Though spring’s cherry blossoms often steal the spotlight in Japan, the country’s autumn hues towards the end of the year are arguably just as beautiful as the pink flurries in April. Surprisingly, you don’t have to travel far outside the city to see breathtaking autumn views. In fact, you can find many stunning autumn landscapes in the Tokyo suburbs! That’s right, even though Saitama Prefecture neighbors Tokyo, there is plenty of beautiful Japanese nature to see.

Saitama Prefecture 21 ~ 27

21Saitama Fall Foliage Spot: Nagatoro (長瀞), Chichibu​

Nagatoro is famous for its scenic cliffs that have been carved out by the Arakawa River. Many boat tours take visitors on a beautiful ride down the river to view the fascinating geography. In fact, Nagatoro is sometimes called the window to the earth because of the unique look at the earth’s crust peeking above the ground. The area is made more spectacular in autumn, as the fall foliage reaches its peak. A flood of colors overwhelms visitors with natural beauty, as blue skies, autumn hues, grey cliffs, and clear water paint the scene. The best place to see this stunning landscape in Saitama is Nagatoro Iwadatami.

First colors: End of October
Color Peak: Middle of November until the end of November
Recommended Spot: Around Iwadatami
Access: 5min walk from Nagatoro Station (Chichibu Railway)
Address: Nagatoro-machi, Chichibu-gun, 369-1300 Saitama
Ranking: ★★★★☆

22Saitama Fall Foliage Spot: Mount Hodo, Chichibu

Mount Hodo rests on the north side of Chichibu Basin and reaches up to a height 497 meters above Chichibu. You can take a ropeway up to the top to get a panoramic view of the area. In autumn, the fall colors spill down from the top of the mountain and spread across Chichibu. Hodosan Shrine mystifies with its serene beauty and spirituality. For great hiking and Japanese culture, it’s hard to top Mount Hodo in all its autumn glory.

A photo posted by Kzm Iwt (@kzmkzmmzkmzk) on

First colors: End of October
Color Peak: Middle of November until the end of November
Recommended Spot: Hodosan Small Animal Park
Access: 15min walk from Nagatoro Station (Chichibu Railway) until the ropeway Station
Address: Nagatoro-machi, Chichibu-gun, 369-1305 Saitama
Ranking: ★★★★☆