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Autumn’s Brocade of Maple

Autumn’s Brocade of Maple

Seasons transit and sceneries change. Japan has multifaceted beauty with colorful natural scenes, among which Japanese maple (called as koyo or momiji in Japanese) overwhelmingly dyes autumn at its best. The maple front goes from north of the Japan Islands to the south, weaving a gorgeous maple brocade all the way. Gazing upon the tree avenues, vast plains and grand mountains covered with carpet-like maple leaves, in nature we are blessed with joy, and our hearts get cured gently.

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Arashiyama (Kyoto)

Arashiyama is among one of Kyoto’s top sites during autumn time. Arashiyama is dyed into a red and yellow color of brocade, being the backdrop of Togetsu Bridge, to have composed an exceptional painting of elegance. Ride on the train rail surrounded by maples, pass by the reddened Hotsukawa, and visit the famous Tenryo temple- there are just too many spots to visit!

Mt. Daisetsu (Hokkaido)

Mt. Daisetsu in Hokkaido includes a range of mountains. As maple front starts from Hokkaido in the north, maple scenes in Mt. Daisetsu are considered the earliest of the country. The mountains are decorated with greenery conifer and red or yellow broadleaved trees that overall makes the area an entrancingly beautiful natural painting. During September to January, maple landscape at different sites of the mountains could be seen.

Zao (Yamagata)

On the extensive land of Zao in Yamagata Prefecture, locals from late summer start to prepare for arrival of cold seasons, also reflected by autumn leaves turning to yellow, red and tawny brick color. The gradation of maples at different latitudes presents a striking view in front of its visitors, and taking the ropeway to look down at the maples is also possible. Please enjoy the tints of this wonderful season to the fullest at Zao!

Nikko (Tochigi)

Maples in Nikko range over different sightseeing spots, such as the famous Senjogahara Moor where the grass actually turns into “grass maples”! The contrast view between graceful white thread-like waterfall and crimson maples is superb. Along the Irohasaka Road, maples leave sharp curve standing out and can be enjoyed while driving from top to the base of mountain. Lake Chuzenji is another spot for a maple feast; the best time to visit is second half of October.

Nasu (Tochigi)

Centering around Mt. Nasu, Nasu Highlands extend from the foot of Nasu mountain ranges, and at Mt. Chausu or Mt. Asahi, various kinds of maples such as Japanese rowan or Enkianthus perulatus can be found. Mt. Chausu is the highest peak among Nasu mountain ranges, and spectacular view of maples could be looked down while riding the ropeway through Mt. Chausu. Or maple is just close at hand while walking along the path near the mountain base.

Watarase River (Gunma)

The retro torokko train is operated along the Watarase River located in Gunma Prefecture. While riding a train, feel the autumn wind blow over and enjoy the picture scroll of maples expanding right before eyes. Extinguished different colors of maples are in large scale, gorgeous mountains stretch beyond, making an extravagant feast at this perfect time of year.

Fukuroda Waterfall (Ibaraki)

The Fukuroda Waterfall is one of Japan’s Top Three Waterfalls, and a famous sightseeing spot in Ibaraki Prefecture. As various beautiful landscapes are seen in all seasons, the view of maple makes a special glamor during fall time. Assorted colors of maples decorate the river, and also dress up the waterfall. Faced such breathtaking beauty by the hand of Nature, how difficult would heart not to be entranced?

Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

By Lake Kawaguchi, where Mt. Fuji could be looked over, Fuji-Kawaguchi Momiji Matsuri is held during fall time. It is a popular sightseeing spot of maples around the lake. When the divine Mt. Fuji, the symbol of Japan, and crimson maples appear together, it is the time to visit Kawaguchi for its rare and precious beauty.

Senjojiki (Nagano)

Senjojiki in Nagano Prefecture is a bowl shaped geographical formation shaved during glacial period 20000 years ago. The Senjojiki Cirque is known as the treasure house of alpine plants. When autumn is here, Mt. Kisokoma covered by shining golden maples can be seen from above while taking a ropeway. It has one of the most spectacular ropeway-views of Japan during maple season.


In the Tokai Region, Korankei River is renowned for its autumn view of maples. In November, Korankei River changes its appearance with gorgeous maples. There are about 4000 maples trees of 11 species reddening the riverbank into overwhelming maple belt. Starting from early November, one-month long night illumination is held, and the fantasy of light up makes a trip to Korankei even worthier.

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Japan Info By Japan Info .inc