Everyone has something they look forward to in autumn, whether it’s cooler temperatures or onsen getaways. However, the one universal thing that captivates all our hearts is the radiant display of autumn leaves. If you've been planning an autumnal trip to Japan, you'll be pleased to hear that the Japan Meteorological Corporation, our trusted source for seasonal insights, has recently updated its forecast for this year's fall foliage.
The corporation has two specific projections for the season: one focusing on the fiery red momiji (Japanese maple leaves) and the other spotlighting the golden hues of the ginkgo leaves.
Ginkgo leaves forecast
Autumnal transformations will first appear in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, where Sapporo will see its ginkgo trees flourish around November 9 – four days later than the average year. Tokyo's ginkgo trees, usually expected to be most vibrant around November 23, are predicted to peak around November 26 instead. Osaka will see its ginkgo transformation around November 24, while Kyoto's leaves will peak on November 26.
Switching our focus to the momiji, Tokyo is now projected to experience the peak of maple leaves around December 1. Osaka should gear up for an impressive momiji display around December 3, with Kyoto set to flourish on December 11. Meanwhile, Sapporo’s updated forecast predicts the maple leaves to be at its best around November 13.
Every summer in Japan seems to be a little hotter and longer than the last. This time, however, it's not merely our perception; nature's timeline affirms it. We might have to be a touch more patient for the autumnal splendours of 2023, but, as the saying goes, 'good things come to those who wait'.
This article was originally published on September 4 and updated on November 6 2023.
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