Autumn Colors in Hakone: 7 Places to Admire Fall in all its Glory

One of the most famous places in Japan for seeing autumn leaves, the extremely popular Hakone! Here we introduce our recommended spots, together with the best time to visit.

Autumn Colors in Hakone: 7 Places to Admire Fall in all its Glory

Gora, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hakone Gora Park

Hakone Gora Park

2014 marked 100 years since Gora Park opened. Japan's first French-style garden features a bougainvillea greenhouse, a large fountain surrounded by rose gardens, a craft house, and the nearby Hakuundo-chaen Teahouse. There are plenty of things to see for those who wish to relax and have a good time amongst the trees, the leaves of which are dyed a vibrant red.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from mid to late October.

Gora, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hayakawa Bridge (Deyama Railway Bridge)

Hayakawa Bridge (Deyama Railway Bridge)

Hakone's mountain railway is famous as a tourist destination. Particularly popular during the autumn foliage season, tourists flock there in great numbers. Hayakawa Bridge (also called Deyama Railway Bridge) is between Tonosawa and Ohiradai stations, and from here you can enjoy the view of both the autumn foliage and the ravine. Highly recommended!

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from late October to mid November.

Gora, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hakone Art Museum

Hakone Art Museum

If you walk slowly down the mountain from Lake Ashi, you'll catch sight of Hakone's autumn leaves. While the best spots vary slightly according to the season, the place widely known as the best in all of Hakone is Hakone Art Museum, near Gora Park. In particular, the view of the Japanese gardens from the teahouse is sure to take your breath away, with the leaves of more than 170 maple trees all bright red.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from mid to late October.

Sengokuhara, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Choan-ji Temple

Choan-ji Temple

Surrounded by nature and especially famous for its autumn foliage, this temple belongs to the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. Its numerous arhat statues, each one wearing an expression rich in human emotion, together with the vivid autumn colors, brings the temple its own unique atmosphere.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from early to mid November.

Daiyucho, Minamiashigara, Kanagawa Prefecture

Daiyuzan Saijo-ji Temple

Daiyuzan Saijo-ji Temple

Established at the beginning of the Oei era (1394), Saijo-ji is one of the big three famous temples of the Soto school of Buddhism. A temple legendary for its connection to tengu (bird-like goblin spirits that live in mountain forests and are known for their prowess in martial arts), within the compound grow 20,000 ancient cedars of about 500 years of age. The road approaching the temple is clear and refreshing even in the middle of the day. A stone path runs from Kaisan-do Temple to a spiritual barrier gate, and the leaves here are especially beautiful. It's known as the best spot for autumn foliage within the temple grounds and is very popular.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from mid November to early December.

Hakone, Ashigarashimo, Kanagawa Prefecture

Yumoto, Hakone

Yumoto, Hakone

With a history stretching back to the Year 738, during Japan's Nara Period, Yumoto boasts a rich anthology of anecdotes of historical interest. Near Asahi Bridge in Hayakawa is a healing hot spring bath where it is said that Hojo Soun (a prominent historical figure and head of the Hojo clan) rested his tired feet. If you walk along the Hayakawa or Sukumogawa rivers, you'll see a lovely view of the ravine, painted red with autumn foliage. This spot makes an excellent walking course.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from early to mid December.

Hakone, Ashigarashimo, Kanagawa Prefecture

Lake Ashi Skyline

Lake Ashi Skyline

A winding road particularly popular with drivers, the Skyline stretches forth from Hakone Pass, where the view of Mount Fuji is overwhelmingly beautiful. The autumn foliage on the banks of Lake Ashi, which can be seen from the viewing platform at Rest House Lake View, is picturesque when viewed from the Skyline.

Expected fall foliage viewing period: from early to late November.

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