10 Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Akita in 2020

Feb 13 2020
Mar 10 2020

When you think of autumn, what comes to mind? For many Japanese people, autumn signifies a time to eat seasonal foods, enjoy the arts, and play sports, possibly because of the pleasant weather autumn brings. The long, hot summer is finally over, and the cooler temperatures mean that a variety of fruits and vegetables come into season.

One of the most popular activities to enjoy during autumn is viewing the changing colors. In this article, we will introduce ten spots in Akita prefecture that have autumn colors you won’t want to miss.

#1 Dakigaeri Keikoku Gorge

Dakigaeri Keikoku Gorge

Sometimes called the Yabakei Valley of Tohoku, the Dakigaeri Keikoku Gorge is famous for its sheer cliffs, the Mikaeru Waterfall, virgin forests of cherry blossom trees and maple trees, and beautiful fresh verdure and autumn colors. Spanning the Dakigaeri Keikoku Gorge is the Kami no Iwahashi Bridge, which is a particularly superb spot to enjoy the stunning scenery of the autumn leaves. A festival for the changing leaves is usually held at the gorge from October 10 to November 10, and at this festival there are a variety of events such as traditional culture displays and tea ceremonies.

Best time to visit: late October through early November

Dakigaeri Keikoku Gorge Akita

#2 Mt. Chokai

Mt. Chokai

Mt. Chokai, which lies along the boundary between Akita and Yamagata prefectures, has extreme temperatures, resulting in clearly defined seasons and exceptional views of autumn colors. These autumn leaves are best enjoyed while driving along a mountain road known as the Chokai Blue Line. From the nearby Gekkogawa Dam, you can admire the magnificence of the red bridge that stretches between the dam and Mt. Chokai as well as the contrast of the changing colors of the leaves.

Best time to visit : mid- to late October

Mt. Chokai Yamagata

#3 Oyasukyo Daifunto Gorge

In this valley tinged with red and yellow leaves is Daifunto, natural hot springs enshrouded by steam and the roar of gushing water. The valley is equipped with walkways, making it a great place to take in the autumn colors while enjoying a hike. Also, every year in October the Ishinomaki Seafood Market is held, featuring fresh seafood caught in Kessenumako Port in Miyagi Prefecture. We recommend taking some time to gaze at the beautiful leaves while enjoying some of the fresh fish and other wares from the market.

Best time to visit: mid-October to early November

Oyasukyo Daifunto Gorge Akita

#4 Mt. Akita Komagatake

Mt. Akita Komagatake

Mt. Akita Komagatake is especially popular in summer when the flowers on the alpine plants begin to bloom, but it’s also known for its autumn colors. The leaves begin to change color as the temperature falls, so the leaves on the trees higher up on the mountain where it’s colder change first. From the summit, the view of nearby Tazawako Lake and the colorful leaves on the mountainside creates a beautiful contrast.

Best time to visit: early to mid-October

Mt. Akita-Komagatake Akita

#5 Todotaki Falls

Todotaki Falls

At Todotaki Falls and Todotaki Gorge, visitors can enjoy walking with a view of clear streams and vividly colored mountain ridges, an area so beautiful it is called “Heaven’s Promenade.” Stretching between the Moriyoshi Wildlife Center and Todataki Falls, the area is set up with walkways that lead through the Noro River Beech Forest. The beautiful autumn colors of the forest and the clear waters visible from the walkways make for an unforgettable view.

Best time to visit: early to mid-October

Todotaki Fall Akita

#6 Tazawako Lake

Tazawako Lake

Tazawako Lake is 20 kilometers in circumference and, with a depth of 423.4 meters, it is Japan’s deepest lake. The surrounding forest turns red and yellow in autumn, and the contrast between the colorful leaves and the surface of the clear, blue lake is strikingly beautiful. The view of the lake and leaves at sunrise is particularly stunning.

Best time to visit: late October to early November

Tazawako Lake Akita

#7 Agariko Daio

Agariko Daio is a large, unusually shaped beech tree in Chokai Quasi-National
Park. Nearing Agariko Daio, the surrounding trees curve and bend and seem to change in shape. Agariko Daio is in the middle of a forest, and the path leading to the tree is relatively flat, making it a great place for an easy hike. The forest in autumn is as beautiful as a photo, the perfect place to enjoy the autumn colors.

Best time to visit: late October

Agariko Daio Akita

#8 Kakunodate Samurai District

Kakunodate Samurai District

Kakunodate is home to a well-preserved samurai district that dates back over 380 years. The area is particularly famous for its cherry blossoms in spring, but its autumn leaves are also a must-see. The colorful leaves float over the area’s signature black wooden fences, creating a picturesque scene as if from a fairytale. From October 1 through November 30, the trees in the area are lit up from dusk until 10:00pm, creating an entirely different atmosphere from the daytime.

Best time to visit: late October to early November

Kakunodate Samurai District Akita

#9 Taiheiko Lake / Komatakyo Valley

Taiheiko Lake Komatakyo Valley

Komatakyo Valley, located upstream from Taiheiko Lake, offers picturesque views of waterfalls, the ravine, and colorful leaves. There are leisure cruises offered on the Taiheiko Lake, and in just 30 minutes from departure the boat will arrive at Komatakyo Gorge Wharf. From the wharf, a 1.8-kilometer trail leads past ten unique waterfalls, and at the end, the impressive 20-meter-tall Sangaitaki Waterfall adds the perfect finish to a leaf-viewing stroll. In addition, an autumn leaf festival is held in the area every October.

Best time to visit: early to late October

Taiheiko Lake / Komatakyo Gorge Akita

#10 Akita Nairiku Jukan Tetsudo Railway / Omatagawa Kyoryo Bridge

Akita Nairiku Jukan Tetsudo Railway

Omatagawa Kyoryo Bridge, a bright red railway bridge on the Akita Nairiku Line between Okashinai Station and Kayakusa Station, is a popular spot for train lovers. The surrounding area is covered with woods, and during autumn the red bridge, fiery leaves, and colorful train cars come together to create a scene as if from a painting. Gazing at the scenery from outside is beautiful, of course, but the view from inside the train is equally as impressive.

Best time to visit: mid-October to early November

Akita Nairiku Jukan Tetsudo Railway / Omatagawa Kyoryo Bridge Akita

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