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10 Top Viewing Spots to Feast your Eyes on Tokyo’s Autumn Colours

November 2, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments

The splendour of Japan’s springtime cherry blossom season is no secret, and if the magic of nature is your thing a visit during the spectacular autumn foliage season is not to be missed. Longer lasting than the brief blooms of the cherry trees the colours of autumn foliage are a delight to behold. Tokyo offers a multitude of viewing locations day and night throughout autumn peaking in late November.

Choosing to travel to Tokyo in the Japanese autumn and winter can have added advantages too, the weather is stable and agreeable, there are less crowds, meaning better availability and rates in the city’s hotels. And the autumn cuisine is superb too!

Japanese autumn officially starts on 22 September this year, however, the first colouring of the foliage starts in October and the colours reach their peak mid to late November some extending all the way until mid-December.

The vivid colours of the leaves can be enjoyed by day and by night as many locations also set-up night viewing light-ups. Many parks and gardens offer a spectacular natural show of quintessentially Japanese scenery at its finest.

To help you get the most out of your autumn Tokyo visit we share some of the most stunning spots:

Rikugien Garden one of the two great Edo gardens and possibly Tokyo’s leading spot to view autumn leaves at night with a special light-up. Over 500 trees make this a very special viewing place. Expect to queue to in evenings (last admission 8:30pm) but the views are truly breathtaking. Entrance fee applies.
Chinzanso Gardens the grounds of the Chinzanso Hotel in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward are a stunning Japanese garden with a three-storied pagoda said to be hundreds of years old. The garden is lit-up at night and open until 11:00pm
Nezu Museum Gardens nestled in fashionable Minami Aoyama, the dense yet compact museum gardens are well worth a visit for a tranquil stroll through traditional Japanese tea gardens. A picturesque pond with carp reflects brilliantly coloured maple leaves. Entrance fee applies.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is just moments from the hustle and bustle of central Shinjuku, these vast gardens are a welcome reprieve and some stunning autumnal vistas. Entrance fee applies.
Hamarikyu Gardens near Shidome Station, is a traditional Japanese garden with a backdrop of skyscrapers links the land to the sea. Entrance fee applies.
Meiji Jingu Gaien boasts a 300-metre-long boulevard lined with 146 ginkgo trees which colour golden mid to late November. A festival usually takes place for the peak of the golden leaves and finally there is a golden carpet of fallen leaves in December.
Yoyogi Koen not far from Harajuku station, offers wonderful autumnal vistas, expect to see locals picnicking in the congenial grounds.
Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, right next to the Tokyo Dome Stadium, is arguably the most beautiful Japanese landscape garden in Tokyo. Maple trees give this garden splendour in autumn. Entrance fee applies.
Mt Takao in Tokyo’s west, just an hour from the city centre, is the perfect place for a scenic day trip. The mountainous region colours orange and red from mid-November and pleasant weather conditions make it an ideal place for hiking.
Lake Okutama, two hours by train from the heart of Tokyo, this region is a real escape from the city. With mountains, rivers, quiet country villages and lush forest trails, be prepared for some of the most beautiful foliage in the greater Tokyo area.
For more information on autumn foliage season, access the guide to highlights here.

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