Five Can't-Miss Spots for Fall Leaves in Tokyo



Five Can't-Miss Spots for Fall Leaves in Tokyo


In the metropolitan area of Tokyo, fall foliage usually reaches its peak between mid-November / early-December. You can enjoy a whole spectrum of color in the city from the brilliant reds of maple trees to the shimmering golds of ginkgos. The DiGJAPAN! editorial staff has put together this list of five spots where you can enjoy fall that are both gorgeous and easily accessible by public transportation.

Mt. Takao

Autumn leaves at Mt. Takao

Mountains might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tokyo. But waiting for you just an hour away by train from Shinjuku Station is Mt. Takao. There are several hiking trails on which you can enjoy some excellent fall leaves-- and a great view of Mt. Fuji on clear days!
Mt. Fuji as seen from Mt. Takao in Tokyo

Mt. Takao is also home to a cable car and Yakuo-in, a temple that was opened nearly 1,200 years ago. If you still aren't convinced that Mt. Takao is a must for any fall trip in Tokyo, consider that it was awarded three stars from the Michelin Green Guide.
Enjoy autumn leaves with a ride on the cable car lift at Mt. Takao in Tokyo


Takaosan | 高尾山
Address: Takao-machi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Peak foliage: mid-November thru late-November
Hours: mountain can be accessed any time
Cable car lift hours: varies by month. Please refer to their website below for details.
Access from Shinjuku Station: take the JR Chuo Rapid line bound for Takao to Takao Station. Transfer there to the Keio Takao Line and get off at Takaosanguchi Station
Entrance fee: entry to the mountain is free
Cable car lift fare (one-way / round-trip):
Adult: 480 yen / 930 yen
Children aged three and up: 240 yen / 460 yen
Information about Mt. Takao:
Information about the cable car lift (automatic translation available):
Information about Yakuo-in Temple:


Light-up event at Rikugiken in Tokyo

Don’t be surprised if the beauty of Rikugien makes you feel inclined to pen a poem or two; the name of this garden (rikugi) refers to the six stylistic classifications of Japanese waka poetry. It was built in 1702 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a samurai who served the fifth shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. This lovely garden, the most notable feature of which is an artificial pond with a small mountain in it, took seven years to build.
Beautiful fall colors in Rikugien in Tokyo

This garden is perfect for enjoying fall leaves during an afternoon stroll or in the evening during the garden’s illumination events. If you go during the day, stop by the tea house Fukiage Chaya for a leisurely cup of matcha and an elegant fresh Japanese sweet as you gaze at the lake (510 yen).
Illuminated fall foliage at Rikugien in Tokyo


Rikugien | 六義園
Address: 6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Peak foliage: mid-November thru early-December
Garden hours: 9:00am~5:00pm (last entry 4:30pm)
Evening light-ups: November 19 thru December 7, 2016
Garden hours during light-up event period: 9:00am~9:00pm (last entry 8:30pm; light-ups from sunset to 9:00pm)
Teahouse Fukiage Chaya hours: 9:00am~5:00pm (L.O. 4:30pm; hours are extended during the light-up events)
Park closed Dec. 29th thru Jan. 1
Access: 7 min walk from JR Komagome Station (JR Yamanote and subway Nanboku Lines)
Entrance fee:
Adult 300 yen
Elementary school students and younger are free

Yoyogi Park

Fall colors at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo

One of Tokyo’s beloved green spaces and the fourth largest of its parks, Yoyogi Park is also a phenomenal place for enjoying the colors of fall. The park is home to some several varieties of trees including maples, ginkgos, and zelkovas. This means you can enjoy shades of red, orange, and yellow all in one place. Bring a picnic lunch and spend a lazy afternoon taking in the scenery.
Fall leaves at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo


Yoyogi Koen | 代々木公園
Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Peak foliage: late-November thru early-December
Hours: park is open twenty-four hours
Entrace fee: free
Access: 3 min walk from JR Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line)

Hibiya Park

The lake at Hibiya Park during the fall

A tranquil oasis in one of Tokyo’s business centers, Hibiya Park became Japan’s first western-style garden when it opened in 1903. Of particular note in the park are Kumogata Pond and its crane fountain. The image of the colors of the ginkgo and maple trees surrounding the lake reflected in its water is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Fall colors at Hibiya Park in Tokyo


Hibiya Koen | 日比谷公園
Address: 1-6 Hibiya Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Peak foliage: late-November thru early-December
Hours: park is open twenty-four hours
Entrace fee: free
Access: in front of Hibiya Station (Subway Chiyoda and Toei Mita Lines)
7 min walk from JR Yurakucho Station (JR Yamanote Line)

Meiji-jingu Gaien "Ginkgo Avenue"

Golden Ginko trees at Meiji-jingu Gaien

Enjoy big city architecture combined with the glorious golds of autumn at Icho Namiki or "Ginkgo Avenue" at Meiji-jingu Gaien. An estimated 150 ginkgo trees line the sides of this broad avenue. These trees usually begin to change colors in mid-November and turn completely gold by the end of the month. There is also a festival held from November 18 to December 5 during which you can enjoy various local cuisines, browse Japanese handicrafts, and more as you enjoy the stunning rows of ginkgo.
Ginko trees at Meiji-jingu Gaien Icho Namiki


Meiji-jingu Gaen Icho Namiki | 明治神宮外苑銀杏並木
Address: 2-1 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Peak foliage: mid-November thru early-December
5 min walk from Gaienmae Station (Subway Ginza Line)
5 min walk from Aoyama-itchome Station (Subway Hanzomon, Ginza, and Toei Oedo Lines)

Icho Matsuri | いちょう祭
Icho Matsuri dates: November 18 ~ December 5, 2016
Icho Matsuri times:
Weekdays 10:00am~6:00pm
Weekends and national holidays: 9:30am~6:00pm
*The last day will end at 2:00pm
*Festival will take place in the event of rain; however, it may end early depending on weather conditions


What do you think of our staff’s picks? Do you have a favorite spot you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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