Kyoto's Toji Temple in autumn, red momiji leaves
Photo: Anton Petrus/DreamstimeKyoto's Toji Temple in autumn

Japan autumn leaves forecast 2022: when to expect peak koyo season

Coming soon to a park near you: bright red momiji maple leaves and yellow ginkgo

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Summer is winding down and we now have our first forecast for this year’s autumn leaves. Nature lovers will be perking up around this time of year, with the promise of crisp cool air on the horizon making for the ultimate outdoor hikes and scenic camping in Japan’s wilderness. In fact, even those who loathe the outdoors are likely to have a pep in their step in the coming months. With vibrant, colourful foliage that transform mountain ranges and cityscapes alike, autumn has a way of making everything feel more beautiful.

Temperatures and weather changes can be unpredictable, but this forecast from the Japan Meteorological Corporation is our first clue as to when we might expect peak autumn foliage. There are two sets of predictions: one for red momiji (maple leaves) and another for yellow ginkgo leaves.

Autumn leaves forecast
Photo: Japan Meteorological Corporation

Red momiji

Japan’s northern regions will be the first to see autumn leaves, with Sapporo expecting to flourish near November 6. As of this September 1 forecast, we are expecting to see momiji at their best and brightest around November 29 in Tokyo, while the leaves in Osaka will peak closer to December 3. 

Autumn leaves forecast
Photo: Japan Meteorological Corporation

Yellow gingko

The timing for ginkgo leaves differ slightly from the momiji season, with Tokyo expected to reach its peak around November 26. Osaka’s ginkgo leaves will peak a few days earlier on November 24. Up north in Sapporo, ginkgo leaves will flourish around the same time as the momiji on November 5.

Want to know the best places to go see autumn leaves? Here are our favourite autumn destinations in Japan. 

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