Japan's southern island of Kyushu has way too many autumn-leaf viewing spots to introduce them all to you here, so let us show you some of the best spots in Saga and Nagasaki.
1. Obuchi Mebuchi Park (Saga)
Obuchi Mebuchi Park (雄淵雌淵公園, Obuchi Mebuchi Koen) in Saga Prefecture is a gorge located midway between Furuyu and Kumanokawa Onsen.
The trees in the area typically turn red in early- to mid-November.
2. Seikei Park (Saga)
Photo by mahlervv [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsSeikei Park (西渓公園, Seikei Koen) is a garden located in the city of Taku, Saga Prefecture. There are about 180 maple trees within the garden, and they start changing color from the beginning of November to mid-November.
3. Mifuneyama Rakuen Park (Saga)
Photo by Yuji Sakamoto [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMifuneyama Rakuen Park (御船山楽園), located in Takeo, Saga Prefecture, was built by the 28th lord of the Takeo Domain. The best spots offered by the park are Hyotan Pond, where you can view the reflection of Mifune-yama on the pond surface, and Furimuki-zaka. The best autumn-leaf viewing time is around mid-November.
4. Kasuga Gorge (Saga)
Photo by mahlervv [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsKasuga Gorge (春日渓谷, Kasuga Keikoku) is a beautiful gorge in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture. You can enjoy the beautiful contrast created by the rock surface and the clear stream as there are many acer and maple trees.
5. Kunenan Mansion (Saga)
Photo by gtknj on FlickrKunenan Mansion (九年庵, kunenan), located in Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, is a former villa and the garden built by Itami Yataro, a big-time businessman of the Meiji period. This park is designated a site of scenic beauty. The scene of autumn leaves covering the garden is breathtakingly beautiful. This garden is only made available to the public during the autumn-leaf viewing season, just nine days from November 15th to 23rd.
6. Niiyama Jinja Shrine (Saga)
Photo by Pekachu [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia CommonsNiiyama Shrine (仁比山神社, niiyama jinja) in Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, is a shrine with a history going back 1200 years. This shrine has been attracting many people since the olden days, and the view of its autumn leaves lining the shrine's approach is very famous. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is between mid-November and the beginning of December.
7. Daikozenji Temple (Saga)
Photo by mahlervv [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsDaikozenji Temple (大興善寺, daikozenji), which is located in Kiyama, Saga Prefecture, is another autumn-leaf viewing spot with gorgeous scenery. Close to 500 Japanese maple trees can be found on the temple grounds.
8. Giant Ginkgo Tree of Izumiyama Benzaiten Shrine (Saga)
Photo by STA3816 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia CommonsThis huge ginkgo tree in Arita, Saga Prefecture, is said to be over 1,000 years old and is designated as a natural monument. The impressive tree is illuminated beautifully at sunset. The best time for viewing is from mid-November to the end of November each year.
9. Unzen (Nagasaki)
Photo by u dou on FlickrUnzen (雲仙) is said to be home to over 120 species of plants. The autumn leaves of this area have been designated as a national natural treasure for being representative of typical Japanese autumn leaf scenery. Seeing nearly the entire mountain dressed in red is definitely worthwhile. The best time for autumn-leaf viewing is around the beginning of November.
10. Todoroki Gorge (Nagasaki)
Todoroki Gorge (轟峡, todoroki-kyo) in Isahaya, Nagasaki Prefecture is blessed with very clear water, selected as one of the Japan’s 100 Remarkable Waters.
There are about 30 waterfalls of all sizes here, and the colorful autumn leaves together with the waterfalls makes for remarkably beautiful scenery.