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Top 5 Spots for Momiji Watching in Japan

Posted By on Nov 17, 2014

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One of the most famous times people visit Japan to sightsee is during Cherry Blossom season in late April and early May. Millions of people travel across the world to join locals in catching a glimpse of this short but beautiful sight.

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But that is not the only time when people flock to Japan to catch a glimpse of nature’s beauty. During the autumn months of October and November, trees in Japan turn a burning yellow and fiery red to welcome the changing of the seasons.

For centuries, people have admired the breathtaking colors and have written many poems and songs to celebrate the occasion. Here are 5 top places to view momiji in Japan.

Mount Takao

Throughout November, the Hachioji tourist association hosts the Momiji Festival. Located between Tokyo and Mount Fuji, Mount Takao is about an hour west of Tokyo. Enjoy a day trip to the area and with a cable car that goes up the mountain, enjoy beautiful scenery along the way from a great vantage point. There are also a variety of events available such as taiko drum performances and mini concerts during the weekends throughout the month. The people here are so involved with the momiji that even manhole covers feature several red leaves.

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Itsukushima

Although its official name is Itsukushima, this place is popularly known as Miyajima, or Shrine Island. Most well-known for its torii at Itsukushima shrine, this place is also an excellent place to view momiji if you are in the Hiroshima area. Be amazed as you make your way along the Momijidani Park, seeing over 200 maple trees. The locals here take momiji season very seriously and have a specialty Momiji Manju, a pastry shaped like a maple leaf and filled with various fillings such as red bean and cream.

Lake Kawaguchi

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be completely immersed by a field of momiji? Now you can at Lake Kawaguchi, north of Mount Fuji. There’s a 150 meter long corridor where 60 maple trees dye the pathways red as autumn leaves are surround you. It is also located close to onsens, so you can relax in this magical environment in the great autumn weather.

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Daisetsuzan

Located in Hokkaido, this snowy mountain has one of the earliest color changes in Japan. Occurring as early as mid-September, if you are someone who just can’t wait to see the leaves change colors, this place is for you. Treat yourself to fantastic views after hiking up Mount Asahidake or from the ropeway.

Kiyomizudera

One of the most famous and iconic place to view momiji nowadays is atop Kiyomizudera in Eastern Kyoto. Although this place is a popular attraction to visit throughout the year, it is transformed during autumn when the trees change colors. At night, this area is lighted, so it gives a wonderful warm glow even at night. Take photos from this amazing vantage point while visiting this iconic Buddhist temple.

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[post by Beth]

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Beth Williams

Originally from Chicago, Beth got her first true taste of travel when she studied abroad in Japan during her final year of university. She ended up loving Asia so much, she found herself moving right back upon graduating and is currently teaching English full-time in Hong Kong. Armed with her camera and a passion for travel, she is currently on a mission to photograph the world-- proving that you can work the normal “9-5” and still find time to travel on her blog Besudesu Abroad.

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