Sep 22, 2022
Japan is one of the best flowery destinations to visit in the spring, with millions of tourists flocking to its shores to catch a glimpse of its famous cherry blossoms. But its autumn foliage – which sees the landscape painted in a captivating palette of red, orange and yellow hues – is an equally stunning sight. Here, the act of viewing autumn leaves – known as momijigari – has been a treasured local custom for centuries. And with forests making up almost 70% of the country’s total land area, there are many places where you can partake in this ritual for yourself.
Our pick, though, is Osaka, where you’ll find many gorgeous parks, gardens and mountains awash in the brilliant shades of the season. Book a contemporary studio or suite at Fraser Residence Nankai, Osaka, which offers unparalleled accessibility. The property is a 3-min walk from Namba Station – and has convenient access to other major subway lines, including direct train access to the airport – so you can get to your leaf-spotting destinations with ease.
The ideal time to go leaf-peeping in Osaka is typically between mid-October and mid-December, and the same goes for the nearby region of Nara. Fall colours tend to peak for two to four weeks around mid-November, so visit during this time for the best chance of revelling in autumn’s full glory.
However, depending on the weather that year, the leaves can begin changing as early as September or as late as December. We recommend checking the Japan Meteorological Corporation’s fall foliage forecast (typically released in September) for projected dates.
Osaka Castle Park (above), the second largest park in the city, is one of the top places to take in the autumn colours, as the area surrounding the castle sports neat rows of golden ginkgo trees. Another popular leaf-spotting location in Osaka is Daisen Park. It has a serene Japanese garden, large pond and lush foliage, all of which provide ample photo-taking opportunities. If you prefer to enjoy your fall scenery with a side of retail therapy, head to Midosuji Boulevard. Situated in the vibrant Minami district, the shopping street is lined with towering trees and luxury boutiques where you can shop to your heart’s content.
Fancy a day trip? Hop on the train at Namba Station to get to Minoo Park (above) about 1.5 hours away from the property. This forested valley is home to a picturesque waterfall, ancient temple buildings and walking trails ringed by a dense canopy of trees. There’s also Mount Kongō, part of a mountain range that runs along the border of the Osaka and Nara prefectures. It has numerous climbing paths dotted with shrines and temples, making it an ideal choice for hikers who want to enjoy the autumn foliage.
Osaka’s neighbouring prefecture of Nara is another prime region for leaf-peeping, so make a beeline for the idyllic Nara Park (above). A 45-minute train journey from Osaka-Namba Station, the park is known for its free-roaming wild deer. In the fall, the maple trees come ablaze in dazzling shades, and you can visit at night for a unique viewing experience (the grounds are open 24 hours a day).
Isuien Garden and Tanzan Shrine are two other Nara venues where you can soak up the sights of autumn. The former is a tranquil Japanese-style garden complete with charming bridges, ponds and walking paths and there is an art museum featuring East Asian works. Meanwhile, the latter is a mountainous Shinto shrine that has a 13-storey wooden pagoda encircled by verdant trees that are cloaked in vibrant hues during this time of year.
Autumn is a pleasant season to tour Osaka, and temperatures in November range from a high of 18°C to a low of 9°C. Given that the early mornings and evenings can get chilly, we suggest packing layers to keep warm. Do also bring a rain jacket as you may experience some wet weather.
To get around the country with ease, you can purchase a Japan Rail Pass (only available to visiting tourists), which offers unlimited rides on Japan Rail national trains for a duration of seven, 14 or 21 days. Within Osaka, you can take advantage of the Osaka Amazing Pass, which can be obtained for a one- or two-day period. This gives you unlimited train and bus rides, plus entry to around 40 popular attractions.
And while it’s easy to get caught up admiring the fall foliage, don’t forget to make some time to check out Osaka’s culinary scene – after all, it’s dubbed Japan’s food capital for good reason. You’ll find plenty of stellar street-food vendors, intimate izakaya joints and top-notch restaurants to refuel at after a long day of sightseeing.
Exclusive discounts are available for Fraser World members apply as follows:
- Crystal: 20％ off Best Flexible Rate, inclusive of daily breakfast
- Sapphire: 23％ off Best Flexible Rate, inclusive of daily breakfast
- Diamond: 28％ off Best Flexible Rate, inclusive of daily breakfast
Book now! Log in with your Fraser World account and start planning your trip with these exclusive discounts before 31 December 2022.
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