2023 Autumn Leaves Forecast

Following behind the gorgeous sakura season, the period of autumn running from late September to early December is the most popular time to visit Japan. You’ll get to see vibrant yellow and red dot the many mountains around the country. The weather is pleasant, making walking and exploring places on foot a breeze. And who can resist getting cozy and looking extra cool in autumn fashion? 

Here’s a general overview of the time the leaves will turn red across Japan. If you are planning to come over and haven’t booked your tickets yet, now is the time! Please note that this chart serves only as a general guide.

Image Credit: Japan Meteorological Corporation

Our pro-tip for you if you arrive earlier than this period is to try to take a trip out into the countryside, especially one deeper into the mountains. The leaves are likely to change color earlier there. It’ll give you a reason to explore an attraction off the beaten track or simply take a well-deserved break at a secluded ryokan at the base of the mountains. With any luck, they might have an outdoor onsen with a gorgeous view for you to soak up to warm up and enjoy the fresh, crisp air.

What if you’re arriving a little later than this period? We’d recommend starting your trip down south where it’s warmer if you’re visiting multiple cities or consider making that your base for the whole duration. The Kyushu region is a great place to explore, and here’s an overview of the train passes covering that region to help plan your trip.

Finally, if part of your Japan trip is based in Tokyo, do check our apartment-hotels in 8 locations in Tokyo, each with its own charm and curated list of neighborhood places to visit!

Cover Photo Credit: Ashirani Murata