Autumn is my favorite season – the cool weather lets me wear my favorite hoodies, jackets, and scarves, and the trees are alive with breath-taking color. And fall in Japan is just as magical as it is back home. Depending on where you are in the country will determine the peak time to see the leaves.
While Tokyo trees tend to peak around early December, the Kansai region was already beginning to change while we were visiting in mid-November. With the mix of greens, yellows, oranges, and reds, the shrines and city views in Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto were beautiful.
If you are in Japan while the trees are changing, I highly recommend buying a ticket to go in Osaka castle. You steadily climb to the top as you make your way through museum, and once you’re on the observation deck, you have a wonderful view of all the colors!
One of the best places to see fall colors is a garden. They’re beautifully laid out, quiet, and perfect for snapping some great photos!
While Nara is well known as the place to visit if you want to hang out and feed the city’s free-roaming deer, the garden we stumbled on was an unexpected treat. It usually has an entrance fee, but because we were foreign, we simply filled out a survey (where we were from, why were in the Japan, etc.), and were allowed in for free!
The trees at Daigoji temple in Kyoto were my favorite, with their fall colors reflecting off the pond and perfectly complementing the bright red bridge and shrine.
Fall leaves make already beautiful places 10 times more picturesque. While walking around Toji temple, you couldn’t help but be taken in by the reds and oranges around the pond and 5-story pagoda the temple is known for.
Even a small park or simple street becomes something worth taking a photo of by bringing a burst of color to an otherwise mundane part of life.
Seeing cherry blossoms in Japan is still on my bucket list, but I still think fall is the best time to visit! The weather is perfect, the trees are beautiful, and you don’t have to compete with nearly as many tourists. Even if you can’t see the trees at peak color, catching them in the midst of changing is still pretty stunning.