Here's Why You Should Attend Japan's Autumn Leaves Festival

A celebration of nature's artistry along with the guarantee of an unforgettable experience, the Fuji-Kawaguchiko festival is the best way to usher in the change in season
With vibrant autumn hues against the backdrop of Mount Fuji, this festival is a visual treat
With vibrant autumn hues against the backdrop of Mount Fuji, this festival is a visual

As autumn circles around the corner, so does the annual Fuji- Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival. This should be your go-to destination if you are looking for a serene escape among the hills. One of the most breathtaking autumn events in the world, Fuji- Kawaguchiko is held every year in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture to commemorate the changing of leaves in the area. You will be greeted with fiery red and golden leaves that will take your breath away.

What is Fuji–Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival?

Fuji Five Lakes, or the Fujigoko area, consists of Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, Saiko, Motosuko, and Shojiko. Situated in the northern base of Mount Fuji, it offers extraordinary scenery and picture-perfect views along the banks of the lakes to walk through. While the breathtaking views of Mt Fuji are available to see all year round, the best time is the autumn foliage, which is particularly enchanting to see.

The fest celebrates the changing colours of the season
The fest celebrates the changing colours of the seasonanaoha/Instagram

So, to celebrate the change of colours in the area, this autumn festival takes place on the northern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko in early November. It's a festivity of vibrant fall foliage with different food stalls, live performances, and opportunities to try local specialities. The peak foliage period typically falls in mid-November, making it just the right time for visitors to pour in. The 2023 edition marks the 25th year of the festival since its inception in 1998. It usually takes place from late October to mid-November. 


Situated near the Nashigawa River, Momiji-Kairo is a mesmerising corridor and the venue for the main event of the Fuji-Kawaguchiko festival, also called the "Momiji Matsuri." It is an enchanting avenue with around 60 massive bright red maple trees. The picturesque road, fondly called "Tunnel of Autumn Leaves," is decked with golden leaves and stretches for about 2 kilometres, creating a vision of beauty.

The stunning Momoji-Kairo corridor
The stunning Momoji-Kairo corridortimeouttokyo_/Instagram

As the sun sets, the festival offers a romantic ambience. There are lights everywhere from sunset till 10 pm every evening. The illuminated Momoji-Kairo against the serene backdrop of Mount Fuji in the moon's glow are both must-see spectacles. Local stalls come to life throughout the event, offering treats and souvenirs. It makes for a perfect opportunity to savour the flavours of the region while immersing yourself in the merry atmosphere.

Other Attractions

In addition to its natural beauty, there are many historical landmarks worth exploring. The Kubota Museum, Iyashi no Sato, and the Chureito Pagoda provide valuable insights into the region's rich cultural and historical heritage.

Located on the mountainside, Chureito Pagoda is a five-story pagoda that is within the Arakurayama Sengen Park. To reach the pagoda, visitors must climb nearly 400 steps, passing through a torii gate (traditional Japanese entrance gate), all while enjoying the delightful views of maple trees lining the stairs along the way.

Lake Yamanakako
Lake YamanakakoDeposit photos

There is also the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. The museum's garden becomes a captivating sight in mid-November when hundreds of deciduous trees burst into vibrant autumn colours, which you don't want to miss.

Another offbeat place to look out for is Lake Yamanakako, one of the lakes that surround the majestic Mt. Fuji. With fewer crowds, Lake Yamanakako is an unexplored gem that looks just as amazing during autumn. So, if you want to explore a less crowded site with incredible serenity, Lake Yamanakako deserves your attention.

Iyashi no Sato is a Japanese traditional craft village that is located on the western shores of Lake Saiko. It also serves as an open-air museum where thatched houses have been converted into art galleries, craft shops or restaurants. Many tourists come here to experience the local artistry or for photography.

Getting there

Location: Maple Corridor Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0304 0555-72-3168

Bus/Train: The cheapest way to get there is by bus. From Otsuki Station on the JR Chuo Line, take the Fujikyuko Line and get off at Kawaguchiko Station. From there, take the Kawaguchiko tour bus, Red Line. It is approximately 20 minutes from the Kubota Itchiku Museum bus stop.

Train: The Fuji Excursion service introduced recently takes passengers from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station. The travel time is under 2 hours for a fee of ¥4,060 or INR 2,283.

If this festival inspires you, we recommend you to keep a look out for the dates revealed. Free of cost, the festival brings you the best of what the season has to offer.

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