【AUTUMN】The season for beautiful foliage has arrived in Japan!

Autumn foliage is only seen in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere in areas such as East Asia, Europe, and North America.
Broad-leaved trees usually become red and Japan has 26 species of broadleaved trees, while Western countries have 13 species.
This is because most of the broad leaved trees are extinct due to glaciers in North America and Europe. The broad leaved trees in Japan survive due to warm air currents.

Autumn foliage

Shrine and colorful leaves.

Fallen leaves

Maple leaves

A variety of colors.

The autumn foliage in Japan consists of many colors including yellowish red, greenish yellow, and brown.
Some don’t even change color, and the color combinations are very beautiful. Fallen leaves on roads and in gardens create a dreamy atmosphere.
You’ll sometimes see red maple leaves on the bedding of green moss at old shrines, which looks even more beautiful.

Gingko trees



Gingko trees that become yellow.

The most famous yellow tree is the Gingko. The shape of the gingko leaf is so unique that looks as if its grasping for a shamisen. Roadways underneath the gingko trees will be full of fallen yellow leaves and are very beautiful.
You can eat the Gingko leaves, but it has a distinctive smell that some of you may not like. It is used in the dish, ‘chawanmushi’.


Maples leaves in a Japanese garden

Maples leaves in a Japanese garden

Maple leaves that become red.

The most famous red tree during autumn is the maple.
Its shape looks like the palm of a hand and it’s said to have come in 26 different varieties in Japan.
Japan is #1 in the world when considering the variety and amount of maple trees. It is very common for Japanese people to reminisce about maple trees. These leaves are sometimes added to seasonal cuisine and Kaiseki dishes to give them a quaint and seasonal taste.

A Rice field in autumn

Rice plant

Pumper grass

Pumper grass is also beautiful during autumn.

Rice fields also become yellow during autumn. Backlit pumper grass is really stunning. Equinox flowers will also bloom on the side of roads, depending on the area. The contrast of golden pumpers and red equinox flowers is a bit different from the usual, autumn foliage.

Let’s visit Japan during autumn!

Japan has four seasons and each, provides completely different scenery. Please try to visit Japan, and experience it’s stunning autumn season.

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Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.