Panoramic 360-degree views of beautiful fall foliage! ZEKKEI’s Momiji-Gari destinations are perfect for travel in October!

Panoramic 360-degree views of beautiful fall foliage! ZEKKEI’s Momiji-Gari destinations are perfect for travel in October!
In Japan, October and November is fall foliage season when the leaves change from green to brilliant red, orange, and yellow hues. Imagine being surrounded by beautiful trees as far as the eye can see, as the beauty of nature causes you to stretch your arms wide and take a deep breath of the refreshing mountain air. You can truly feel autumn’s presence while standing among the majestic mountains and charming waterfalls.

Let’s have a look at our ZEKKEI ranking of the best destinations for autumn leaves in October.

Peak season varies from place to place, so be sure to check on your specific destination in advance.


Kappa Bridge (Nagano)

Kappa Bridge is featured in the novel “Kappa” written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (a famous Japanese novelist) and is a very popular spot as the symbol of Kamikochi. The Hotaka Mountains (in the background of the photo) are well known as a filming location for the Japanese movie “Gaku”, so the people who climb the mountains often visit the bridge to shoot some photos.
The painting-like beautiful scenery is surely a reason for the bridge’s popularity as a sightseeing spot. However the fall foliage, which reaches its peak in early- to mid-October, should be mentioned too. In autumn, there are so many sightseers that it is sometimes called Kamikochi-Ginza, after the famously bustling Tokyo shopping district. This is a ZEKKEI (Stunning View) to see at least once in your life.


Mikuni-Toge Pass (Hokkaido)

The Mikuni-Toge Pass is the highest altitude national road in Hokkaido. The splendid Jukai (Forest Sea) stretches to the horizon, and is one of Hokkaido’s best-known landscapes.

At the rest stop beside the observatory, you can take in the gorgeous view of Mother Nature while tasting the owner’s proudly hand-made drip coffee and soft serve ice creams, which are local delicacies. Note that the rest stop closes for winter in late October.


Lake Towada (Aomori)

Lake Towada is a mysterious lake. Green, red, and white, its appearance changes along with the seasons. Whats more, when the lake is covered with fog it is called Unkai (Sea of Clouds). This lake truly is fantastical.
When the autumn leaves are at their peak in mid-October, are so beautiful they take your breath away. The entire steep shoreline is filled with red and yellow leaves, and the contrast of the bright autumn colors with the green of the pine trees and the blue of the lake is stunning. Our recommendation is to enjoy the ZEKKEI while cruising the lake on a sightseeing boat.


Oyasu Ravine (Akita)

Every year many travelers visit Oyasu Ravine to enjoy the views of countless small and large waterfalls including Fudo-no-Taki, and to see the Daifunto where hot spring water gushes out from between the rocks. The steamy springs also give the ravine another name, Jigokugama (Bathtub of Hell). Especially in autumn, the red and yellow tinted trees in the narrow valley make the view even more majestic.
The Oyasukyo Onsen is located upstream. How about a refreshing dip in the hot springs after hiking through Mother Nature’s beautiful autumn shades? You can also try some of Akita's local delicacies. This is a popular spot, where you can enjoy autumn’s delights to your heart’s content.


Ryuzu Falls (Tochigi)

Ryuzu Falls (literally Dragon Head Falls) is one of the three great waterfalls in Oku-Nikko. The name comes from its shape, which looks like a dragon head when the two streams of water are viewed from the front.(The photo was taken in summer.)
The waterfall reflecting autumn leaves is very popular as a photographic subject and attracts many visitors every year. The waterfall’s plunge pool also vividly reflects autumn colors, and is one of Oku-Nikko’s must-see spots. It is wonderful to watch the powerful flow of the waterfall while relaxing at the tea house nearby.(The photo was taken in autumn.)

Did you enjoy our selections of “fall foliage as far as the eye can see”?

A ZEKKEI landscape that paints nature’s beauty with rich reds and vivid yellows would surely be an unforgettable experience, so be sure to visit one of these Momiji-Gari destinations in October!

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