5 top spots to see the autumn foliage

It is already autumn in Japan and the perfect time to look out for the beautiful autumn foliage which you can find in many different colors. Especially in the countryside everything is getting, red, orange or yellow!
Around Tokyo and also in the center of Tokyo are many nice spots to see the autumn foliage. Here are my 5 top recommendations around Tokyo to see beautiful autumn colors in the nature.
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Nikko – Irohazaka
The winding roads of Nikko which connects the popular Toshogu shrine and the lake Chuzenji are the perfect spot to see beautiful colorful autumn foliage. The Akechidaira Platau at the top of the winding roads has a parking lot with a free observation area that offers nice views to the valley below.
Also if you going down the new winding roads (they are always one way) there is a small parking lot where you can see two big waterfalls including the nice autumn foliage. 
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Nikko – Tamozawa Villa
Also in Nikko is a very nice small Japanese traditional garden which belongs to the Tamozawa Villa. The garden has many nice typical red maple leaves trees. When visiting the Tamozawa Villa it is also possible to take some nice photos in old tatami rooms which red maple trees in the background.  It is really a nice place if you love old traditional Japanese stuff!
Chiba - Yoro Keikoku Valley 
The Yōrō Keikoku Valley is located in the south of Kimitsu Chibi prefecture. The park has a small tourist office where you can get a map of all the sights in the area. The best way to see the nice autumn foliage is from the Awamata waterfalls. From the waterfall you can take a nice walk along the river, which is about 2 kilometers and ends at the Suigetsutempel. During autumn the whole area will be red, orange and yellow.
Tokyo – Gardens of Edo Tokyo
If you don´t want to go outside of Tokyo to see beautiful autumn leaves, you can also make a stop of one of the great Gardens of Edo Tokyo. Mostly all has beautiful red Japanese maple trees and some even has autumn illumination specials like the Rikugien Garden.
For more information about the garden please check my article about the Gardens of Edo.
Yamanashi - Chureito Pagoda
The Chureito Pagoda close to Mt. Fuji can be reached from Shimo-Yoshida station.
To reach the Pagoda you have to go up 400 step stairs to the top of a small mountain where you can find the Shiogama shrine which belongs to the pagoda. From a small platform behind the pagoda you will have a great view over the countryside and Mt. Fuji. You can find this view often on postcards of Japan. During autumn all around the pagoda will be full of red autumn leaves. 

Kerstin Yamane