Top places in Japan for Autumn foliage viewing

By on November 7, 2013

Nanzenji Temple

Dubbed as one of the great Zen temples of Kyoto, Nanzenji  in autumn has its own quaint charm.   On a bright November day, the dark reddish brown tone of the trees lend a good contrast to the leaves’ varying hues of crimson and orange.  Be sure to take picture-perfect shots of the Tenjuan’s rock garden close by.  The place is approximately a 5-hour-and-a-half trip from Tokyo.
Good timing:  mid to end of November
Location:   86 Nanzenji, Fukuchico
Sakyo ward, Kyoto prefecture 606-8435
Admission  500 yen


Katsura Imperial Palace in Kyoto 

The palace is at its best in the fall season.  Built during the early to mid 17th century, it is one of the scenic places in Japan for autumn foliage viewing. There are oriental stone lanterns along the well manicured garden paths of picturesque quality that make a good backdrop for family souvenir photos.

Good timing:  Last week of November
How to get there:   Take Kyoto city bus 33 from Kyoto station or the Hankyu Kyoto train.  Get off at Katsura station and walk towards the east.
Reservations required

Free admission


Meiji no Mori Quasi-National Park

The graceful Mino waterfalls set off against autumnal colors belong to Meiji No Mori Mino Quasi National Park in Osaka.

An absolute wonder, this all-in-one natural recreation park is home to a huge number of  animals and birds, including monkeys.  A must-visit for families with young children.

Along the hiking trail is arguably one of the favorite spots of photo journalists, the Ryuanji temple, located at midpoint between a train station and the waterfall.

Good timing:  Mid November

How to get there:   Take the Hankyu Takarazuka train from Hankyu Umeda station.  Get off at Ishibashi station and change to Hankyu Minoo train.  Get off at Minoo station.  The park is a short walk to the north side from the station.


Lake Chuzenji, Nikko               

It doesn’t get any better than this.  The place is absolutely scenic with golden hues of autumn foliage, gushing sound of  the waterfalls, clear blue skies, serene  Chuzenji lake and the much celebrated symbol of Japan, mount Fuji,  all-in-one!  That is, if you are lucky to go on a clear autumn day.  With the temperatures looking more stable than last year,  don’t think twice.   Travellers from Tokyo will appreciate the short traveling distance from Tokyo to Nikko  which is merely a two-hour train trip.