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Updated: April 2, 2018

Time your trip to coincide with the crimson leaves

While spring explodes in a deluge of bright pinks and pure whites, the autumn season offers a regal spectrum of crimson reds, vivid oranges, and bright yellows. Starting in the second half of November, the city’s ginkgo and maple trees begin to transform. Dressed in sweaters and scarves, couples and families stroll outside to bask in the majestic sights. From immaculately manicured Japanese gardens to rugged mountain wilderness, autumn is a time when the foliage truly comes alive.


  • The best autumn views last from mid-November to early December
  • The autumn weather ranges from mildly warm to chilly. Be sure to pack a sweater and scarf
  • Certain days and times will be particularly crowded with travelers and locals eager to enjoy the sights. Consider scheduling your visits on weekdays and mornings to avoid the crowds

Rikugien Gardens

For the best traditional views, head to Rikugien Gardens, one of the most popular autumn spots in the city. During the peak season, this Edo-period garden extends its hours into the evening, illuminating the leaves for a truly remarkable view.

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Hama-rikyu Gardens

Located in Shiodome, the Hama-rikyu Gardens boasts incredible autumn views, with towering skyscrapers on one side and the wide-open Tokyo Bay on the other.

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Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

This traditional garden is most popular in the autumn, with its abundant maple trees transforming into vivid hues of red and orange.

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Ninomaru Gardens

Part of the Imperial Palace, the convenient location of Ninomaru Gardens makes for an easy day trip. Enjoy the serene garden views, followed by a walk across the expansive palace grounds, then head to nearby destinations such as the Budokan, the National Diet Building, and the upscale shopping area of Ginza.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

A short walk from Shinjuku Station is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. With expansive grounds, you can enjoy a slow-paced stroll or a relaxing picnic, surrounded by traditional landscapes and fall foliage.

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Meiji Jingu Gaien

For the best modern fall views, head to Meiji Jingu Gaien, which boasts a long avenue, Icho Namiki, lined with bright yellow ginkgo trees. This is one of the most popular fall photo spots in the city.

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Mt. Takao

Take a scenic day trip to the nearby peak of Mt. Takao. The entire mountain region turns a bright shade of orange and red, and the temperate weather makes for the most pleasant hikes of the year.

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Okutama area

A two-hour train ride from central Tokyo, escape the congestion of the city to enjoy expansive natural landscapes and outdoor recreation. Walk through river valleys, peaceful villages, and dense forest trails, surrounded by some of the most beautiful foliage in the greater Tokyo area.

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