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Autumn Foliage Forecast 2006
famous viewing spots and color changing forecast
- Late October -
 
Miyagi Prefecture
 
Narukokyo Gorge | Naruko Town

Narukokyo is a 3km-long gorge situated between Naruko hot springs and Nakayamadaira hot springs. A series of V-line gorge formed by oddly-shaped rocks stretch on both sides of the promenade along the stream, and you can see several odd rocks on the 1hr walk. The gorge with steep cliffs show brilliant scenery in fall, which is referred to as the most beautiful red leaves in Northeastern Japan. The Naruko hot springs is one of the prominent hot springs in Japan, and there are a number of hotels and inns to stay in. The area is also the birthplace of wooden dools kokeshi and a festival is held during Sep 7-9.

>> Miyagi Prefectural Guide
 
Tochigi Prefecture
 
Nichishio Momiji Line | Shiobara Town

Nichishio Momiji Line is a tollway connecting Okushiobara hot springs and Ryuokyo. It is 28km long and very curvy, but the autumn leaves here has established reputation and you can drive into a world of brilliant red during autumn. The area along the road is also worth visiting in early summer, from May to June, when fresh green is at its best, and outdoor leisure such as camping and skiing can be enjoyed. At the end point Shiobara hot springs you can take away your fatigue at the stop-by hot spring bathhouses.

>> Tochigi Prefectural Guide

 
Gunma Prefecture
 
Mt.Myougisan | Myogi Town

Mt.Myougisan is located in the west of Gunma prefecture, and if you go as high as Myougi Shrine you can get a grand view of the Kanto Plain. It is also counted as one of Japan's Three Rare Scenic Beauties, and the rough rock surface eroded by wind and rain is very impressive. The Myougi Road running 15km long from Myougi Shrine to Sakura no Sato is also know by the name of Myougi Autumn Leaves Line, and beautiful fall leaves surround you as you take a drive. The rocks with rare shapes each have names.

>> Gunma Prefectural Guide
 
Saitama Prefecture
 
Nagatoro | Nagatoro Town

Nagatoro a quiet town situated 80km north of central Tokyo and is a place of scenic beauty at the upper streams of Arakawa River. Recommended is Arakawa gorge where a number of odd rocks and stones forming a rough and sharp gorge, and the autumn leaves covering the gorge from above is simply outstanding. You can enjoy the best of autumn leaves on a boat ride which allows you to look at the tunnel of red and golden leaves from below. In the nearby area you can see winter cherry blossoms from October through January. Nagatoro is one of the very rare places where you can see red leaves and cherry blossoms at the same time. A view from National Route 462 and 299 are also very beautiful.

>> Saitama Prefectural Guide
 
Tokyo Prefecture
 
Ueno Onshi Park | Taito-ku

Ueno Park is one of the first parks to be designated as a park, and has been famous as a good place to view cherry blossoms since 17C. In autumn, these cherry trees – counting up to as many as 1,200 – turn into reddish Vandyke brown. For a romantic mood, main gate area is the best where you can slowly walk among the snow of ginko leaves. The park holds 381 ginko, 405 zelkova and about 40 maple trees. The best hour of appreciating the red and golden leaves is around sunset. Ueno Park also is a cultural zone of Tokyo, where a number of major museums are located.

>> Ueno General Guide
>> Photo: Ueno Night Cherry Blossoms
>> Ueno Shopping Information

 
Rikugien Garden | Bunkyo-ku
Rikugien is referred to as one of the Two Major Gardens of Edo along with Koishikawa Korakuen. In the garden, many places sang and reffered to in Manyoshu and Kokinwakashu (ancient songbooks) are imitated or revived such as Kishu Wakanoura, Togetsukyo bridge and Fukiagehama, and create beautiful sceneries all through the year.You can enjoy fresh green in early summer, colored leaves in autumn and even silver snow in winter. There are more than 600 trees that change leaf colors in autumn, and you can view them as you relax at the teahouse with some sweets.

Photo: Rikugien Autumn Leaves (2005)
 
Komazawa Olympic Park | Setagaya-ku

Komazawa Park is a sports complex using one of the sites of Tokyo Olympic Games. You will find the 12-meter-high Olympic memorial tower in the middle plaza. The promenade along Komazawa Street is an outstanding golden arch of 177 huge ginko trees. Inside the park you can enjoy red leaves mostly of zelkova. As the park is a sports complex, you can enjoy the leaves as you jog through the jogging course. Besides the grand trees, there are a number of pretty flowers as well.
 
Todoroki Gorge | Setagaya-ku

Todoroki is the only place in central Tokyo where you can find a gorge. Set one foot outside of the residential area and you’ll then find yourself in a totally different world. The stream is the only sound you can hear and as you walk down the valley the brilliant beauty of maple and zelkova red leaves welcomes you. These trees cut apart the noise in the “outside world” and the silence and cool air is a rarely visited region. There are even people who come from a distance to visit this gorge. The gorge is 1.2 kilometers long, and although the water volume is now rather little there is a waterfall which is said to be the origin of the name Todoroki (todoroku means to roar/ roaring sound).
 
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden | Shinjuku-ku

Shinjuku Gyoen was originally an Imperial Garden, but is now a national garden open to the public. There are three kinds of gardens in Shinjuku Gyoen – French, English and Japanese – where you can enjoy different kinds of autumn scenes. The promenade designed with Western touches give you a sense of European autumn, and the splendid color contrast of red and dark green leaves in the Japanese Garden provides you with rich atmosphere of traditional Japanese autumn scenery. During Nov 1st to 15th, which is also the season for colored leaves, the traditional festival of chrysanthemum flowers is held. You can also see colonies of plum and daffodils as well as gorgeous orchids.
 
Asukayama Park | Kita-ku

Although this park is more widely known as a spot for cherry blossoms, you can enjoy scenic beauty throughout the year. In early summer 20,000 azalea trees and 2,000 hydrangea bushes put on magnificent flowers, and in autumn about 100 maple trees of various kinds change their leaf color. Even though the park gets jammed with people in spring, the park is quite comfortable in the fall season. You can get a broader view of the neighborhood from the observatory within the park.There is a hidden spot for beautiful nature nearby, and here you can enjoy a number of waterfalls with colored leaves in the background.

>> Photo: Asukayama Cherry Blossoms (Spring)
 
Nagano Prefecture
 
Norikura Plateau | Matsumoto City

The eastern hillside of Norikuradake mountain, part of The Northern Alps montain range, forms a mild plateau full of deciduous trees. To enjoy the colored leaves of this plateau you can either walk along the hikng course or drive along the 14km-long skyline. Due to the height of roughly 1,400-1,500m above sea level there are a range of alpine plants and flora and the view of the area is also very pretty in spring and summer. There are some inns and summer houses built in the area.

>> Nagano Prefectural Guide

 
Hiroshima Prefecture
 
Miyajima Momiji Park | Miyajima Town

Miyajima is an island counted as one of the Three Great Sceneries of Japan, and is now widely known for the World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine. The entire island is covered with thick green, and the fall leaves park is located on the southeast side of the shrine. Maple trees grow thickly along the river and in falltime you can get a great view of vivid autumn leaves. If you go up to the top of the small mountain taking the ropeway you can see as far as Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima City.

>>Hiroshima Prefectural Guide


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