☙ Fall Foliage 2019 ❧ Kyushu - The Waterfall and The Yellow Maple Leaves at Takachiho Gorge
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. Because Kyushu is located in the south of Japan, the weather is relatively warmer and thus the foliage season comes later in the year. The autumn maple leaves turning red and yellow at the Takachiho Gorge is one of the best places to see the autumn foliage.
Driving around Kyushu in search of autumn foliage
Kyushu, the island in the southwest of Japan is another place of wonders.
- Driving around Kyushu gives you the freedom of looking around different places at your own pace.
Especially when you know the places to see the foliage are not facilitated with public transport.
- Make your way to Kirishima Jingu【霧島神宮：きりしまじんぐう】 (Kirishima Shrine) in Kagoshima prefecture.
Here you can see the changes of the season at any time of the year.
Cherryblossoms bloom from March to April then comes the season for Kirishima azaleas from May then the flowers of the azalea bloom bright purple till June. The red spider lilies come into season around September and into the foliage season from Mid-October till the end of November. The shrine the snow is also a beautiful sight at winter.
- The first Torii gates of the shrine had been repainted early this year, so if you go now you will see the gates in red.
In Miyazaki, Kyushu, there is this place that you can't miss during the foliage season, and that is Takachihokyo 【高千穂峡：たかちほきょう】(the Takachiho Gorge).
Takachiho Gorge is located in the north of Miyazaki prefecture inside the Usuki district (Map
This place has also been nominated by one of the travel magazines as one of the best places to see the foliage around the world.
- We highly recommend you to take the car as there are only limited numbers of shuttle buses that operating to there throughout the year (only 4 days in each month).
Here is a detailed access info from the official Takachiho Tourist Association website.
- There are boats for rental to cruise along the beautiful river.
You might even see wild animals and birds during your ride if you're lucky.
What's more to do after seeing the foliage?
- Take a soak in the onsen for a cozy afternoon relaxation.
Places like this Ryokojin Sanso (official website in Japanese) in Kagoshima prefecture can be found around Kyushu.
Find your own little onsen to end your trip.
If you wish to see our full detailed road trip plan for Kyushu, check out this article.
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