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Autumn in Japan 2023: Leaves Forecast, Places to Visit, and Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Mt. Fuji in autumn

Autumn in Japan is one of the most anticipated times of the year. If you visit Japan in the autumn, this guide is all you need. We highlighted everything you need to know about autumn in Japan, including leaves forecast, places to visit, temperature, outfits, and itinerary.

Autumn/fall, or “aki” in Japanese, is the most beautiful season in Japan (well, it’s a toss-up between spring season when cherry blossoms are in full bloom). The fall season starts in mid-September and lasts in early December, like in other temperature regions of the northern hemisphere.

As temperatures decrease after the summer's scorching heat, leaves become shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. This phenomenon has inspired many Japanese artists and poets for centuries and is often the chosen time among international tourists to visit.

What Happens in Autumn in Japan?

Japan is as spectacular as it gets in the fall, with crimson leaves and temperate weather spread throughout Japan. This is usually the best time to visit Japan for its cool weather with temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 °F (10 to 21 °C.

From Hokkaido to Okinawa, the country is beaming with colorful foliage and the kind of weather perfect for outdoor walks. In Japan, the fall foliage is classified into “koyo” and “momiji.” Koyo applies to foliage with yellow and red colors. Meanwhile, momiji portrays foliage with deep red maple leaves. Either way, each is a show of its own.

Kiyomizudera Temple in Tokyo during the fall

What Month Is Best for Autumn in Japan?

Autumn in Japan starts in September and lasts in December. Although any time between these months can be good for experiencing fall foliage in Japan, the optimal time to visit would be from mid-October when the foliage starts to change until the end of November when the foliage is at its peak. Two waves of foliage happen—yellow leaves of ginkgo trees dominate in late October and red leaves of Japanese maple in early November. Either way, it’s undoubtedly a wonderful fall foliage experience.

Japan Autumn Leaves Forecast 2023

It’s too early for the fall foliage forecast in 2023. However, based on what we know so far, autumn leaves in Japan might begin to turn red in the first week of October. As of September 6, 2023, here’s the autumn leaves forecast in Japan in 2023:

  • Hokuriku (Kanazawa/Fukui) | October 4 to December 1, 2023

  • Hokkaido (Sapporo/Hakodate) | October 10 to November 11, 2023

  • Tohoku (Sendai/Aomori) | October 15 to November 18, 2023

  • Kanto (Tokyo/ Yokohama) | October 21 to December 7, 2023

  • Chubu (Mt. Fuji/Gifu/Nagoya) | November 2 to December 8, 2023

  • Chugoku (Hiroshima/Okayama) | November 8 to December 6, 2023

  • Kyushu (Fukuoka/Kagoshima) | November 14 to December 4, 2023

  • Shikoku (Kagawa/Tokushima) | November 14 to December 6, 2023

  • Kansai (Kyoto/Osaka) | November 16 to December 7, 2023

We will constantly update this guide. Remember that this is just a forecast, meaning it’s not exactly sure to happen on these dates. The autumn leaves might happen sooner or later than the predicted dates. When creating an itinerary, make sure to give legroom to your chosen dates and manage your expectations.

Autumn in Japan Outfit

As summer turns into fall in Japan, humidity drops and temperature starts to decrease. The weather around this time in Japan is generally pleasant. Nevertheless, you might want to bring a few extra layers for the cooler evenings.

If you are walking around, a simple T-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt with knits or a jacket is a good combo. Thrown in some scarves or beanies and you’re good to go. For shoes, you can survive with slip-ons, which is also good if you are visiting temples or ryokans where footwear is required to be removed.

Overall, capsule-style pieces of clothing that you can mix and match are perfect for autumn in Japan. No need to go crazy over layering.

Places to Visit to Enjoy Autumn in Japan

Wherever you go in Japan, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy fall foliage. Here are the top tourist attractions or places to visit in Japan to enjoy autumn:

  • Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Avenue (Tokyo)

  • Ueno Park (Tokyo)

  • Rikugi Garden (Tokyo)

  • Oze National Park (Gunma)

  • Kiyomizudera Temple (Kyoto)

  • Mount Nasu (Tochigi/Fukushima)

  • Arashiyama (Kyoto)

  • Tofukuji Temple (Kyoto)

  • Eikando Temple (Kyoto)

  • Daisetsuzan National Park (Hokkaido)

  • Fuji Five Lakes (Yamanashi)

If you are looking to explore breathtaking fall foliage across Japan, be sure to get your Japan Rail Pass to maximize the cost of your trips. Check out our Japan Rail Pass Guide!

Autumn in Sapporo

Indeed, autumn is one of the best seasons in Japan. If you like updates, be sure to check back on this post!


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