☙ Fall Foliage 2019 ❧ Kanto - Snake Through Autumn at Irohazaka
Autumn is coming to the northern hemisphere, and in Japan that means it's time for koyo (紅葉), or fall foliage viewing! Every year crowds around the country flock to the most beautiful spots to see the seasons change, and the leaves shift from green to red. With amazing weather and colorful scenery, it's a great time to explore Japan. In the Kanto region, the leaves change their colours throughout the season, so you can enjoy the leaves longer than many other parts of Japan. This time, focusing on the Nikko area of Kanto in Tochigi prefecture, the hills of Irohazaka is a place where you can enjoy the changes of leaves as you drive through.
Irohazaka 【いろは坂：いろはざか】, is a winding road that connects the city of Nikko (in Tochigi prefecture) and the lake of Chuzenji close to "Kegon no Taki"【華厳の滝：けごんのたき】 (the waterfalls of Kegon).
The roads are divided into two parts by the Kegon valley, one that climbs up the mountains from Nikko towards the lake located at the south of the valley, and one that goes down the mountains from the lake towards Nikko city located at the north.
- The best timing to see the autumn foliage here starts from mid-October and goes on till the end of October.
During the season, the yellows and reds of ginkgo trees and Japanese maple trees are beautiful to see especially in the morning sunlight.
This road is also nominated as one of the top 100 roads to see in Japan, with 48 curves along the two roads that goes for 15.9km in total length.
at Nikko, Tochigi
of the Nikko City Tourism Association.
Akechidaira Observation Deck
Once you've arrived at the lake of Chuzenji, don't forget to visit the observatory deck at the top of Akechidaira 【明智平：あけちだいら】to see the spectacular view from the top.
- There is a ropeway that starts from where the Kegon waterfall is going up to the top of the mountain where Akechidaira is.
The scenic ropeway is in operation throughout the year as long as the weather conditions are good.
See their official website here for further information.
- There are many more places around Nikko and Tochigi to see
- You can enjoy the area at any time of the year.
The Waterfall of Kegon is beautiful to see in winter, and if you go further west along the lake Chuzenji, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms at the Ryuzu waterfall (Map) in spring.
Also, check out our ultimate Tochigi guide for more things to see and do!
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