Autumn is one of the best times to travel to Japan. Yes, it can be cold and chilly but you will be pampered by the amazing view. You won’t get it anywhere else. During autumn, the ginkgo and maple trees leaves will turn to yellow and red, looking absolutely gorgeous and somewhat artistic. That’s why autumn is often associated with autumn leaves or Koyo, and the event of seeing the fall foliage (known as momijigari) is popular there.
Unlike the cherry blossoms, the change of colours will start from the northern areas to the south. The average best timing to have the momijigari is different from one place to another – although it also depends on the climate variations. The best time in Hokkaido happens from the end of September to mid of October. In Tokyo, it is from mid-October to mid-November. In Osaka, it is from mid-November to the end of November, and in Kyoto, it is from the end of November to early December.
Guide to Autumn in Japan
There are different clothes to wear depending on the months. For instance, the weather in September has mixed temperatures. It can be cool in the mornings and also evenings, but the afternoon can be warm. So, it is advisable to wear a T-shirt or short sleeves during the afternoon and have light cardigans or long sleeve shirts prepared. In October, the afternoons can be quite cold although it may be sunny. Sweaters, hooded jackets, and long sleeve shirts are recommended. As the months pass by, it will be colder. In November, sweaters and jackets are recommended. In some areas where it is colder, coats are also suggested. Earmuffs and gloves should also be prepared, just in case.
During autumn, there are several traditional festivals that will take place in different areas in Japan. Halloween is also one of the most popular festivals that are often celebrated together. If you are travelling to Osaka in September, you can take part in Kishiwada Danjiri festival. It is about sending prayers to gods to thank them for the successful harvest. The festival is parading the wooden carving floats in Kishiwada.
In October, you can take part in Sawara Grand festival, taking place in Chiba prefecture. This is a historical festival with historical contents of 300 years old. Still, in the same month, you can celebrate Halloween, which is quite common and popular across Japan. There will be so many different events or celebrations in big cities and metropolitan areas, such as Kawasaki and Shibuya. Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disney Resort will likely plan annual events with Halloween theme.
Despite the cold, there are so many things to do during autumn. Besides the festivals, you can also go to some areas to enjoy the beauty of Koyo and witness unique momijigari. If you like hiking, you can go to Kamakura, which is not far from Tokyo. Kamakura is in Kanagawa prefecture and it is well known for the hiking spot as well as historical sites. Great Budha is one of the most popular sites. You can access Ten-en Hiking Course that will connect you to nature while enjoying the coloured leaves. The track will lead to the northern side of Kamakura. Go there from mid of November to December. From JR Tokyo station, choose Yokosuka line to Kita Kamakura stations. It takes around 50 minutes to reach the place. From the station, walk for 15 minutes to Kencho-Ji Temple.
You can also go to Hida Takayama in Gifu Prefecture to enjoy a relaxing stroll. It will make you feel as if you were going back to the past, during Meiji or Edo era. You can also go to Akita Prefecture to enjoy the hot spring soak. Rest assured that your travel to Japan will worth it, especially if you can choose the best and also most professional service like Airpaz. They will help you find your flight at here – and you can also enjoy interesting offers with affordable price. Sounds like a great bargain, right?