Fukuoka has many famous mountains and gorges, and each of them offers great beauty in all seasons. Here are some autumn-leaf viewing spots that you shouldn't miss if you're planning to visit Fukuoka during the fall season.
The Komyozen-ji temple is located in Dazaifu-shi, at the very end of the approach to the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Although the temple is also known by the name of “Koke-dera” (temple of moss), it also has beautiful autumn leaves and rhododendron flowers. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from mid to late November.
The Hyugami-kyo Gorge in Yame-shi can be found on the lakeside of the Hyugami Dam on the upstream of Yabe River. This is a mysterious autumn-leaf viewing spot: according to the legend, a winged horse once came out from the “Kehogi-iwa”, a huge rock with a big opening. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is at the beginning of November.
Raizan Sennyoji Daihio-in Temple
photo：Szabolcs Arany on flickr
The Raizan Sennyoji Daihio-in Temple in Itoshima-shi is an old temple found on the midpoint of Mount Raizan. Among the many Buddhist statues that can be found at this temple, Senju Kannon (“1,000-Armed Standing Kannon”) is designated as a national important cultural asset.
The foliage on the 400-year-old maple tree is also not to be missed. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from the end of October to mid-November. .
Fujie’s Gyorakuen, a nationally designated scenic garden, offers a beautiful scenery created by the contrast between the green moss-covered rocks and the red autumn leaves.
Wax Tree Road of Yanagisakasone
photo：gtknj on flickr
The wax tree road of Yanagisakasone in Kurume-shi is a popular autumn-leaf viewing spot which features a 1.1 km long avenue of approximately 200 wax trees. Designated as a natural monument by the Fukuoka prefecture, it is one of the must-see autumn-leaf viewing spots. The best time for autumn-leaf viewing is at the end of November.
Mount Inugatake is a rugged mountain, which people used to be afraid of as it was believed to be a mountain of ogres. The entire mountain is covered with Tsukushi shakunage, a type of rhododendron indigenous to this region and a designated national natural monument, in full bloom from spring to early summer. In fall, the mountain gets covered with beautiful autumn leaves from maple trees. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from mid-October to mid-November.
Kamado Jinja Shrine
photo：yuki5287 on flickr
The Kamado Jinja shrine is located on Mount Homanzan, which people have been worshipping as a mountain where gods reside. The autumn leaves are concentrated around the steps leading to the shrine, and the color gradation is very beautiful. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is in mid-November.
Akizuki Castle Ruins Area
The Akizuki Castle ruins area in Asakura-shi is a castle town referred to as “small Kyoto in Chikuzen”. There are approximately 20 maple trees around the black gate, and they create a beautiful contrast with the gate on the background when they change color in autumn. This is a very popular shooting spot for photographers. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is in late November.
Kiyomizu-dera Honbo Garden
The Kiyomizu-dera Honbo Garden in Miyama-shi is a nationally designated scenic site. The garden offers different landscapes from one season to another, including the beautiful Japanese maple trees in fall. The best time for autumn-leaf viewing is from the end of November to the beginning of December.
Mount Hiko in Soeda-machi, Tagawa-gun straddles Fukuoka’s border with Oita. One of the most sacred mountains in Japan, Mount Hiko has been a popular place for ascetic training from the olden times. This spot offers a longer autumn-leaf viewing time since the trees change their color later as the altitude gets lower. The best time for autumn-leaf viewing is from early to mid-November.
The Fukakura Gorge in Soeda-machi, Tagawa-gun, is located on the south-west of the foot of Mount Shojigatake, which is also considered a hidden retreat of Mount Hiko. The natural formation with oddly-shaped rocks and gradation of autumn leaves creates a very beautiful scenery. The best autumn-leaf viewing time is from the end of October to the beginning of November.
Shiranoe Botanical Gardens
In Shiranoe Botanical Gardens in Kita-kyushu, you can enjoy some spectacular maple trees turning to red in autumn. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from the end of November to the beginning of December
Mount Sangun is located in Umi-machi, Kasuya-gun, and is part of the Dazaifu Prefectural Natural Park, which is a popular destination for hiking. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from early to mid-November.
Kawachi Fuji-en (Wisteria Garden)
The 3000 square meters park known for its world famous wisteria tunnel is located in Yawatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi. The garden is only open to public for the wisteria season in spring and autumn-leaf season in fall. The scenery of 700 maple trees turned red is very impressive and worth a visit. The best autumn-leaf viewing season is from mid-November to the beginning of December.
We hope you enjoyed our walkthrough of some of the great autumn-leaf viewing spots in Fukuoka. If you have the chance to visit some of them, please share your impressions in the comments section!