October 4, 2017

Autumn in Japan

Spring is all about the cherry blossom. Autumn is all about the colorful leaves or koyo. In Japan, the viewing and appreciation of colorful fall leaves is known as momijigari. As the weather cools, red maples, Japanese maples, and other deciduous trees change colors to shades of red, orange and yellow. Opposite to spring, the color moves from north to south from mid September, starting from Hokkaido to southern Japan.

It's the autumn season in Japan now. No autumn trip this year so I'll just reminisce the beauty of the season. I was attached to my HQ office in Tokyo during the season last year and was blessed with the opportunity to witness the beautiful autumn color foliage in the metropolis and its surrounding area. #syukuralhamdulillah :p

Some of the places to enjoy momijigari...

Icho Namiki or Ginkgo Avenue

This is one of the most famous ginkgo spot in Tokyo because it's soooo pretty!! It's a 300 meter long street lined with 2 rows of ginkgo trees on either side. Expect a huge crowd coming to view the brilliant yellow leaves.
Best time to come is late November to early December.


Access: 5 minutes walk south from Aoyama-itchome Station on Ginza Subway Line

Shinjuku Gyoen

This is one of Tokyo's largest park with a variety of trees. Some of the best areas in the park to view the autumn colors are around the Japanese garden and the Momijiyama (maple mountain).
It is nice to visit from mid November to mid December.

Opening hours: 9 am ~ 4.30 pm
Entrance fee: 200 yen
Access: Shinjuku Gyoen has 3 gates;
* Shinjuku Gate - 10 minutes walk east from New South Exit of JR Shinjuku Station, or
5 minutes walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on Marunouchi Subway Line
* Okido Gate - 5 minutes walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on Marunouchi Subway Line
* Sendagaya Gate - 5 minutes walk from JR Sendagaya Station

Imperial Palace East Garden

The best place to see autumn colors here is at the Japanese garden, from mid November to mid December. It can be found in the secondary circle of defense of the palace, the Ninomaru (second circle), where the palace buildings once stood.

Ninomaru garden

Ninomaru pond

Opening hours: 9 am ~ 4.30 pm
Entrance is free
Access: Main entrance at Ote-mon.
* 15 minute walk from JR Tokyo Station, Marunouchi north exit
* 5-10 minute walk from Otemachi Station on the Chiyoda, Tozai, Marunouchi, Hanzomon and Mita Subway Lines

There's also lines of ginkgo trees on the way to the Imperial Palace East Garden if you're walking from Tokyo Station.

Other than central Tokyo, I went out of the city to see the colors in Kawaguchiko and Nikko.


Kawaguchiko is always my favorite place cos of the majestic Fuji-san. I'd never get bored seeing the mountain.
The best time to see the autumn colors here is around the first half on November.

*pix from google

I didn't get photo like the above but the one below is gorgeous enough.

perfect shade of red 

red maple

yellow maple

Access: Approximately 2 hours train/bus ride from Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station


I love Nikko. Just too bad I didn't spend more time here. It's better to overnight here to enjoy the area.
Best viewing period from early to late Nov.

Shinkyo Bridge

Access: Approximately 2 hours train ride from Asakusa Station to Tobu-Nikko Station

If you're planning to visit Japan for momijigari, check out the forecast as the appearing of the autumn foliage may vary depending on temperatures. When the temperatures turn cold early, the fall colors appear sooner, and vice versa.


Faizah Sukeri said...

salam rara,
kalau pertengahan bulan october musim spring lagi atau dah boleh nampak daun2 autumn ni eh hehe
thank you in advance!

rara said...

@Faizah: salam faizah. pertengahan october tu dah masuk autumn tapi daun2 tu belum tukar color lagi kalau u pergi tokyo, osaka, kyoto. tapi kalau u pergi hokkaido memang tengah cantik la.