Below is a list of some of Tokyo's most popular autumn color (koyo) spots with the approximate timings of the best viewing in the average year. Generally speaking, the colors in Tokyo are usually best from late November to early December. See also our nationwide list of koyo spots.
Rikugien is a spectacular and very popular autumn color spot. Some of the best views in this traditional Japanese landscape garden can be enjoyed from the hilltop viewpoint, around the Togetsukyo Bridge, and along the maple lined canal that runs by the Tsutsuji no Chaya teahouse.
One of the best autumn colors spots in Tokyo, Koishikawa Korakuen is another traditional Japanese landscape garden. Its main pond is surrounded by dozens of maples trees which turn brilliant shades of orange and red in late November. Several other picturesque autumn spots can be seen around the park's three main ponds.
Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Avenue)
Late November to early December
The Icho Namiki is the popular, ginkgo lined avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park. The uniquely trimmed trees turn a brilliant golden color in late November, drawing crowds of people to stroll under the leaves or relax at one of the sidewalk cafes along the street. The Icho Namiki starts about one block from Aoyama-Itchome Subway Station.
A large park with a variety of trees and a fairly long season, Shinjuku Gyoen is an attractive place to escape the city and see some autumn colors. Some of the best areas in the park to see the changing leaves are the Japanese garden and the Momijiyama ("Maple Mountain").
Mount Takao in the mountains west of central Tokyo is a busy hiking destination and one of Tokyo's most popular autumn color spots. A network of well traveled trails lead up the mountain, but visitors can save some time by taking a cable car or chair lift part way up. There are nice views from the summit out over the autumn colors along the slopes.
Showa Memorial Park (Showa Kinen Koen) is an extremely large municipal park near Tachikawa Station in western Tokyo. It consists of several gardens and recreation areas connected by bicycle and walking paths. The ginkgo trees around the main entrance and the maples around the park's Japanese garden exhibit especially beautiful autumn colors.
The best autumn colors of this large, western style park are not found around its central lawns. Instead, head to the southern side of Yoyogi Park where there are beautiful stands of red maples and brilliant yellow ginkgo trees.
The best place to see autumn colors at the Imperial East Gardens is the Japanese style Ninomaru Garden built in the second circle of defense of the former Edo Castle. In addition, several ginkgos and other trees are scattered around the castle walls and grounds of the spacious park.
Part of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, the 1000 meter tall Mount Mitake is a popular hiking destination within easy reach of central Tokyo. Autumn colors here can be enjoyed a week or two earlier than down in the city center.