Photo: iStock/

5 ways to enjoy autumn in Japan

By Cassandra Lord

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 foliagebeautiful 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

Warm reds light up the night at Kiyomizudera, Kyoto. Photo: iStock/ koji_0508

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:

2. Marvel at the autumn moon 

Japanese folklore says there’s a rabbit on the moon! Can you spot it? Photo: iStock/ imacoconut

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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The most famous Oktoberfest is in September.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oktoberfest is a big waste of money. Beer is ok but way overpriced. Last time I went to one in Yokohama I paid 1,000 yen deposit for a glass and bought one 1,500 yen German beer. Then I realized I could just go across the street and buy a bottle of craft beer for 400 yen at aka renga, which didn’t taste much different, drink it and then go back inside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, yeah, do the same things as you do every other year.

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If id have to enjoy autumn in japan id rather do some hiking, treking, bbq near the river, onsen bathing, and weekend coutryside wooden house with a fire place enjoying)))

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oktoberfest is a big waste of money.

You should go to the one in Munich. Even two decades ago it was expensive by today's prices.

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There are many great places to enjoy the autumn even with mountain outdoor onsens.

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Checkout the autumn sky in Tampere Finland

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ClippetyClopOct. 7  10:13 pm JST

You should go to the one in Munich. Even two decades ago it was expensive by today's prices.

Why the recommendation to go to a more expensive location?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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