Pampas grass, Sengokuhara, Hakone1/3
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Oishi Kogen Highland, Wakayama - cropped to fit2/3
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Mt Iwawaki, Osaka3/3
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Catch these stunning pampas grass fields in Japan this autumn

The tall grass known as susuki turns brilliant shades of silver and gold around September and October

By Kaila Imada
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If you’re looking for a different autumn experience around Tokyo and Japan, go seek out fields of susuki pampas grass instead of the usual red maple and yellow ginkgo trees. This tall plant is green in summer, but then it turns into shimmering shades of gold and silver when autumn rolls around. Because of this, pampas grass fields have become an Instagram hit of late, especially the one at Sengokuhara in Hakone. Here we’ve rounded up the top spots in Japan where you can frolic through fields of breezy pampas grass.

RECOMMENDED: Looking for more things to do this season? Here are the most beautiful autumn scenery across Japan

Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field, Hakone
Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field, Hakone
Photo: Soybeans/Photo AC

Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field, Hakone

One of the most popular pampas grass destinations in Japan is this sprawling field near the onsen town of Hakone. The picturesque grass covers the western slope of Mt Hakone and is a highlight in autumn. The tall grass usually changes colour from late September to mid-November and can grow to as tall as an adult. The field features a single walking path to keep you on track so you don’t get lost or disoriented. 

Mt Iwawaki, Osaka
Mt Iwawaki, Osaka
Photo: Lovezo1104/Photo AC

Mt Iwawaki, Osaka

The peak of Mt Iwawaki doesn’t have any trees, but you’ll find a sea of this photogenic grass as you make your way to the top. If you’re up for an autumn hike, the mountain offers numerous hiking trails with observation decks along the way. The trek to the top of the mountain takes roughly 90-minutes and it’s worth it to catch the pampas grass swaying in the wind with the backdrop of Kansai in the distance.

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Soni Highland, Nara
Soni Highland, Nara
Photo: HiroKumaQOL/Photo AC

Soni Highland, Nara

This breathtaking plateau in Uda, Nara prefecture boasts spectacular sunsets, hiking trails, natural onsen and rolling hills covered with susuki grass. The optimal time to see this is November, but it’s also beautiful in the summer when the highland is covered in a brilliant blanket of green. Late afternoon is when photographers from far and wide flock to the area to catch the sun setting behind the expansive fields of grass.

Oishi Kogen Highland, Wakayama
Oishi Kogen Highland, Wakayama
Photo: Travel Photographer/Photo AC

Oishi Kogen Highland, Wakayama

Nestled in western Wakayama just south of Osaka, the panoramic highland of Oishi Kogen is home to a large plain of pampas grass. Locals say this is one of the best grasslands in the Kansai region. The susuki here is mainly golden in autumn, only turning silvery-white when winter rolls around. At a height of 870 metres, the Oishi Kogen Highland also offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area. Talk about prime photo ops.

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Yamanakako Panoramic Viewing Platform, Yamanashi
Yamanakako Panoramic Viewing Platform, Yamanashi
Photo: Moon Child/Photo AC

Yamanakako Panoramic Viewing Platform, Yamanashi

This vantage point in Yamanashi prefecture not only boasts beautiful pampas grass in autumn but also a winning view of Mt Fuji. The best time to go is in November and make sure you get there early in the morning before the clouds roll in and shield Mt Fuji from view. The nearby susuki swaying in the wind is the cherry on the cake – we can see why a dedicated viewing platform is built at this exact spot.

The best of autumn in Tokyo and Japan

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