Photo: Sunil Naik / Unsplash
Photo: Sunil Naik / Unsplash
- 2 min read

Autumn Leaf Projections for 2022

Get your plans squared away for koyo season

When it comes to the most popular times of year for traveling to Japan, two particular seasons are standouts – spring for the cherry blossoms, and autumn for the changing leaves. Much like the estimates for when sakura trees will be at peak bloom, projections are made for when the autumn color should be at its best, allowing people to time their visits to align with that.

If you're wondering about the projections for 2022, here are the details.

Northern Japan (Hokkaido and Tohoku Regions)

Aomori's Oirase Stream is ablaze with color during autumn
Aomori's Oirase Stream is ablaze with color during autumn (Photo: annintofu / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Northern Japan is the first part of the country to see changing leaves, with places like Sounkyo Gorge in Hokkaido ablaze with color in the early October timeframe. Further south, Aomori's Oirase Gorge is on track for leaves to peak around late October, and Miyagi's Naruko Gorge is looking at early November for 2022.

Kanto, Koshin'etsu, and Tokai Regions

Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko
Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko (Photo: Sunil Naik)

A host of favorite autumn destinations across the Kanto, Koshin'etsu, and Tokai regions are staying true to past years with their autumn leaf projections for 2022. Tochigi Prefecture is a top spot for fall foliage fans, with the Nikko area looking at mid-October for leaves to be at their most vivid. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Shirakawago village is set for early November, and Shizuoka's Daito-in Temple is projected to peak later that month.

Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu Regions

Kankakei Gorge, Shodoshima, Kagawa Prefecture
Kankakei Gorge, Shodoshima, Kagawa Prefecture (Photo: 663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Kyoto is always a popular spot during autumn, and the Arashiyama area is looking at late November for the fall foliage to be at its best – and that's the same for other picturesque destinations such as Miyazaki's Takachiho Gorge and Kagawa's Kankakei Gorge.

For more fall foliage inspiration, be sure to check out the Autumn in Japan section on our website, or peruse seasonal activities via the events calendar.

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