The nights are getting colder and the days are getting shorter, which means autumn is coming. It’s that time of year when we do away with our shorts and swimsuits and make room for sweaters, scarves and all things cozy. While spring in Japan is undoubtedly famous among international tourists due to sakura (cherry blossom) painting the sky pink, something about fall makes it just as unique.
In Japan, autumn means clear evening skies, crimson red foliage, beautiful seasonal blooms and tasty sweets and sake. And if there’s one thing Japan does well, it’s celebrating the seasons, so let’s look at how to make the most of the fall.
1. Go to an autumn leaf illumination
We all know that the autumn leaves in Japan are beautiful. There are tons of different species that create different shades of red, yellow and orange. And while the sun softly shining through the leaves in autumn is a soothing sight, seeing the leaves light up at night has its unique magical atmosphere.
Some of Japan’s most famous spots for pretty autumn leaves light up at night to create a vivid contrast of the red and orange leaves against the night sky. Check the foliage forecast to catch them at their best, as peaks vary by region. Generally, colors won’t start to show until October and finish around November or December.
These are some great spots for autumn illuminations around Japan:
- Kiyomizudera, Kyoto
- Kenrokuen, Ishikawa
- Rikugien, Tokyo
- Various spots in Nikko, Tochigi
- Illuminations in Jozankei, Hokkaido
2. Marvel at the autumn moon
If you’ve ever tried to look for Mount Fuji in summer, you’ll know that it’s often far too hazy or cloudy to even get a glimpse of the majestic mountain. That is pretty much the same for the night sky, too. But in autumn, the temperatures start to cool and the night sky lights up again with the perfect silver moon and twinkly stars.
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