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Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/5 19:19
Hi
I am planning for a late fall, early winter trip to Japan this year. Due to the current situation I have not been able to reserve any ticket for the flight yet.

My intention is to visit before it gets too cold, possibly watching autumn leaves.

I thought of arriving sometime maybe 20th October to 1st of November, staying for approx 4 weeks.

I guess most high elevation Autumn colors are gone by early november.

I will not go any further north than Fukushima, possibly checking out Bandai region, or Kamikochi. Possibly some hiking aswell.

Checking out Takachiho and Yufuin in Kyushu, some parts of Shikoku, Hagi, Shodoshima and perhaps the cycling route from Imabari to Onomichi, as well as returning to Kyoto.

Kinosaki onsen and Kumano region seems interesting.

Then I thought of Yamanouchi and Karuizawa, as well as Kurobe gorge, Kiso valley, Minakami and returning to Izu peninsula.

Unless some places are too cold or snow covered I might do them other time.

So, what would you suggest be the best time to go during end of this year?
by Jomo (guest)  

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/6 14:39
Magic 8 Ball says, "Ask again later."
by Susan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/6 14:56
I have also wanted to take a trip to Japan later in the fall. I took one late September/early October, and was disappointed in the lack of fall colors. Last year, peak color occurred the last week of November, for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. At the end of October, the Alpine Route was past peak, but the Kurobe Gorge was just starting to change.

From what I have seen from the fall color reports, November is the best month for fall colors. I have also wanted to add the following things to my trip:

Kunimigaoka Cloud Inversion (Sea of Clouds) at Takachiho. (September-November, with the correct weather conditions)
Winter Illuminations, especially Kobe Luminarie, Sagamiko Illumination, and Nabana No Sato near Nagoya. (Some start as late as early December)
The Fireworks Festival in Chichibu (December 2-3).

For my interests, I plan to go around November 10-December 10, to cover my interests. I would go later than you have planned, but, look at past fall color reports on Japan Guide, and see it that also makes sense to you.

Good Luck, in planning your trip.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/6 15:50
Oops.. I was also going to give my expected itinerary. Here goes.

Land at Tokyo Narita
Travel to Toyama, see Gardens at Kanazawa, Kurobe Gorge (day trips)
Travel to Takayama (more day trips)
Travel Okayama (garden, and possible cloud inversion around Mastuyama Castle near Bitchu Takahashi), and then on to Takachiho
Several days in Takachiho.
A hot springs resort in Northern Kyushu, probably Kurokawa or Yufuin.
Ferry from Beppu to Yawatahama (Shikoku). Travel to Matsuyama for a day or two.
Travel the Shimanami Kaido by foot, not bicycle, from Imabari to Onomichi. Even though itfs late November, I am expecting hiking along the Seto Inland Sea to be reasonably warm. I will probably also go to Bunny Island.
Travel to Nagoya. (Nabana No Sato)
Travel to Chichibu for the festival.
Travel to Atami for the Sea Fireworks (Dec 6th), do the round course at Hakone.
Quick trip back to Kansai for fall colors and Kobe Luminarie.
Back to Tokyo to end the trip.

This may be too much jumping around for you.
Once again, Good Luck, in planning your trip.

by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/6 16:24
Hi!

you can catch fall foliage in October, it just depends on where you go.

Honestly, I think the hardest thing about your schedule might be fitting everything in to just 10-12 days (depending on arrival and departure times.) I think you need to really figure out what is most important to you to hit up, so that everything works. I want to stress now, you can have an awesome 10 day trip to Japan, I did in February right before everything fell into this covid horror, but you need to be realistic about number of locations unless you have been to Japan many many times or you just really enjoy spending a lot of time on public transport. (and some people do, but just know some places take much longer than you would think to get to, between transfers and schedules.)

I think you are unlikely to get snow before November 1, unless we are talking about the top of Mt. Fuji. Even the Alpine Route and Kamikochi are fully open at the end of October and it's expected you might just have a dusting at the very most. It was a long time ago now, but when I visited Hakkoda and Towadako towards the end of October it was not even close to being cold enough for snow. I think in a snowy year (which has not been any year recently) you're more in danger with plans in March or early April than at the end of October.

Good luck and may you be able to take your trip!

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/6 17:38
Yes, Kamikochi has colour in mid October, Takayama is really nice at end October
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/7 01:04
Have been to Japan twice in October, once I got to Tateyama by the end of foliage which was apparently quicker than expected, think it was mid-October. Nikko was really nice during fall though.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/7 01:06
Problem is I cannot decide on when to go as both November and December is interesting, but seems October is nice too depending on where you go.
by Jomo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/7 03:09
Hi!

Honestly, it depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.

However, I'll add one caveat. Normally, I would not say this, but in this particular year I would personally try for a trip in mid to late November to December and plan an itinerary that matches that (or possibly do December) to give more time for things around the world to get back closer to some normality. You don't want to be like the people who were posting here in March or April or even May asking about canceling trips it's just not worth it.

Right now, citizens of most countries are not being allowed into Japan and those that are being allowed into Japan must quarantine for 14 days on their own dime and get from the airport on their own dime to this quarantine location without public transport. This doesn't work well for tourists. I would want to give myself as much time as possible for Japan to recover.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/7 06:56
In 2019, I visited Tokyo and Kyoto from late Nov to mid-Dec. That was the perfect timing for autumn leaves at those specific location.
by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/7 07:49
Even late October is at the early end for many locations at altitude for good displays of autumn colours. If I consider the last decade travelling around, there have only been rare occasions where October has provided good colour, and then it was in the north (Sapporo) or altitude (Lake Chuzenji or the highway between Matsumoto and Takayama). November is the core month for the foliage as far as my experience goes.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/9 12:32
November The best autumn leaves spot near Tokyo

"Heirinji Temple"Saitama
https://youtu.be/sbRQnT9zpJA

"Tougoujinja Shrine" Saitama
https://youtu.be/9UsiT9B2HO8

"Engakuji Temple" Kamakura kanagawa
https://youtu.be/2tfYpxhQ9QE

by DEEP JAPAN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise for fall/winter 2020 2020/5/12 14:47
Hello, even though still we are not sure whatfs gonna happen about this fall because of coronavirus, the website below updates some of the event tickets available now, so it might be good to check it sometimes when you are interested in any events in Japan.

https://www.tokyoevent.org/top

Cheers!
by Sho (guest) rate this post as useful

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