Koyo is coming! The Cosmos have bloomed, marking the start of autumn, and that means Japan’s magnificent foliage is changing colour.
Koyo (紅葉) literally means ‘red leaves’. Along with Cherry Blossoms from February to April, the arrival of autumn leaves in Tokyo from October to December is a key part of the seasonal cycle. The viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries and today draws large numbers of traveIlers to famous koyo spots in the cities and beyond.
The viewing of Autumn leaves, ‘leaf peeping’ in the US, is called momijigari in Japanese. Typically, Japan’s autumn foliage season starts in mid-September in Hokkaido and works its way down the country.
If you visit Japan in the autumn, the vibrant colours of the leaves are a must-see. The sheer variety of plants that ‘participate’ in the spectacle is immense, with over 600 species that change colour.
Japan has a long list of places famous for red, yellow and orange foliage, and they all have their unique character… walking down golden ginkgo-lined avenues, feeling the autumn breeze rustle the leaves, the silhouette of foliage against the autumn sky, blankets of fallen leaves covering the ground, momiji maples in Japanese Gardens turning fiery reds… all enhance the beauty of the landscape and architecture.
Koyo can be enjoyed during the day, and even at night thanks to light up events at selected spots, a great opportunity for some spectacular night photography.
At Maction Planet, we know all the best spots to catch the autumn leaves at their peak, and how to avoid the crowds. We invite you to join us, whether you want to explore the best spots in central Tokyo, or beyond!
As an urban centre, Tokyo might not immediately suggest itself as a top Koyo viewing spot. However, The World’s Greatest Metropolis has plenty of amazing places to enjoy autumn leaves… centuries-old gardens, shrines, and immaculately-maintained parks as well as many off-the-beaten track areas in the suburbs. The leaves form a perfect backdrop to any Tokyo Private Tour booked in Autumn. And, for those who want a completely different perspective on Tokyo, you can take in the scenery from the water on a Tokyo Boat Tour!
By the way, Ginkgo Biloba, which changes from green to a bright yellow in autumn is the official tree of Tokyo, and the official symbol of the Tokyo Metropolis is actually a stylized Gingko leaf!
Easy day trips around Tokyo can take you to some of the most spectacular viewing spots in the county. Enjoy scenic train rides to Fuji, Kamakura, Nikko, Saitama and other fantastic destinations. Admire gorgeous views of vivid autumn leaves and their equally brilliant reflections over lakes, and delight in the stunning landscape dyed with fall colors in picturesque valleys.
Autumn Leaves viewing tours can be enjoyed alongside a number of our other experiences. You can enjoy amazing scenery at sake breweries and of course hiking in the mountain ranges around Tokyo, taking in the gorgeous autumn canvas across shrines, temple, villages and waterfalls.