[2023 Edition] Your Guide to Fukuoka Prefecture's Best Fall Foliage Destinations-1

[2023 Edition] Your Guide to Fukuoka Prefecture's Best Fall Foliage Destinations

The best time to enjoy the exquisite autumn foliage in Fukuoka Prefecture is from late October to late November. In this article, we’re introducing popular destinations that offer events and illuminations during this time of the year. There are also hidden gems among the shrines, temples, and lesser-known spots we picked up. 

Famous Foliage Spots in the Fukuoka Area

Akizuki Castle Ruins

Akizuki Castle was founded when Nagamasa Kuroda, the leader of the Fukuoka domain, granted his third eldest son Nagaoki 50,000 koku of land (approximately 9019.5342 cubic meters of crop yields) to establish the Akizuki domain. The castle that Nagaoki built there and moved into was named “Akizuki Castle.” In later years, the Black Gate (Kuromon) was relocated to the approach to Suiyo Shrine, which was dedicated to Nagaoki. Today, the area surrounding this gate and the castle remains is celebrated for its remarkable autumn foliage by travelers.

The Ginkgo Tree of Ikazuchi Shrine

If you make your way up the 955-meter-high Mount Rai, you’ll eventually stumble upon Ikazuchi Shrine. Adorning the left side of the stone steps that ascend to this shrine is a colossal ginkgo tree, believed to be over 900 years old! In the fall, the tree bears ginkgo nuts to signal the arrival of the season. The entire area is enveloped in a tranquil and mystical ambiance, inviting visitors to indulge in its splendid beauty.

The Vibrant Foliage of Homangu Kamado Shrine

This shrine was built to worship deities that protect humanity from evil and misfortune associated with facing unlucky directions, as well as help matchmake others. During the autumn season, 300 maple and ginkgo trees paint the entire grounds with stunning shades of red, yellow, and orange, creating a picturesque display. The evening illumination during this period is also a spectacle worth witnessing!


Maple Festival Held in November!-1

Maple Festival Held in November!

The shrine also holds an annual Momiji Matsuri (Maple Festival) during this time. During the festival, visitors can explore a market offering vegetables and fruits in season, as well as delight in freshly roasted coffee and Beaujolais nouveau red wine. You can also enjoy Japanese and Western sweets and mini concerts! Don’t forget about the evening illuminations which start around this time.

  • Ipponmatsu Park (Showa Forest)

    Ipponmatsu Park (Showa Forest)

    Located at an altitude of 300 meters, Forest Nature Park serves as the starting point for those climbing Mount Sangu and Mount Homan. It is also renowned for its vibrant autumn foliage. Visitors can enjoy the stunning autumnal landscapes as they embark on a scenic 2-hour hike to the summit.

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  • The "Maple Road" of Toho Village

    The "Maple Road" of Toho Village

    The stretch of road between Tsuzumi no Sato on National Route 211 and Hogatani is aptly named “Momiji Road (Maple Road) for its rows of maple, Japanese zelkova, ginkgo, and Japanese wax trees that bathe the surroundings in a sea of warm autumn hues. The scenic route is perfect for a leisurely drive, offering a stunning view of the Ohi River with vibrant fall leaves in the backdrop.

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  • The Massive Ginkgo Tree at Iwaya Park

    The Massive Ginkgo Tree at Iwaya Park

    The giant ginkgo tree at Iwaya Park is a designated National Monument and has stood for 700 years as a sacred symbol of Iwaya Shrine. In a document written in the Edo Period, it was named the "Tree of Seven Colors" due to the presence of seven distinct plant species thriving on it. The golden carpet of fallen ginkgo leaves it creates is a spectacular autumn sight that cannot be missed.

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  • The Maple Leaves of Tennoin Temple

    The Maple Leaves of Tennoin Temple

    The main deity worshiped at this temple is Namikiri Fudo Myoo, who once rescued the Buddhist monk Kukai at sea during his return journey from China. Though initially known as a protector of seafarers and for granting luck in getting a bountiful catch, Namikiri Fudo Myoo is revered today as a “wave-breaking” deity who brings blessings of good fortune and wards against raging waves of evil and misfortune. Don’t miss out on the maple leaves of this temple in the autumn.

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  • Chinkokuji Temple and its Fall Foliage

    Chinkokuji Temple and its Fall Foliage

    Chinkokuji is Japan's oldest Shingon Buddhist temple and is affectionately known as the "Temple of Flowers and Prayers" due to its floral landscapes that change with every season of the year. Around mid-November, the ginkgo trees on its grounds begin to change color, followed by maple trees later in the month. During this time, the entire temple grounds become adorned in a brilliant array of gold and re

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  • Chikushiyabakei Valley and its Autumn Landscape

    Chikushiyabakei Valley and its Autumn Landscape

    This valley offers scenic beauty throughout the year, making it a welcoming destination for visitors seeking serenity and rejuvenation amidst the colorful hues of the autumn season. Only a 30-minute drive away from Fukuoka’s city center, Chikushiyabakei is a popular choice for a casual escape to a place of scenic beauty.

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  • The Massive Ginkgo Tree at Futsukaichi Hachimangu Shrine

    The Massive Ginkgo Tree at Futsukaichi Hachimangu Shrine

    In the precincts of Futsukaichi Hachimangu Shrine, many ginkgo trees are planted, including the ”Ginkgo” tree, which is a designated natural monument of Chikushino City and is also a sacred tree.The beautiful appearance of the leaves turning golden yellow every year is a delight to those who see them. The Ginkgo Festival is held every November, and you can enjoy the beauty of ginkgo trees with all five senses, based on the concept of "sound, light, town, and people."

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Famous Foliage Spots in the Kita-Kyushu Area

Kawachi Wisteria Garden

Named among Japan's 31 most beautiful places, this garden is beloved by travelers worldwide for its wisteria. However, it is also stunning in the autumn. From mid-November, approximately 700 trees decorate its landscape in a breathtaking display of red and gold, forming a maple leaf tunnel. It is situated on uneven ground, so it's advisable to wear comfortable shoes when visiting.

  • The Autumnal Dawn Redwoods in Metase no Mori

    The Autumnal Dawn Redwoods in Metase no Mori

    Located just behind Chikujo Town's local product promotion center “Metase no Mori,” you'll discover a tree-lined boulevard that looks like a scene from a movie. During the autumn season, the fallen leaves form a blazing red carpet that covers the entire area, creating a romantic street view.

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  • The Autumn Views of the Kawachi Reservoir

    The Autumn Views of the Kawachi Reservoir

    This man-made reservoir was created by the Kawachi Dam constructed upstream along the Itabitsu River and designated as part of the Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park. Surrounding the water's edge, there is a cycling path for visitors to take in the autumn atmosphere as they ride along.

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  • The Fall Foliage Around the Makinohara Camping Ground

    The Fall Foliage Around the Makinohara Camping Ground

    Situated within Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Park, this campground ranks among Fukuoka Prefecture's top 100 spots for forest bathing. The lush surroundings are adorned with maple, ginkgo, and dodan-tsutsuji (Enkianthus perulatus) trees that offer a magnificent landscape of autumnal colors.

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Famous Foliage Spots in the Chikugo Area

The Ginkgo Trees at Taibaru

As the fall season progresses and the foliage deepens in color from mid to late November, the roughly 80 ginkgo trees along the streets of the Taibaru area transform themselves into a golden hue. To add to the beauty, the fallen leaves cover the ground like a dazzling yellow carpet.


Ginkgo Tree Viewing Tours

The area becomes especially crowded during the peak foliage season in late November, especially on weekends and holidays. During this time, shuttle bus services are available free of charge to and from the Hirokawa-machi Industrial Exhibition Hall. In some years, various events take place around the same time, so check the local happenings before planning your visit.

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Yanagisaka Sone Haze (Wax Tree) Lane

This popular foliage spot is lined with approximately 260 Japanese wax trees - primarily of the Ikichi Haze species - and is designated as a Fukuoka Prefecture National Monument. By mid-November, the trees burst into fiery shades of red to mark the arrival of autumn to the Chikugo area.

The Autumn Leaves at Nyoirinji Temple (Frog Temple)

Best known for its Instagram-worthy frog-themed statues, with roughly 10,000 of them placed around the grounds, Seieizan Nyoirinji Temple is equally celebrated for its remarkable fall views. Explore the vibrant leaves while encountering the numerous frogs, each with their distinct variations and expressions. The temple's unique charm has also made it a popular destination among international travelers.


Light and Fall Foliage at Nyoirinji Temple (Frog Temple)

The Fuko-e is an annual celebration of light and autumn leaves held every November. In 2023, it is set to take place for three days, from Friday, November 3 (a national holiday) to Sunday, November 5. During this time, the temple grounds are transformed into an enchanting display of dazzling lights and illuminated artworks.

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  • Autumnal Sights on Mount Shaka and Mount Gozen

    Autumnal Sights on Mount Shaka and Mount Gozen

    Mount Shaka and Mount Gozen are the two highest peaks in Fukuoka Prefecture, famous for their glorious autumnal mountainscapes. Among the many scenic viewpoints, the foliage along the trail from the valley located on the south side of Mount Gozen to the summit is particularly breathtaking. The climbing route that traverses the mountains is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.

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  • The Fall Views Around Greenpia Yame

    The Fall Views Around Greenpia Yame

    Greenpia Yame is an expansive leisure complex that offers a wide array of recreational activities within its extensive grounds. In the fall, the complex and its surroundings come alive with a sweeping vista of dodan-tsutsuji (Enkianthus perulatus) and maple trees, painting the landscape in the vibrant, warm hues of the season.

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  • The Enchanting Autumnal Trees of Yametsuhime Shrine

    The Enchanting Autumnal Trees of Yametsuhime Shrine

    Enshrined in Yametsuhime Shrine is the goddess Yametsuhime, who appears in the Nihon Shoki (The Chronicles of Japan), and after whom the city of Yame was named. This sacred shrine is also believed to grant blessings related to beauty. In the fall season, the shrine is surrounded by brilliant red trees that create an ethereal atmosphere.

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  • The Majestic Ginkgo Tree of Nagata

    The Majestic Ginkgo Tree of Nagata

    Standing with grace and dignity on the grounds of Oimatsu Shrine is a sacred ginkgo tree planted approximately 400 years ago to honor the founding of the shrine. For four centuries, this magnificent tree has flourished and branched into seven trunks from a single root to become one of the largest in the prefecture. Every autumn, the shrine comes alive with a vibrant atmosphere during the Icho Matsuri (Ginkgo Festival).

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  • The Vibrant Fall Panoramas of Mount Kiyomizu

    The Vibrant Fall Panoramas of Mount Kiyomizu

    Selected as one of Japan's top 500 most beautiful walking routes, the trek up Mount Kiyomizu boasts magnificent splendor, particularly during the autumn foliage season. One of the most stunning views is Kiyomizu-dera Temple’s Honbo Teien Garden, believed to have been created by Sesshu in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). This Japanese garden is a perfect harmony of nature and man-made beauty, where the vibrant autumn leaves display a picturesque masterpiece.

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  • Autumn leaves at Ishibashi Cultural Center

    Autumn leaves at Ishibashi Cultural Center

    Ishibashi Cultural Center is a complex facility that combines three functions: park, sightseeing, and culture and art. It is located in a natural area of approximately 60,000 square meters full of flowers and greenery. In November, when autumn deepens, the autumn leaves are at their peak, especially in Japanese gardens, and the Maple Festival is held to coincide with the peak of the autumn leaves.

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Famous Foliage Spots in the Chikuho Area

Autumn in Mitsui Temple (Byodoji Temple)

Mitsui Temple is well known for its summer wind chimes, but it is also renowned for its autumnal beauty. The head priest meticulously planted and nurtured the trees on the temple grounds, resulting in a breathtaking colorful display of brilliant red maples and a golden carpet of fallen ginkgo leaves.

  • Kanmabu Park and its Fall Foliage

    Kanmabu Park and its Fall Foliage

    The name “Kanmabu” carries a historical significance, with “kan” meaning "god" and “mabu” referencing mining tunnels. According to historical records, Kanmabu earned its name because of the sacred ceremonies held in the area when the mountains were opened up for copper mining. A park was constructed nearby where visitors today can delight in the colorful maple and ginkgo trees during the autumn season.

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  • The Autumn Foliage of Manyo Park

    The Autumn Foliage of Manyo Park

    Roadside Station Kawara is a hub for fresh, locally harvested produce and an assortment of processed foods. Just beyond this local market is Manyo Park, where a wide array of botanical species mentioned in the Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) have been planted to offer visitors splendid landscapes throughout the four seasons. The maple and ginkgo trees offer picturesque scenery in autumn.

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  • Taihozan Tenshinji Temple in the Fall

    Taihozan Tenshinji Temple in the Fall

    Located at the base of Mount Taiho, this temple is dedicated to the Buddhist deity Kishimojin (Hariti), the guardian of child conception, easy delivery, and childrearing. The temple welcomes many visitors, and the footpath leading to the summit boasts views of pristine forests and unique rock formations. During the autumn season, visitors can enjoy the colorful beauty of the surrounding red and gold trees.

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  • Aso Ouraso Villa and its Special Public Viewing of Fall Foliage

    Aso Ouraso Villa and its Special Public Viewing of Fall Foliage

    The Aso family, one of the most illustrious families in the Chikuho area, originally built this villa as a private residence. Presently, it serves as a venue for the Aso Group Company. While the villa is typically closed to the public, it opens its garden to visitors during the enchanting autumn foliage season.

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  • The Ginkgo Tree of Uchino

    The Ginkgo Tree of Uchino

    This majestic ginkgo tree stands at a distinctive slant from braving the valley winds, making it a truly unique sight. The 400-year-old tree was once part of a pair with its female counterpart, and together they were affectionately known as the "Wedded Ginkgo." Its golden transformation begins after mid-November.

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Are you looking for spots that are truly worthy of your attention and not just about fall foliage? Here’s some insights into the ideal times and ways to witness such once-in-a-lifetime moments and landscapes. As autumn in Japan is considered a season for appreciating art, let's also delve into the world of artsy architecture!

Please note that this year's peak foliage season may not align with previous years. If you are planning to view the changing leaves, make sure to check the progression of the foliage before setting out on your journey.


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