The Must-Visit Autumn Spots in Tokai

You need to see the waterfalls!

The best time to see the autumn leaves in the Tokai region is in early November. There, you can find colorful mountains at Korankei and Shirakawa-go, and visit elegant onsen towns like Gero and Shuzenji.

Below, we list down nine best autumn spots in Tokai which you can check out while you’re in Japan.


Photo courtesy of Asuke Tourist Association 

In 1634, Sanei,  the eleventh chief priest of Kojakuji Temple, planted the first maple in the area. After this, local people volunteered to plant more maple trees during the late Taisho Period to early Showa Period.

The place is said to have around 4,000 trees consisting of 11 kinds of maple tree variants. The sight of the red and yellow trees is marvelous.

During the Korankei Momiji Matsuri Festival, held from November 1 to November 30, the trees are lit up until 9 p.m.


The view from the Shirakawago observatory
Photo courtesy of Shirakawa Village Office, Gifu Prefecture

is the name of the Sho River Valley within Gifu Prefecture. It is famous for its traditional gasshozukuri farmhouses whose rooftops look like hands in prayer. Among them is a former Yamashita residence, which is one of the few existing gasshozukuri buildings built in the 18th century. You can try going up to the attic when you visit one of the farmhouses there.

The Gasshozukuri Minkaen Outdoor Museum is worth checking out too. It preserves and exhibits a total of 25 buildings, including 9 designated important cultural assets of the Gifu Prefecture. This museum usually holds illumination events.

Aside from the farmhouses and the museum, the place also has a shrine, a temple main hall, and a water mill.

Sumata Valley

Oi River’s tributary, Sumatakyo Valley.
Photo courtesy of Kawanehoncho Town Development Tourism Association

At Sumata Valley, you can find the Yume-no-Suspension Bridge, which is included as part of the “Top 10 Suspension Bridges in the World to Visit Before You Die”. Aside from this, the place also has the Ozakizaka Observatory and a promenade that leads to the Hiryu Bridge.

When the autumn season arrives, the trees in the area turn red and yellow. The interwoven leaves reflected on the surface of the lake is a beautiful sight.

Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

The Northern Japanese Alps mountains are colored with bright autumn leaves

The Shin-Hotaka Ropeway runs a length of 3,200 meters. It is the first double-decker cable car in Japan that takes you to world above the clouds at an altitude of 2,156 meters.


From the observatory on the rooftop of the Nishihotakaguchi Station, you can enjoy a wide panoramic view of the northern Japanese Alps mountains including Mt. Nishihotakadake, Mt. Yarigadake, and Mt. Kasagadake.

After October 20, you’ll have a wonderful view of the fresh snow on the top of the northern Japanese Alps, as well as the autumn leaves against the blue autumn sky. A lot of photographers love visiting the place to take many photos of the landscape.

Yoro Park

The Maple tunnel continues to the Yoro falls
Photo courtesy of Yoro town office

Maple and Ginkgo trees stretch along the 40-minute route from the Yoro station of Yoro railway to the famous waterfall. The Yoro falls, inside the Yoro Park, has a height of 30 meters and a width of 4 meters.

You can witness an illumination event during mid to late November each year on weekends and national holidays.

Gero Onsen

The autumn leaves in Gero Onsen, which is one of top 3 hot springs in Japan.
Photo courtesy of Gero City Tourism and Commerce Department Tourism Division

Gero Onsen
, located in the Hida River valley, is a famous hot spring that is referred to as one of Japan’s three best onsens along with Kusatsu and Arima.

The Hida River is where Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing, healed his wounds a thousand years ago. He told the village residents about his discovery and since then, the area has been widely popular among the locals and the tourists.

Lots of people go to the Onsen Temple, where Yakushi Nyorai is enshrined, to witness the amazing illumination event.

In addition to this, a gassho village on the east side of the onsen street, is located on the gently sloping hill of Kobo Mountain. There, you’ll find 10 gasshozukuri houses, which have been transferred from world heritage Hida Shirakawa-go.

Oyada Shrine

Oyada maple valley
Photo courtesy of Mino City Tourism Association

There are about 3,000 maple trees at the Oyada maple valley located right by the Oyada Shrine. This beautiful forest is designated as a National Natural Monument.

The best time to view the red and yellow autumn leaves there is around mid to late November.

Iwayado Park

Bright red autumn leaves surround the river
Photo courtesy of Seto Marutto Museum and Tourism Association

At Iwayado Park, you can enjoy taking a stroll while appreciating the bright red autumn leaves along the serene Torihara River. You can also check out the Gyomyogataki Waterfalls, the Seto Otaki Waterfalls and the shrine of a big rock at the park.


On sunny days, the view of Mt. Iwasu at the observation deck is amazing. You can see Mt. Iwasu in the Nagoya Station area.

From November 11 to 18, the entire park, including the waterfalls, is illuminated with lights. The colorful landscapes are beautifully reflected on the river. Aside from this, pottery and bamboo lanterns are arranged in the park’s pathways as well.

Akame 48 Waterfalls

Autumn leaves in Akame 48 Waterfalls

There are numerous waterfalls along the 4-kilometer stretch of the Akame valley. Five of Akame's waterfalls are spectacular and must-sees: Fudo, Senju, Nunobiki, Ninai, and Biwa Falls. The surroundings of the waterfalls offer a scenery of red and yellow trees bathed in sunlight.

Provided by Walkerplus™, Japan Walker™, and Tokai Walker™ (16 September 2018)

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