When can I watch the maple trees (koyo) in fall in Japan?

Autumn is a popular season in Japan to admire the beauty of the archipelago and its natural landscapes covered in red, in the same manner as springtime is with the flowering of cherry trees. Koyo season is longer, there are fewer tourists and prices are lower.

At the end of fall, Momiji Japanese maple tree leaves turn in a brilliant red, and ginkgoes turn yellow. These autumn leaves are called koyo.

Depending on the region of Japan, weather and altitude, the autumn leaves don’t change color at the same time. The first red leaves appear in Hokkaido, the northernmost island, from the end of September, followed in mid-October by the rest of Japan. However, in the most touristic areas, it only starts in mid-November.

Momiji calendar in Japan

  • Hokkaido: mid-September to mid-October
  • Tohoku (Aomori, Sendai): mid-October to early November
  • Northern Chubu (Nagano, Kanazawa): mid-October to early November
  • Tokyo and Kanto area: mid-November to early December
  • Kyoto and Kansai area (Osaka, Nara): mid-November to early December
  • Southern Japan (Hiroshima, Miyajima, Shikoku, Kyushu): mid-November to early December