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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

GUIDE October

The very best of autumn

With typhoon season largely over by the end of September, October offers some of Japan's fairest and most comfortable weather. It's a time of harvest and harvest festivals, outdoor excursions, autumnal hikes and art and culture.

Know Before You Go

  • Art galleries and museums typically get quite busy in October
  • Autumn leaves hit their peak during October in more northerly and higher altitude locations
  • Japan has adopted Halloween and you can find events and parties held in most big cities
  • Do your research and pack appropriately—Kyushu can still be quite warm in October while Tohoku can become very chilly

Sejojiki Cirque, in Nagano, a popular spot for an autumnal hike

A taste of autumn

Prime harvest time, food tastes great in October, from Japanese pears and persimmon fruit to rice, soba noodles and sake. Niigata, a top-sake and rice producing region, is a great place to sample some of the seasonal sake varieties and even catch a glimpse of the rice harvest in action.

The picturesque Hoshitoge Terraced Rice Fields look great in autumn and the rice is generally harvested through until mid-October. For quirky rice field art, head to Inakadate Village in Aomori: It has become an internet sensation in recent years.

The Hoshitoge rice fields in early autumn before harvesting begins

Celebrating the harvest

There are festivals throughout the year in Japan, and the month of October is no exception. Many of them have evolved from simple harvest festivals to the colorful parades and processions you can see today. The Takayama Autumn Festival , on October 9 and 10, is a particularly impressive affair.

Halloween

Believed to have originated as a primitive harvest festival itself, Halloween has taken off big in Japan and become a major fixture on the October event calendar. You can find costume parties at most of the bars and clubs in the big cities over the last two weekends of the month, but Shibuya , in Tokyo , is without doubt the center of the nation's celebrations. Expect to see Mario, Minions and a host of cuter characters thrown into the mix of gory characters typical at Halloween.

Downtown Shibuya—the heart of Japan's Halloween celebrations

Dazzling autumn colors

While you will have to wait until November for the best colors in Tokyo , Kyoto and other warmer regions, Tohoku , Hokkaido and more northerly and higher altitude locations peak at various times throughout October.

Oyasu Ravine is one of many remote locations in Akita for taking in the fall colors

Popular spots in central Japan include Kurobe Gorge and the similarly-named but separate Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route . The Karasawa Col in the Kamikochi area is another highly-regarded spot, that is extremely popular with hikers.

Views from a section of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpen Route

National Parks

Japan has a huge selection of National Parks throughout the country and whether the leaves have turned or not, October is an excellent season to explore them. Some of the best include the Towada-Hachimantai park straddling Akita , Aomori and Iwate prefectures, and Oze National Park which spans four different prefectures.

Oze National Park offers pleasant hikes in any season

Art and culture

For something a little less active, visit one of the many leading art galleries or museums throughout the country. Autumn is traditionally considered the time for the arts in Japan, and many of the biggest and best exhibitions begin in October.

The exterior of the Tokyo National Museum

Other Seasonal Guides

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