The Best Time to Observe Koyo

Autumn in Japan Magical Japan


Colourful leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. The “koyo front”, start in Mid-September and slowly moves to south from the northern island of Hokkaido until it reaches the central and southern Japan towards the end of November.

The best way to observe Koyo in Japan is by hiking in the mountains. If you don’t feel fit for hiking you can wait until koyo front moves to the cities where they can be viewed in parks and gardens.

In Kyoto the best place to observe Koyo is in gardens of various temples like Tofukuji Temple. The views of and from the Tsutenkyo Bridge are particularly impressive and the best time to witness the glorious autumn colours are Mid to Late November.

The second best place to observe Koyo in Kyoto is Kiyomizudera Temple. The trees around temple turn into red colour from Mid-November to early December.

If you happened to be in Tokyo the best place to experience koyo is at the traditional Japanese Landscape Garden of Rikugien and around the Togetsukyo Bridge from late November to early December. Illumination dates for 2015 are from 19 Nov to 6 Dec from sunset to 2100.

Koishikawa Korakuen Autumn Magical Japan

Another excellent spot in Tokyo is at the Koishikawa Korakuen, one more traditional Japanese landscape garden well known for its main pond surrounded by maple trees which change colour into distinguished red colour in late November.

Outside of Tokyo you can experience koyo at Oze, a national park situated north of Tokyo. You don’t have to be extremely fit to hike through marshlands and experience kusamomiji (grass autumn colours) which start in late September.

If you would like to take one of the iconic images of Mt Fuji with full blown koyo in front of it then visit at the end of October when the autumn colours are at its best.

If you are planning to visit Japan before, during or after koyo please contact Magical Japan by email [email protected]
or by phone – from UK 0161 440 7332

Alternatively you can check selection of group and individually tours to Japan  on our website

Leave a Reply