Off the Beaten Path: Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Japan is full of fall festivals and events. Most of the matsuri or festivals during autumn are relevant to the harvest season as well as the autumn foliage. All the colors of autumn are in full splendor with the vibrant hues red and yellow from maple and gingko trees. Visiting Japanese gardens are one of the best ways to experience autumn in Japan there are so many beautiful gardens within Tokyo as well as in other cities.

Many of the popular places to visit in Japan during the fall season can be quite crowded with visitors. But there is no shortage of beautiful places that are less jam-packed and are off the beaten path that can allow you to experience the season.

Lake Shikotsu., Hokkaido, Japan. | Mike

Check out some of the less visited places in Japan where you can experience autumn:

Shikotsu-Toya National Park – located in southwestern Hokkaido, Shikotsu-Tōya Kokuritsu Kōen was named after two lakes, Toya and Shikotsu. The park is easy to access from nearby Sapporo. It offers a wide range of activities for visitors sush as hot springs and hiking.

Hitachi Seaside Park –  Hitachinaka city is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. The park is right next to Ajigaura Beach, a popular tourist destination for nature lovers.

Hitachi seaside Park, Kochia bushes, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. | Happy Come

The park spans an area of eight acres with flowers that bloom with bursts of color all year round. Autumn is the best time to visit Hitachi Seaside Park where visitors can frolic amongst the 36,000 red Kochia bushes and millions of cosmos flowers that also bloom around the same time the Kochia turns red.

Tokugawa Gardenlocated in Nagoya adjacent to the Tokugawa Art Museum was created as a retirement villa for Lord of the Owari Tokugawa, Mitsutomo. The garden was originally 44 hectares . Today, Ryusenko Lake is the centerpiece of the strolling gardens. There are wooden bridges, a samurai tea house, perfectly formed rock formations waterfalls and a restaurant that visitors can enjoy.

Iya Valley – the remote Iya Valley (祖谷渓, Iyakei), in Tokushima, served as a sanctuary for the members of the Taira Clan or the Heike, who took refuge in the region after losing the Genpei War (1180-1185), during the end of the Heian Period.

Oboke Gorge, Iya Valley, Japan. | Dunphasizer

Tourism is popular in the western area of the valley, Nishi-Iya, which draws a number of visitors because of its historic vine bridge (kazurabashi) and hot spring baths. The eastern area, Higashi-Iya or Oku-Iya, can still be relatively difficult to reach, making its natural beauty even more undisturbed. Thirteen vine bridges once spanned the area; in early times, those bridges were the only method for crossing rivers.