Hiking Destinations for Fall Foliage | HIKES IN JAPAN

Hiking Destinations for Fall Foliage

As summer turns to fall, the leaves of the Japanese rowan, Erman’s birch, Japanese maple, Japanese beech, and other trees that grow in Japan’s mountain forests begin to take on the reds, yellows, and other colors of autumn.

The best time for viewing fall foliage depends on factors such as the height of the mountain and the region. In colder regions such as Hokkaido and Tohoku and at high altitudes, such as in the Japanese Alps, the leaves take on their autumn colors starting around late September. In the lower mountains near Tokyo, such as Mt. Takao, the best time to see the fall foliage is around November.

The Karasawa Cirque

In the Japanese Alps, hikers can enjoy the beautiful contrast between the rugged rock faces and the vivid fall foliage, with the Karasawa Cirque being an especially popular fall foliage destination. Mt. Kurikoma in the Tohoku region, meanwhile, is famous for its stunning fall foliage that covers the entire mountainside. Wetlands such as Oze and Mt. Hakkoda offer up golden fields of autumn grass.


Due to short length of the fall foliage viewing season, the most popular destinations can become extremely crowded. Other factors you need to be aware of include the early sunset time and the need to protect yourself from the cold.

“Hiking Destinations for Fall Foliage” featured on this site are as listed below.


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