the view is. Pleasure cruises run on the lake and during autumn they offer special Autumn Leaves Tours that show passengers the leaves at their most beautiful. You can leisurely enjoy the fall colours from the lake that stretches as far as the eye can see. We also recommend taking advantage of the numerous hiking trails around the lake for a peaceful stroll.
Senjogahara and Odashirogahara
Best visited late September to early October
These locations are two of Japan’s prominent wetlands. You can view the changing colours of the wetland grasses along with great hiking trails for viewing the autumn colours. The nature trails provide a pleasant two-hour excursion, winding through the wetlands and surrounded by natural beauty.
Explore the Extensive Nikko and Kinugawa Areas with a Discount Pass
- All Nikko Pass: A 4-day pass with savings of 1,600 yen, allowing unlimited rides on trains and buses in the Nikko and Kinugawa areas.
- 2-day Nikko Pass: A 2-day pass with savings of 550 yen, allowing unlimited rides on the trains and buses in the Nikko and Kinugawa areas.
Best visited late September to mid-October
In the city of Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, you can experience a four-minute area trip aboard the Nasu Ropeway gondola, the largest in the Kanto region, with a capacity of 111 passengers. Travel close to the summit of Chausudake, the highest peak of the Nasu mountain range and the Kanto area’s premier active volcano. From the gondola, observe the beauty of the crimson-dyed azaleas in autumn as well as Kanto’s famed Mt Tsukuba, Mt Yamizo and other mountains and the city of Shirakawa in Fukushima Prefecture in the south of the Tohoku region.
Oze National Park
Best viewed mid-September to early October
Aizu Astoria Hotel
Best visited mid-October to early November
Oze National Park, straddling Gunma, Fukushima, Tochigi and Niigata Prefectures, is Honshu’s biggest mountainous area, spanning 760 hectares. Visitors can enjoy hiking in all seasons. Here at Oze Wetlands, marsh grass turns orange starting from the tips. As you turn to face the sun, the wetlands seem to glitter like gold and as the wind gently stirs the grass you can’t help but take a picture. At the end of September, the orange grass turns brown, followed by the beginning of the autumn colours of the mountain trees. Gradually the trees around the Aizu Astoria hotel (elevation 1,000 metres) also begin to change colours.
Area around Zao Ropeway Mountain View Line and Summit Line
Best visited late September to early November
This mountain resort located in Yamagata Prefecture is the largest in Tohoku and has served as a trailhead since the Edo period. It was selected by CNN as one of Japan’s 31 most beautiful places. Visitors can enjoy walks along the plateau and visitors to multiple hot springs in the hot springs district. Starting from the summit, the flowers form a beautiful graduation of yellow, orange, red, and brick red, giving visitors a truly stunning view. Nothing could be better for viewing the vivid autumn colours than a ride along the ropeway. Take in the gorgeous later after layer of autumn leaves that evoke a masterful piece of art.
Kitain Temple Autumn Colours
Best visited mid-November to early December
Kitain is a temple with long-held ties to the Tokugawa family and is famous across Japan for its many cultural treasures and Edo period feel. Its Gohyakurakan, one of Japan’s three great collections of Arhat statues, holds 538 stone Buddhas which express the entire range of human emotions captured perfectly in their expertly carved faces. When they are surrounded by the vivid autumn colours, they even seem to take on different expressions.
Best visited mid-September to early October
Asakusa, the overwhelmingly popular tourist spot brings in Autumn with autumn leaves behind Kaminarimon, the five-storied pagoda and to the side of Nakamise-dori Street. During September 17th to October 1st, the festival called Asakusa Toro (lantern festival) will be held. In addition to Sensoji’s illuminations, hundreds of lanterns will be arranged and lit up in the temple vicinity.