Fall foliage in Saitama

23Saitama Fall Foliage Spot: Nakatsukyo (中津峡), Chichibu

Nakatsuk Gorge attracts many visitors in autumn to its maple filled valley. As one of the main sightseeing spots in Okuchichibu, Nakatsu Gorge does not disappoint. Because of its unique geology that makes it hard to develop, the area is practically untouched. As a result, the scene is an example of the original natural scenery of Japan. The cool colors of the rough landscape blended with the warm hues of autumn leaves creates a spectacular portrait of Japanese nature. Amazingly, Chichibu is not too far from the towering buildings of Tokyo, so it is possible to spend a day maple hunting here from the big city.

First colors: Middle of October
Color Peak: End of October until the beginning of November
Access: 50min Seibu Kanko Bus ride from Mitsumineguchi Station (Chichibu Railway) until  Aiharabashi
Address: Nakatsugawa, Chichibu-shi, 369-1903 Saitama
Ranking: ★★★☆☆

24Saitama Fall Foliage Spot: Togo Park (東郷公園), Hanno

There are about 1,000 trees planted at Togo Park in Hanno, Saitama. In the fall, they turn crimson, bathing the park in warm light as the sun shines through the autumn leaves. The park is named after General Togo, or Heihachiro Togo. A statue of the leader stands in front of a leafy backdrop presenting their autumn colors in fall, and nearby is a Japanese garden. The history and natural beauty combined make Togo Park a delightful spot to view autumn leaves in Saitama.

In late November, the Autumn Maple Festival at Togo Park is held. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk under the leaves away from the Tokyo crowds. During this time, there is also a jazz festival held and a “light-up” event that illuminates the leaves in the evening. Admission is just 100 yen.

First colors: Beginning of November
Color Peak: Middle of November until the end of November
Recommended Spots: The grounds of Chichibu Ontake Shrine
Event: Maple Leaf Festival
Date: November 19th (Saturday) – 3pm~; November 20th (Sunday) – 10am~
Details: Saturday – Jazz music beneath the maple trees, Sunday – music and dance performances; as well as food stands
Admission: 100 yen (adults)
Access: 20min walk from Agano Station (Seibu Chichibu Line)
Address: 580 Sakaishi, Hanno-shi, 357-0215 Saitama
Ranking: ★★★★☆