Alluring Autumn Spots Boasting Stunning Gradients of Red and Yellow


Amongst Japan’s dazzling autumn scenery, Niigata stands out for its wealth of lush forests and intricately manicured gardens flaunting the best of the season’s magic. Experience the sensational autumn vibes of Niigata with these must-see fall foliage hotspots!

Marvel at the 150-Year-Old Trees at the Historical Momijien Maple Garden

The Momijien Maple Garden in Nagaoka was created around 1896 as a villa garden of the Takahashi Family, who were major landowners in the area. Within the 4,000-square-meter grounds are a variety of maple trees that are over 150 years old and exude magnificent seasonal colors that can be enjoyed for free!

We recommend visiting the garden during the peak fall foliage season (late October to mid-November) when the Koshiji Maple Festival is held, attracting big crowds. During this period, the Maple Garden is illuminated after dark, creating enchanting scenery totally different from the daytime.

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Step Into a World of Illuminated Autumn Foliage at the Shoun Mountain Villa!

Built in 1926, the Shoun Mountain Villa is the former residence of a wealthy businessman, and boasts a beautiful 9,900-square-meter garden. The look of the garden was inspired by a folding screen painting, and the fall foliage transforms it into a work of art every year!

Nearly 1,000 trees, including “dodan-tsutsuji” and maples, change color all at once during autumn, adding to the magical atmosphere created by the garden lanterns, stone monuments, arched bridges, and ponds.

Between the end of October and end of November, the villa garden is illuminated from sunset (around 5:00 pm), making the vivid foliage look even better than during the day. The Kimura Tea Ceremony Museum is also located on the grounds, and offers tea ceremony experiences conducted with the priceless historic utensils from its exhibits.

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Enter a Dazzling Painting of Red Leaves at the Jabuchi Falls

Jabuchi Falls straddles the border of Niigata Prefecture's Tsunan Town and Nagano Prefecture's Sakae Village. It has a total height of 30 meters with three 10-meter drops.

The area is known for its fall foliage, with bright reds and yellows resembling a painting appearing from late October to early November. It’s not possible to go near the basin, but the waterfall can be admired in its entirety from a nearby observation deck. The water rushing down the dark-brown rocky surface is quite an impressive sight!

The red leaves on the walking trail leading to the observation deck are also wonderful, so be sure to enjoy a stroll while relishing the deepening colors of autumn.

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Marvelous Autumn Scenery Awaits at So Falls!

So Falls is located in Okurasawa on the upper reaches of the Otagiri River, which flows from Mt. Myoko. The waterfall is 6 meters wide with a massive 80-meter straight drop, earning it recognition as one of the Top 100 Waterfalls in Japan. So Falls also contains hot spring minerals, and the scent of sulfur hangs in the air.

The area is well known for vibrant autumn foliage, with the surrounding mountains turning red and yellow from mid to late October every year. From the Sotaki Observation Deck, near the Ogon-no-Yu hot spring in Tsubame Onsen on the Myoko Plateau, you can admire the fall leaves against So Falls.

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Sky-High Paradise! Autumn Foliage Trekking at Koya Pond on Mt. Hiuchi

Mt. Hiuchi is a 2,462 meter mountain located in Myoko, and is the highest peak of the Kubiki Alps in the Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park.

One of its highlights is Koya Pond, a marsh that spreads out on the mountainside at around 2,000-2,100 meters above sea level. It’s famous for its trove of beautiful alpine flora, earning it the nickname “Sky-High Paradise.”

The best time to visit Koya Pond is from late September to early October when the leaves turn red. Visitors can view the picturesque autumn foliage around the pond from the Koya Pond Hutte mountain hut. There’s also a well-maintained trail leading to the summit of Mt. Hiuchi that’s perfect for autumn trekking.

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