Four Unforgettable Autumn Foliage Spots in Central Japan

No Fall trip to Japan is complete without being overwhelmed by the beauty of Autumn foliage. Thanks to its distinctive seasons, the country can offer breathtaking views in splashing colours. In the Central Japan area*, the best time to enjoy the Fall colours is from November through early December. Here are four recommended spots for the leaf peepers.


Located in the mountainous area of Toyota City, Korankei is regarded as the best Autumn foliage spot in Aichi Prefecture. The area boasts a total of four thousand Japanese maple trees mostly clustered along the Tomoe River. Because there are eleven varieties of maple growing in the area, the colour of the foliage wears a subtle mixture of different shades reminiscent of Impressionist painting. Its Japanese name means a canyon of fragrant mountain air; treks up the mountain or along the river will assure the visitors plenty of it. A festival celebrating maples is held every November with live music performances and nightly illumination of the maple forest. Nearby is a neat little town of Asuke, whose rows of well-preserved historic houses are worth a visit, too.


A gorge of 1.3 km stretches along the Daishoji River, which runs through the spa town of Yamanaka Onsen in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Visitors can enjoy a walk along the tranquil riverside while appreciating tree leaves dyed in bright red or orange. At one end of the trail is the beautiful Korogi Bridge, built in a traditional style with Japanese cypress. Along the river, there is a Japanese style alfresco café, where visitors can stretch their legs on tatami mat and enjoy authentic Japanese tea and food. The café is open from April through November.


Along the Jinzu River, deep in the mountains runs the 15 km canyon, Jinzukyo. Located on the fringe of Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, the canyon is known for its spectacular scenery of the mountain on both sides of the canyon, ablaze with the rich colours of Autumn. The name means “the passage of gods” in Japanese, and its colourful magnificence looks really worthy of serving as the path of gods. (Japanese Language)

Nishiyama Park

This intra-city park in Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture, is packed with one thousand and six hundred Japanese maple trees and worth a visit to appreciate the maple leaves in all tints of red. Because of its location, the park is easily accessible by public transport; it only takes one minute to walk from the nearby railway station, Nishiyama Koen. The park was founded by a feudal lord for the townspeople in the mid-nineteenth century, and is also famous for its azalea flowers which bloom in early May. (Japanese Language)

*Central Japan: The area encompassing the nine prefectures of Aichi, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Mie and Shiga, which includes the three major metropolitan areas of Nagoya, Shizuoka and Hamamatsu. Situated between Tokyo and Kyoto, it occupies the centre of Japan’s main island, Honshu.

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