Autumn in Japan : 10 Best Things to Do in 2019

top things to do & places to visit in Japan 2019 autumn

Autumn in Japan is from September to November, and it’s one of the best seasons to visit the country. Colourful autumn leaves are the main attraction in this time of the year as the whole country turns into colourful warm colours. Also there are numbers of special events held across Japan including some of the biggest food events and Halloween parties. Here are 10 best things to do and places to visit in autumn in Japan.

1. Autumn Leaves


It’s all about autumn leaves from October to November (Autumn leaves in Hokkaido is starting from September!!). It’s the most beautiful time of the year when the whole country is covered by colourful red, yellow and orange. From nature spots to historical sites such as Kyoto, there are numbers of amazing spots for autumn leaves viewing in Japan. Check the link below for the best autumn leaves spots in Japan!

Japan Autumn Leaves info:
Autumn Leaves Forecast in Japan 
10 Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Japan
10 Best Autumn Leaves Spots in Tokyo
10 Best Autumn Leaves Spots in Kyoto

2. Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival


Tokyo’s most popular autumn leaves event, Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival (神宮外苑いちょう祭り) is held at Meiji Jingu Gaien annually. The event features the magnificent view of Ginkgo trees which line at “Ginkgo Avenue” for about 300m in 2 lanes. There will be a market with numbers of vendors serving delicious street foods and local products. The event lasts for 2 weeks and invites around 1.8 million visitors.

More info:

3. Hiking


Autumn is the best season for outdoor activities since the weather is pretty moderate and keeps the temperature comfortable. Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities during autumn since the gorgeous autumn colours are displayed in nature. Japan has numbers of amazing spots to hike such as Hokkaido, Nagano and there are several spots where you can easily access from Tokyo such as Mt Takao, Mt Oyama and Hakone.

4. Tokyo Ramen Show


There are several food events held in Japan in autumn, as the season is described as “Autumn’s Appetite”. Some of must-visit events includes Hokkaido Food Festival, Tokyo Wagyu Show and the biggest one would be Tokyo Ramen Show which features numbers of great Ramen stores from all over Japan. If you love Ramen, it’s a great opportunity to taste numbers of great bowls of Ramen in one place! The event lasts for 10 days in late November to early December.

More info:

Tokyo Ramen Show 2019

5. Halloween


Halloween is becoming a bigger thing in Japan year by year, and there are numbers of Halloween events held across the country during the season. From the infamous Shibuya Halloween to the special horror event at Universal Studios Japan, make sure to pick the right place to celebrate the Halloween in Japan!

Halloween in Tokyo :

6. Japanese Gardens


When it comes to autumn leaves, traditional Japanese gardens are one of the best places to enjoy colourful autumn tints. The stunning collaboration of the autumn colours and Japanese Zen gardens can be only enjoy during this season. Moreover, at many gardens, light-up events will be held and they will be open till late for this special season.

Best Gardens in Tokyo▶ 7 Most Gorgeous Japanese Gardens in Tokyo
3 Greatest Gardens in Japan▶3 Best Traditional Gardens in Japan

7. Kochia Carnival


Kochia (bassia scoparia) is a different type of autumn leaves which bloom on the ground. The bushes of Kochia are planted on Miharashi Hill at Hitachi Seaside Park, covering the tremendous field of 350 ha in vivid red colour. Kochia Carnival is one of the most popular seasonal events in Japan in autumn.

More info:

8. Sumo Grand Tournament


© 2019 Voyagin, Inc.

Watching Sumo matches could be one of the most special and extraordinary experiences you can have in Japan. Sumo grand tournament is held 6 times a year across the country (every odd month). In September, Tokyo Basho will be held at Kokugikan in Tokyo, and November, Fukuoka Basho will be held at Fukuoka Kokusai Center both for 14 days. You can book your tickets directly through the links below! (English website)

Tokyo 8 to 22 September 2019
▶ Get Tickets for the Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Tokyo

Fukuoka 10 to 24 November 2019
▶ Get Tickets for the Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Fukuoka

9. Autumn Food


Autumn is the new harvest season in Japan and it’s the best time of the year to enjoy many kinds of seasonal food. There is even a phrase “Autumn Appetite” to describe autumn as the best season for eating in Japan. It’s simply the great time to visit Japan for foodies 🙂 Must-have autumn foods are Matsutake Mushroom, Sanma Fish(Pacific Saury), Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Kyoho Grapes, Chestnuts, Kaki (Japanese persimmon), etc. As I introduced earlier, there are several food events held during autumn including all-you-can-eat dessert buffets serving delicious, high-quality and photo-worthy desserts made with autumn ingredients 🙂

Related article: 

Best Food Events in Tokyo 2019

10. Enjoy early Winter Illuminations


Winter Illuminations are top attraction during winter in Japan, and many of them actually kick off in November. Illumination events tend to get crowded more in December and on forward, so it’s recommended to visit there before the high season starts.

Winter Illumination info:
Best Winter Illuminations in Japan : Japan Illumination Map
Tokyo Winter Illumination Guide