Sightseeing Spot


Recommended Spots for Autumn Foliage Season in Tokyo

Recommended Spots for Autumn Foliage Season in Tokyo

Fall is the season of beautiful autumn leaves, but the idea of watching autumn leaves in Tokyo may not come to your mind. However, there are a surprisingly large number of spots in Tokyo where you can enjoy the autumn leaves. Let's have a look at some of the best places for autumn foliage in Tokyo.
(Information as of June 2016)

Rikugien Garden

The Rokugien Garden was created in 1695 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a personal servant of the fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. The garden is one of the two most famous gardens in Edo, along with the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden.

The best time to see the autumn foliage is from late November to early December when the maple trees and ginkgo trees turn brilliant colors throughout the garden.

The weeping cherry blossoms in spring are magnificent, but the beautiful red leaves in autumn are also worth seeing. During the day, of course, the temple is lit up after sunset. The fantastic view at night is a must-see.

Opening hours:  9:00 - 17:00   (admission until 16:30);  9:00 - 21:00  (admission until 20:30) during the light-up period (from November 19 to December 6 in 2015).

Access: 7 minutes walk from JR Komagome Station

Yoyogi Park

A 3-minute walk from Harajuku Station or a 25-minute walk from Shibuya Station, Yoyogi Park is one of the most popular spots for viewing autumn leaves in Tokyo. From the end of November, the ginkgo trees and zelkova trees start to change color, and you can enjoy strolling through the autumn foliage and having a picnic on the carpet of fallen leaves.

Highlights include the rows of ginkgo trees on the far right as you enter through the Harajuku Gate, and the zelkova forest near the central plaza. You can take a rest on the benches set up here and there, or ride a bicycle on the cycling course, which can be rented for 210 yen per hour. The appeal of this park is that you can easily go whenever you want.

Access: 3 minutes on foot from JR "Harajuku" station.

Meiji Jingu Gaien

Meiji Jingu Gaien, on the road from Aoyama-dori to Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery, has a row of ginkgo trees that stretches for about 300 meters, and in autumn they all turn into one of the most golden streets in Tokyo. There are 146 ginkgo trees lining both sides of the street. Looking from Aoyama-dori toward the Seitoku Memorial Picture Gallery, you can see a picturesque scene with a sense of perspective.

Every year from mid-November to early December, the Gaien Ginkgo Festival is held at the Gaien Ginkgo trees, around the fountain pond, and at the softball field. Many people come to the festival to buy vegetables directly from the local farms.

Access: 5-minute walk from JR Shinanomachi Station.

Mount Takao

It is a mountain in Hachioji City, Tokyo, which is 599 meters high and can be reached by train from central Tokyo in about 1 hour. Mt. Takao (Takayama) is a popular spot where foreign tourists can often be seen.

During the autumn foliage season, the large clusters of Japanese maple trees turn into brilliant colors from the foot of the mountain to the top. The area around the popular hiking course No. 1 (Omotesando), the Fudo-in Temple at the foot of the mountain, and the Daishi Hall are particularly good places to view the autumn leaves. For something a little different, climb up to the Kotohira platform where the Kotohira Shrine is enshrined, and you can look down on the ginkgo trees of Hachioji City in the distance.

Access:  5-minute walk from Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Takao Line.

Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park

Despite its urban location between Hiroo and Azabu Juban stations, the Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park has a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. The land slopes from the east to the west on a hill, and the hills, streams, and ponds are all reminiscent of the land that was once used by the Imperial family.

In the fall, ginkgo and maple trees beautifully decorate the garden, and by December, the walking path in the circular garden is covered with fallen leaves, making it an enjoyable place to stroll.

Access: 3-minute walk from Hiroo Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.

Hibiya Park

Hibiya Park is located in the heart of Tokyo. The park was designed by Seiroku Honda, the "father of Japanese parks," as the first Western-style park in Japan. Hibiya Park is used as an oasis in the office district throughout all four seasons, and the autumn foliage is also magnificent. Particular highlights include the rows of ginkgo trees that stretch from Sakura-mon (Cherry Blossom Gate) to the tennis courts and Kasumimon (Kasumi Gate), as well as the maple trees around the Kumogata Pond with its crane fountain. Stop by when you're in Hibiya, or even when you're in Ginza or Yurakucho, and you'll be sure to enjoy Tokyo's autumn.

Access: 1 minute walk from Kasumigaseki Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi or Chiyoda Lines.

From historic Japanese gardens to parks close to the city bustling with young people, to the mountains where you can enjoy trekking, have you discovered that there is quite a variety of autumn leaves to see in Tokyo? Before the cold winter comes to the city, why don't you go out and see these autumn leaves?

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