Japan in autumn is ablaze with color. Find out all about Japan’s incredible autumn leaves, including where best to enjoy this incredible season.
To see the incredible colors of Japan for yourself, or experience the unique culture and landscapes at any time of year, see our full collection of tours to Japan.
1. The autumn colors are known in Japanese as koyo. Every year, visitors are drawn to famous koyo spots all over the country, like the slopes of Mount Fuji (above).
2. The ‘koyo front’ moves south from Hokkaido, until it reaches central and southern Japan towards the end of November, when sites like Himeji Castle (above) burst into color
3. Though the vivid red maple trees (above) are most recognisable, many other trees burst into color during koyo
4. While the exact timing varies from year to year, the viewing season generally lasts for 20 to 25 days, allowing visitors plenty of time to enjoy the spectacle
5. The Japan National Tourism Organization provides a list of best autumn color spots, like the gardens of the Jingo-ji Temple in Kyoto (above)
6. Visitors don’t have to venture far to enjoy the autumn leaves; in central Tokyo the Meiji Jingu Gaien, outside the Meiji-jingu Shrine, offers the chance to walk the iconic ‘Avenue of the Gingko Trees’ (above), famous for its vivid yellow and gold hues
7. During koyo selected gardens and temples are open late, and offer the chance to see the trees lit up at night as part of evening illuminations (above)
8. The deer park at Nara is beautiful all year round, but especially in autumn when visitors can observe the park’s wild deer grazing beneath the momiji (Japanese maple) and ginko trees
9. Koyo has infiltrated every aspect of Japanese culture, particularly language with many phrases drawing influence from autumn colors; to become red-faced in embarrassment in Japan is “to scatter autumn leaves”!
10. Not only is autumn in Japan beautiful, it also happens to be a great time to visit once summer's heat and humidity has given way to cooler, more comfortable weather