Momijigari - A Symphony of Autumn Colours
Much like the coverage of Japan's Sakura Season, the colours of autumn are eagerly predicted and followed, with forecasts reported across the country on tv and radio, websites, and even published in regional guides and newspapers.
However unlike the spring, where the cherry blossom bloom begins in the warmer southern areas of Japan before moving north, "Koyo" — the autumnal turn — starts in Japan's northernmost prefecture before moving down towards places like Tokyo and Osaka.
The location and timing of the fall change relies on a lot of factors, including the temperature and the humidity, to the amount of trees and flora, and elevation of an area. Fortunately, thanks to observable variables and changes, this is also what allows observers to narrow down when and where the best spots for enjoying the colours will be.
Local Viewing Spots - When & Where
In 2017, the best time to view the autumnal colours in Niseko and its surrounding areas was towards the end of September, peaking in early October.
We expect similar timing for 2018, but thanks to record-breaking early season snow and a warm-weathered summer we're interested to see how this will effect the appearance of nature's most dramatic season — watch this space for more updates!
Barely 20 minutes away from AYA Niseko, Fukidashi Park sits amidst renowned spring area, Kyougoku. Enjoy the turning of the leaves with some truly serene backdrops, including an expansive natural park, viewing hill with a towering flight of stairs, and its main attraction—a huge water spring area with a series of walkways and bamboo pipes—boasting the freshest natural mineral water you will ever taste.
Niseko Panorama line
Driving on the Panorama Line is a truly unique pleasure that brings together the joy of Hokkaido's mountain roads with a glorious backdrop of fall colours — and for this reason it is one of domestic travellers' favourite pastimes. Enjoy the 60 minute journey from Niseko to coastal Iwanai while taking in sights of mountains, the sea of Japan, and picture-perfect landscapes.
The road’s highest point lies in the Chisenupuri Pass (partway between Kyowa and Rankoshi) with many beautiful destinations to visit as you ebb and flow along Route 66’s gentle winding roads.
The starting point for a variety of nature hikes and one of the Panorama line’s many convenient pit-stops, the Shinsen numa marshes and wetlands provide an eclectic canvas of colour, wildlife, and plantlife unseen in the winter months.
Lake Toya (Toyako)
Just a short drive away from the Niseko area, Lake Toya lies on the opposite side of Mount Yotei. During the autumn months, Toya is framed by rolling forests of vivid colours by day, with daily firework displays of equally impressive colours reflecting off the rippling surface by night.
Lake Shikotsu (Shikotsuko)
Located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park and well-known for its abundant red salmon and lined by 4 separate volcanoes, a journey to Lake Shikotsu is well worth the trip.
As Japan’s second deepest and the nation’s northernmost ice-free lake, Shikotsu makes for perfect viewing of crystal clear water surrounded by contrasting colours of nature, well into the colder months.
Blanketed in white in the winter, pulsing with colourful blossom in the spring, awash with green in the summer, and covered in powerful reds and golds in the fall; the four distinct seasons make the local area feel like a completely different destination every few months.
With AYA Niseko sitting at its base, Annupuri is absolutely stunning in the autumn time: Set ablaze by crimson, umber and gold and providing 360 degree views of the majestic Mount Yotei and the surrounding regions, hiking Annupuri during this season has to be experienced first-hand to be believed.
If you'd like to know more about Koyo season, or about booking summer and autumn stays, please don't hesitate to contact a member of our team.