Orange maple leaves

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The 10 Best Autumn Leaf Viewing Spots in Miyagi & Fukushima Prefectures

Northern Japan's Tohoku region can become jaw-droppingly beautiful with the changing colors of autumn. Here are ten of the best spots to see the gorgeous fall foliage in the prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima.

Naruko Gorge

Photo by inook2011 via Wikimedia Commons

The best autumn-leaf viewing seasons for Naruko-kyo Gorge is from the mid-October to the beginning of November. You can enjoy the view of beautiful autumn leaves as the vast gorge is dressed in red and yellow. The view from Miharashi-dai is picturesque as you can see some oddly-shaped rocks and greens in addition to the beautiful red and yellow leaves.

Mt. Kurikoma

Photo: 佐藤智史 via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Kurikoma (栗駒山) offers great enjoyments in each of the four seasons, including mountain climbing in the summer, and onsen in the winter. The mountain offers another great enjoyment in the autumn in where you can enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves while climbing. The view that resembles the huge red carpet is breathtaking.

Autumn Leaves Viewed from Abukuma Line Boats

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Photo:http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp

In the town of Marumori, which is situated on the northern side of the Abukuma Mountains, you can enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Abukuma Line boats. Lushly green in the summer, this area offers spectacular views of the fall colors in autumn. You are pretty much guaranteed to have a great time if you view the autumn leaves from the boat while you are taking the gentle breeze from the river. You can also enjoy a local specialty called Imoni, a stew of meat, taro (satoimo) and other ingredients that is usually eaten outdoors in autumn.

Akiu Otaki Falls

Akiu Falls in autumn
Photo by Crown of Lenten rose via Wikimedia Commons

Akiu Otaki Falls, considered one of Japan's three best waterfalls, is formed by the Natori River, whose dynamic stream flowing through the steep gorge from its source in the Ou Mountains. The contrast between the white waterfall and the autumn leaves on the trees surrounding the waterfall is marvelous.

Choroko Lake

Choroko Lake (長老湖) is 2km (1.24mi) in its circumference, and located at 500m (1640ft) above sea level. The lake has blue and clear water, and the contrast between the red and yellow from the autumn leaves and the scenery of Mt. Fubozan which rises in the front. The reflection of autumn leaves is also superb.

Urabandai

Mt Bandai with lake in foreground
Photo by 51n1 on Flickr

The best time for autumn-leaf viewing is at around the end of October. Lake Hibara is nearby, formed when a river was blocked by volcanic mud from the eruption of Mt. Bandai, and gorgeous autumn foliage can be enjoyed all around the lake's 38km (23-mile) circumference.

Weeping Maple Trees of Nakakamado

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Photo:http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp

Shidare Momiji – "the weeping maple trees" – of Nakakamado have been designated as a national natural treasure. These maple trees are planted within the grounds of Kannon-do Temple. These weeping maple trees, a small one and a large one intertwined together, is a must-see attraction, as they are precious in terms of plant morphology and plant genetics.

Oze

boardwalk amid the orange grass
Photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) on Flickr

Oze National Park, which extends to four prefectures — Gunma, Fukushima, Niigata and Tochigi — is another great autumn-leaf viewing destinations where you can fully enjoy the great Mother Nature.

Orange and red leaves of a pond-side bush
Photo by Yukiko Yamamoto on Flickr

Autumn Leaves along the Bandai-Azuma Skyline

The Bandai-Azuma skyline in fall
Photo by M Murakami on Flickr

The 29km (18mi)-long Bandai-Azuma Skyline attracts many tourists as one of the great spots for autumn-leaf viewing each year. The view from “Azuma Hakkei (8 great scenic spots of Azuma)”, in particular, which were selected by a renowned writer, Yasushi Inoue, are recommended. You can also enjoy the tour of onsens as there are onsens around this area.

Goshiki-numa Ponds

Red leaves against a blue lake
Photo by Raita Futo on Flickr

Along the Goshiki-numa nature trail, you can enjoy viewing the autumn leaves from oomomiji maples, Japanese maples, and Japanese sumac. By living up to their names, Goshiki-numa ponds are consist of several ponds including Bishamon-numa, Aka-numa, Midoro-numa, Benten-numa, Ruri-numa, and Ao-numa. For that reason, they are one of the great tourist attractions where you can enjoy the ponds with various shades of blue.

There are so many autumn-leaf viewing spots in Miyagi and Fukukshima. We hope you can visit as many as possible.

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