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Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/15 12:19
Hi All,

A bit of background before I start the main question. I'm a teacher who normally has set holiday times but I might have a flexible 6 months (July-December) for the first time in 15 years. As such - I am looking at potentially planning a 4-6 week trip around Honshu visiting places I've not seen before.

I'm not interested in comments about borders not opening up - as I won't buy tickets until I can go. I've visited many of the more commonly known Koyo (fall colour) locations known to foreigners (Kyoto ,Oroise Stream, Kamikochi, Shosenkyo Gorge, Nikko).

However - I'm after some things which I may have missed or might not be that well known to foreign tourists. I'm also flexible with my timing - but I'm more looking for the best 4-6 week timing to visit Japan and locations that can potentially be around their best. I'm also aware that fall colours can be temperamental depending on the season.
by mfedley  

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/15 18:12
The Fall season is my favorite season. I can recommend Mt. Koya and Miyajima Island. Mt. Koya can be a little cold during the koyo, but its very beautiful. Miyajima Island is a treasure (beautiful and lots of yummy food such as momiji manju, a sweet famous during the koyo).

I also loved Nara and Kyoto during the Fall season, but you've already been to Kyoto. Have you visited Arashiyama? Or perhaps, go a little further away in Kurama and Kibune, or even Ohara (these are not that famous among foreign tourists).

Have you been to Hokkaido? The posts this website has about koyo in Hokkaido are very beautiful. You might want to check them out ;)
by Sophia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/15 22:16

This place is very special in Autumn: http://www.ginkonyu.com/
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/16 00:43
Yamadera
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/16 02:00
https://youtu.be/GymDc0mavfE

I am in agreement with above video from japan-guide.com , that Kyoto is the best area for koyo hunting. Even though I have been to Kyoto so many times, I still go every trip. You can skip the famous temples/shrines, which tend to get crowded, and just wander the hills and streets and you will find a koyo serenity all to yourself.

Here's a photo from my autumn 2019 trip: https://michikusa-and-aikalima.blogspot.com/2020/11/blog-post.html

by kona_moon (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/16 07:36
While I often get to see the fall colours in Kyoto, there are a few other places that stand out for me. Hokkaido is one and I had a great visit to Sapporo and threw in a side trip to Usuzan for the volcano (but I was a couple of days late for best koyo there.
Another favourite spot is actually the trip between Matsumoto and Takayama (the elevation changes virtually guarantee some good colour, and Takayama at the time of year is beautiful (not necessarily in the tourist area).
Less obvious, Tokyo - not for the maples, but ginkgo. There are a few exceptional spots around the city, including Showa Kinen.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/16 07:50
You are planning many alternative trips 😊

Regarding Koyo maybe you can have a look at this page Japanese use. It will also give later in the year forecasts and actual status:

https://koyo.walkerplus.com/ranking/

In the section エリアを絞り込む you can select the region of Japan where to look, eg 東北 Tohoku and then start drilling down to prefectures.

There is also a possibility to filter for time (and region) and it gives information about when the leaves will start (first line) and when they are best (second line). This obviously is an average over the past years.
上旬、中旬、下旬 means first , middle , last third of the month.

Enjoy planning!
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/21 22:40
-Naruko Gorge in Miyagi

-Tenryu-kyo Gorge in Nagano

-Sogi Park light-up in Toki (Gifu)
-Korankei in Toyota, nice in the daytime, also has a nice light-up (Aichi)
-Horaiji Temple in Shinshiro (Aichi)

-Ankokuji Temple's light-up is very famous in Hyogo

Okayama Prefecture:
-Tsuyama Castle day and light-up, Shurakuen Garden, Kagamino (Okutsu Onsen and Okutsu Gorge)
-Kiyamaji Temple
-HIruzen and Mount Daisen
-Niimi
-Bodaiji Temple's Gingko
-Tanjoji Temple's Gingko
-Iyama Hofukuji Temple
-Kibitsu Shrine's Gingko
-Shizutani School's Chinese pistache trees, also has a light-up

Hiroshima:
-Taishaku-kyo Gorge and Onbashi
-Fuchi Hachiman Shrine
-Sandan-kyo Gorge
-Buttsuji Temple in Mihara

Shikoku:
-Shodoshima's Kankakei Gorge is very pretty if timed well
-Ritsurin Garden's autumn light-up is pretty
-Iwabu Hachiman Shrine's gingko tree
-Jigenji Temple Garden, Zuioji Temple's Gingko, and Besshi Copper Mine Ruins in Niihama
-Okudogo Ichiyunomori has a famous window view of foliage
-Befu Gorge in Kochi
by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/22 12:11
I really enjoyed Onuma koen, and it didn't seem particularly crowded. When I was there, they also had a carved pumpkin display.

I really liked Kawanakajima koen. There were several rows of very red maple trees there and I imagine if timed right the surrounding mountains would be quite colorful. (I was a little early for them, I just saw the maple trees.) When I was there, there were also a lot of apple orchards nearby with lots of fruit on the trees. The park seemed to only be visited by locals because it's a bit of a walk from any train station. You can bike there (I did not) or take a local bus (I did and then walked back.) If I go back, I'd like to visit the small history museum in the park.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/22 17:51
Thanks everyone for the info.

It's strange how things change quickly. I resigned from my job and was hoping to spend 6 months working part time and completing some travel. Then a job in Europe opened up which means that I won't be coming to Japan for a while now.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Koyo Dream Trip 2022/5/25 02:10
Mazel Tov 0n the new job and I hope you like living in Europe!

While there are many many people who have traveled far more extensively in Europe than I, (and I know this is not a Europe travel forum) if you get a chance I really enjoyed the Great Orme Mines in Llandudno, Wales and I think you would enjoy it since I seem to remember you went to Kazuno in Japan to see the mines. I went to the Great Ormes Mines during a school break in August 2019 and while the rest of Llandudno had a lot of tourists, the mines were not super busy.

And depending on where you live in Europe, if you still really want to see some gorgeous fall foliage, visit New England in the US.
by rkold rate this post as useful

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