close

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 Autumn Guide

Crimson leaves and perfect weather make autumn a prime time for travel

As summer transitions to winter, Japan begins to cool down, offering temperate weather perfect for outdoor excursions and city outings. On top of that, from mid-November to early December, the trees turn vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow as the leaves begin to fall. It's this combination of cool weather and striking sights that make fall one of the most popular seasons for traveling to Japan.

Most of Honshu and Kyushu rest around a pleasant 16 degrees Celsius in October and November . As you move further up north, temperatures begin to cool down, and for most of the season, the island of Hokkaido is cold enough to require a winter jacket.

Tips

  • As the summer fades into winter, humidity drops and temperatures begin to fall. Though the weather is often pleasant, bring a few extra layers for the cooler evenings
  • Many Japanese receive consecutive holidays in late September. Consider timing your trip to avoid peak travel times
  • Bring a camera to capture the exceptional fall scenery

Bold autumn colors and seasonal flower blooms

As the summer heat wanes and a winter chill begins to set in, Japan's dense forests begin turning hues of vivid orange, yellow, and red. Traditional gardens and parks showcase these autumn colors and attract crowds of visitors eager to see the changing leaves.

If in Tokyo, be sure to head to the Rikugien Gardens , a traditional Japanese garden with striking autumn views.

Consider taking an overnight trip to Lake Kawaguchi at the base of Mt. Fuji. From here you can enjoy views of Mt. Fuji reflected in the serene lake waters, with crimson trees dotting the banks and surrounding mountainsides.

With an abundance of internationally renowned temples and shrines, Kyoto is a perfect destination for autumn leaf viewing. Numerous gardens and temples, such as Kiyomizudera Temple , offer what are arguably the most spectacular views of the season.

In addition to the striking transformation of the maple and ginkgo trees, there are also several varieties of flower that bloom at this time. You'll find chrysanthemum, spider lily, and cosmos flowers colorfully displayed across the country.

The best fall festivals

The changing colors and temperate weather make autumn an ideal time for traditional festivals and events. Regardless of your location, you're sure to encounter numerous local festivities, each boasting centuries of rich history and traditions.

One of the most famous festivals during this season is the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival . Celebrating the autumn harvest, the festival was founded over 350 years ago. Held in the beginning of October, the festival also features a unique connection with the west, given the presence of Dutch traders off the coast of Nagasaki in the 17th century. You'll witness processions of mikoshi floats, Chinese-influenced dragon dances, and Dutch-inspired rituals.

Later in October, the residents of Kyoto celebrate the Jidai Matsuri , which is known as one of the three great festivals in Japan. The festival commemorates the emperor's return to power during the Meiji Restoration and features a long procession of portable mikoshi shrines, samurai-clad locals, and traditional music performances. The parade ends at Heian-jingu Shrine where festivities continue.

Most other regions and cities also boast their own noteworthy festivals, from the Dai Ginza Maturi in Tokyo to the Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival in Fukushima. These festivals provide a glimpse into Japan's rich history and long-lasting traditions.

Sports and recreation

The perfect weather and low rainfall make fall a prime time for sporting events and outdoor recreation.

Car enthusiasts flock to the Japanese Grand Prix , a Formula 1 race held since 1963. Presently held at Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture , the race has become a classic among drivers and fans.

Taking place on the southern island of Kyushu, the Saga International Balloon Fiesta draws hobbyists from all over the world, who come together to launch over 100 balloons into the sky. The multi-colored array of bulbous balloons floating above the countryside is a sight to behold. In addition to a formal competition, there are also kids events, a display of novelty balloons, and an evening balloon display. The event is held annually at the beginning of November.

In mid-November, the Kobe Marathon welcomes approximately 20,000 runners with more than 600,000 supporters. As a small oceanside city, the marathon runs across the town from city hall to Kobe Harbor, with lovely views of the bay and charming city streets.

Glittering illuminations

Take a peaceful stroll accompanied by fall foliage and lights. Several fall illuminations attract thousands of couples and families looking to enjoy a pleasant evening walk.

If you're in Tokyo during in mid-November or early December, be sure to see the evening illumination at Rikugien Gardens . The lights are specifically positioned to provide the most serene views of the red Japanese maples and autumnal trees.

On the southern island of Kyushu, you'll find the Kingdom of Lights , a spectacular display of 10 million lights that illuminates the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch theme park. The festival is held from early November to early May.

Other Seasonal Guides