Autumn is a season which will make you glad to be in Japan. Many of the leaves turn to beautiful reds and yellows during autumn, and those leaves make the mountains look even more stunning. Don’t give up on going to the mountains even if you live in a huge city like Tokyo. You can see the mesmerizing scenery all over the country, and the Kanto Region is not exception. If you wish to take a nice trip on the weekend, and make unforgettable memories, read this article before planning your trip!
1. Nasu Kogen(那須高原) in Tochigi
A 75 minute ride on the Shinkansen from Tokyo takes you to a town called Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture. After getting off the Shinkansen, transfer to the local train at the station, Kuroiso (黒磯), and after taking a bus ride for around 60 minutes, you will arrive at the best spot for seeing Fall foliage. This Nasu Kogen is the most famous viewing spot around Kanto area, and you will easily understand why this place is so well known once you arrive. It is recommended to take a cable car up the mountain called Tyausu Dake (茶臼岳) to look around the colorful area. The mountain is beautiful by itself, but colored leaves make it more amazing. The best time to see the colors is usually in October. You also have another option for your transportation, which is a bus leaving from Tokyo. It takes 3 hours to get here by bus.
2. Oze (尾瀬) in Gunma (群馬)
Oze is a place where the colors change earlier than anywhere else. Leaves start to change their color in mid-September, and you will see the full of colors by the end of the month. The special feature about Oze: not only tree leaves, but also the meadows change color. This is called Kusamomiji(草紅葉), and you will see the golden carpet made by the colored grass. The area around Oze is the highest moor in Japan, and it hosts more than 800 plant species. You will certainly enjoy the unique nature and autumn leaves here.
3. Nagatoro (長瀞) in Saitama (埼玉)
Nagatoro is the best place to see the wonderful contrast between autumn leaves and their reflection on Arakawa, which is the river running through this area. It takes around 100 minutes by train from Tokyo to get there. During the night time around 17:00 to 21:00, the park called Tukinoishi Momiji Park (月の石もみじ公園) will dazzle you as its splendid leaves are illuminated. The photos taken of the illumination of the leaves will leave you with great autumn memories. November is the most colorful time of year here.
4. Tanigawadake (谷川岳)in Gunma (群馬)
Despite being famous for its ski resort in winter, you should not miss the astonishing Tanigawadake autumn scenery. From Tokyo, it takes almost 3 hours by Shinkansen and train to get to Doaiguchi (土合口) station, from which there is a cable car into the mountains. Here, Tanigawadake is so wide that you’ll have many choices in terms of where to explore. You will not need to climb to the top of mountains to see the scenery. The mount ridge also gives you an impressive landscape. The best spot for autumn leaves would be Ichinokura (一ノ倉). with the wall of rock which is numbered as one of three noteworthy rock faces. You can take a hiking course from the station with an average duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
5. Takao San (高尾山) in Tokyo
If you are too lazy to leave Tokyo, Takao San will suite your needs. This mountain is located in Tokyo, and it takes 1 hour from the center of the city. You can enjoy its beautiful nature year round, but in autumn, this place will be absolutely magnificent. There is also a temple called Takaoyakuoin (高尾薬王院), which was built 1260 years ago, so you can expect to see the combination of temple and autumn leaves. The area is usually colored by the beginning of November, and it lasts for a full month. So you might be able to come back twice, and will certainly never forget this scenery again.