Early to mid October
The coloring season in Nikko is long because of the wide range in elevation from the mountains of the Okunikko region to the Nikko town area down in the valley. The colors usually first arrive in the high elevations of Okunikko around early October, reach Lake Chuzenji in mid October and the Irohazaka Winding Road in late October before descending to the town of Nikko in early November. Note that the best colors are found in the Okunikko region, while the town area of Nikko is dominated by evergreen trees and does not offer too many colors.
Due to the popularity of Nikko's autumn scenery, traffic to and within the Okunikko area can become congested during the peak of the season. To reduce the crowds, it is advisable to avoid weekends and to go early in the day. Travelers with a rental car could consider accessing the Okunikko region through the less busy backdoor from Numata in Gunma Prefecture along National Route 120. No public transportation is offered along that route.