In Japan, colorful leaves (koyo) represent autumn as cherry blossoms do spring. Autumn leaf viewing has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries, and today large crowds of travelers flock to koyo spots in both the mountains and the cities. Koyo fronts move south from Hokkaido every year starting in mid-September until they reach lower elevations of central and southern Japan toward the end of November. Some trees remain colorful until early December in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Japan Adventure Club will help you make a great choice on how you'll enjoy the most out of the colorful fall foliage in Japan in 2022, 2023, and 2024.
DAY 1: TOKYO The Adventure Begins
DAY 2: TOKYO Hit the Streets
DAY 3: TOKYO Cross an Item off the Bucket List
DAY 4: TOKYO TO KYOTO A Town Frozen in Time
DAY 5: KYOTO Lose Yourself in Nature
DAY 6: KYOTO It’s All Ancient History
DAY 7: KYOTO TO OSAKA City Streets and Tasty Treats
DAY 8: OSAKA Audacious Architecture
DAY 9: OSAKA Bon Voyage
Day 1: Your English-speaking assistant will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive, holding a sign with your name on it. You will then be transferred to Keio Plaza Tokyo.
Day 2: Take a half-day tour of Tokyo's fascinating sites, which contrast traditional temples and gardens with futuristic skyscrapers. The Imperial Palace outside, Asakusa, Sensoji Temple, Nakamise, and Meiji Shrine, as well as Omotesando shopping street, are some of the major attractions. Stay at Keio Plaza Tokyo.
Experience Japan's iconic Mt. Fuji on a full-day tour of the picturesque Fuji Five Lakes region, a group of scenic crater lakes that offer some of the best views of Japan's revered mountain. On this tour, you'll take a cable car ride to Mount Tenjo's summit (weather permitting) and visit the Arakura Sengen Shrine, where you'll see Chureito Pagoda, a multi-tiered red tower with stunning views across Mt. Fuji. Enjoy the picturesque views of Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes from the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum. Stay at Keio Plaza Tokyo.
Day 4: Take the direct train from Tokyo to Kyoto. In a city founded over a thousand years ago, you'll find cobblestone streets. You'll find that Kyoto isn't just a city steeped in the past, but also a vibrant city with monks, artisans, baristas, and college students working hard towards a bright future. A top attraction in Japan is Kinkakuji Temple, which is covered in real gold leaf and visually stunning no matter what the weather is like. You'll also visit Kintano-tenmangu, which was built to appease the spirit of an angry ghost. Stay at Granvia Kyoto.
Day 5: You'll explore Arashiyama today, the western outskirts of Kyoto home to the world-renowned Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Nonomiya Shrine, two of Japan's most picturesque sites. Wander through the bamboo groves of Arashiyama, a serene and mystical forest that makes you feel like you're in another world. You will then visit the Nonomiya Shrine where, in ancient times, single imperial princesses would stay to purify themselves before taking up their duties as monarchs. Your next stop will be Tenryuji Temple, Kyoto's largest and most impressive temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay at Granvia Kyoto.
Day 6: On today's tour, you will visit the Todaiji temple, the largest wooden building in the world and home to the Great Buddha. Visit Kasuga Taisha, founded in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns donated by worshipers. Explore Nara Park, nicknamed Deer Park for its 1,000 tame deer. On your way back from Nara, you'll visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Japan's most iconic sites, known for its 10,000 red tori gates that form a path up the mountain behind the temple.
Day 7: The Osaka transit system will allow you to experience local culture by yourself. As the gastronomic capital of Japan, you'll be able to experience the splendors of Osaka's casual cuisine, visiting the nation's most famous restaurant district: Dotonbori. Stay at the Marriott Miyako Hotel.
Day 8: We will start our day at Himeji Castle, also known as the White Heron Castle. It is one of Japan's original twelve castles, as most of the others have been destroyed by war or natural disasters. As a UNESCO world heritage site, this Japanese natural treasure is especially beautiful during fall's peak foliage when the leaves transform into a stunning array of reds, oranges, and golds, or during cherry blossom season. Afterward, you'll visit the nearby Kokoen garden, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden with nine different styles. Stay at the Marriott Miyako Hotel.
Day 9: Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.