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GUIDE Japan in October

  • Stories & Guides
  • Japan in October

The very best of autumn

With typhoon season largely over by the end of September, October offers some of Japan's fairest and most comfortable weather. It's a time of harvest and harvest festivals, outdoor excursions, autumnal hikes and art and culture.

Know Before You Go

  • Art galleries and museums typically get quite busy in October
  • Autumn leaves hit their peak during October in more northerly and higher altitude locations
  • Japan has adopted Halloween and you can find events and parties held in most big cities
  • Do your research and pack appropriately—Kyushu can still be quite warm in October while Tohoku can become very chilly

tours to japan in october

Senjojiki Cirque, in Nagano, a popular spot for an autumnal hike

A taste of autumn

Prime harvest time, food tastes great in October, from Japanese pears and persimmon fruit to rice, soba noodles and sake. Niigata, a top-sake and rice producing region, is a great place to sample some of the seasonal sake varieties and even catch a glimpse of the rice harvest in action.

tours to japan in october

The Hoshitoge rice fields in early autumn before harvesting begins

Celebrating the harvest

tours to japan in october

Dazzling autumn colors

tours to japan in october

Oyasu Ravine is one of many remote locations in Akita for taking in the fall colors

tours to japan in october

Views from a section of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpen Route

tours to japan in october

Oze National Park offers pleasant hikes in any season

Art and culture

For something a little less active, visit one of the many leading art galleries or museums throughout the country. Autumn is traditionally considered the time for the arts in Japan, and many of the biggest and best exhibitions begin in October.

tours to japan in october

The exterior of the Tokyo National Museum / Photo Credit: Hyokeikan

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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16 Mind-Blowing Things to Do in Japan in October 2024 | What To Do In Japan In October?

Planning a visit to Japan in October? Here are some fun things to do in Japan in October.

October paints Japan in a fiery palette of reds, oranges, and yellows. Crisp air entices strolls through ancient gardens ablaze with color.

Hike amidst vibrant mountains or float down a river, capturing fleeting reflections in the water’s mirror.

Immerse yourself in vibrant festivals, savor seasonal delights, and witness the country’s soul ignite under a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves. Come, wander through Japan’s enchanting October.

Things to Do in Japan in October

Attend the takayama autumn festival.

Many people wonder, when is the Takayama Festival held in Japan?

Maybe you are confused as to why I have mentioned such a question.

Well, it’s because this feast is held twice a year: once in spring (April 14th to 15th) and another in autumn (October 9th to 10th).

As it is one of Japan’s three most exciting festivals, visitors who travel in April and October don’t miss the opportunity to attend this feast.

Takayama Festival

The October one is organized by Hachiman Shrine, situated on the northern side of Takayama town.

The main attraction of this feast is dozens of decorated floats (yatai) displayed in the city’s streets. Some of these floats are adorned with sophistical mechanical dolls (Karakuri dolls) that can even dance!

Don’t even think that the dolls will start doing hip hop or locking and popping dance! But, their moves can definitely please all ages of people from young to kids.

Anyway, a portable shrine is carried around the city during the two days of celebration.

When the puppet show and the parade keep the people amused, the nighttime has a totally different charm.

After the evening, the floats are covered with bright lanterns that make them look even more beautiful.

The Takayama Autumn Festival has attractions such as processions and lion dances (shishi-mai), as pictured. The festivals, occuring in Spring and in Autumn, were registered on the UNESCO intangible cultural list in 2015. pic.twitter.com/QD58Eu5D5d — Japan House London (@japanhouseldn) October 24, 2022

Related: Mesmerizing Japan Honeymoon Destinations

Hakone Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field

Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field (仙石原すすき草原) is situated on the Daigatake Mountain. It is one of the best places to visit in Hakone Japan in the autumn. The enormous field is covered in innumerable blades of fluffy pampas grass, which contributes to the breathtaking scenery.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by hiro.w (@hirokowat)

Even though the grass is still vibrant green throughout the summer, the best time to visit is from October to early November, when the grass gently changes from green to gleaming gold.

 In addition to maple trees and ginkgo bilobas, make sure to visitSengokuhara Pampas Grass Field to watch golden pampas grass in October, especially, if you are visiting Japan for the autumn leaves.

The Hakone Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field is only a short walk from the Sengoku Kogen Bus Stop. Take the Hakone Tozan Bus Line (T) from Hakone Yumoto Station to get to the Sengoku Kogen Bus stop. 

Contact : +81460857410

Website : http://www.town.hakone.kanagawa.jp  

Working hours: Always open 

Address: Sengokuhara, 箱根町 Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0631, Japan 

Attend The Tokyo Ramen Show

My favorite type of men is Ramen!

Now don’t question my gender, and just know that I am a die-hard fan of ramen.

And, if you are like me, then the Tokyo Ramen Show is ready to satisfy your tummy with some mouth-watering ramen dishes.

Traditional ramen

It is the biggest ramen event in Japan that takes place in Komazawa Park, Tokyo. Only the finest ramen shops are qualified to present their ramen bowls at this event.

Therefore, you have the golden opportunity to taste the most delicious bowls from all over the country without traveling to the various regions.

Delicious Ramen

Another interesting fact is you can even vote for your favorite ramen here.

Anyway, this event is divided into two rounds (24th to 29th October & 30th Oct to 4th Nov), and there will be several ramen booths during each segment.

There is no entry fee required for the venue, but you have to purchase Ramen Tickets to buy the bowls. And the tickets are being sold at the event site.

You May Read:

How Much Does Ramen Cost in Japan? Price & Tips!

Participate in Kyoto’s Festival of Ages

One of the good things about our Japan is although we are advanced in technology, we also know how to keep our culture alive for ages.

One of the examples is Jidai Matsuri (Festival of Ages), which has been celebrated from 1895 till this date.

Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages, 22nd Oct) is an annual re-enactment of how historical figures and commoners dressed and carried themselves in Kyoto's 1,100-year history when the city was Japan's capital. In 1868, Kyoto lost its status as Tokyo was chosen as the new capital. pic.twitter.com/1lAN5mzFcF — Kin Ho (@Kin_Ho_Photo) November 17, 2022

Every year, this feast is held on 22nd October and is one of Kyoto’s three most famous festivals, along with Gion Matsuri (in July) & Aoi Matsuri (in May).

It features a large parade that travels from the Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine. The parade participants are dressed up in costumes from every period of Japan’s history.

Hence, it’s an excellent opportunity to watch the entire historical side of Japan in one go.

Besides, you will see famous historical figures, princesses, warriors, and commoners, all represented as well.

There are around 2000 participants each year, and it will take approximately two hours to watch the full parade pass by.

I will say if you plan to stay in Kyoto in October, you may attend this feast to experience the tradition of Japan.

  • Related: Things to Do in Japan in November
  • Related: Most Popular Festivals In Japan

Attend The Kochia Carnival

One of the nice places to visit in October is Hitachi Seaside Park, situated in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Here you can see cute pom pom plants that are called “Kochia.”

From mid-September to mid-October, a popular seasonal event is held known as “Kochia Carnival.”

During this time, the Miharashi Hill in Hitachi Seaside Park is filled with 32,000 Kochia balls, creating spectacular scenery.

Kochia Carnival

Although the Kochias can also be seen on summer days when they are in fresh green color, October is a perfect time if you want to watch them in full glory with a fire-burning red color.

Another good thing is, besides Kochia, cosmos flowers are in full bloom in early to late October, and both of the fields are next to each other.

So, it seems like you have a scope of witnessing beautiful flowers and plants at the same time.

Kochia and cosmos field

But, one important fact I want to share with you is that this park is extremely popular and gets crowded on weekends. It’s because everyone, including local people, comes to see the carnival during this time.

That’s why I recommend you visit there on weekdays to avoid most crowds.

Taste The Delicacies of Hokkaido Food Festival

Autumn in Japan is the season when we Japanese people celebrate the new harvest, which is also called “Autumn’s Appetite.”

It is the best time to try out various seasonal foods in Japan. Even a number of events are arranged in October to celebrate this food feast.

Among them, the largest fiesta is the Hokkaido Food Festival. It is an outdoor event organized in the first week of October for four days in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.

Food from Hokkaido

Wait, wait, did you get confused when I said the location is Tokyo?

Well, it’s normal because even though the feast name represents Hokkaido, it actually takes place in Tokyo.

So, I hope you won’t mix up things and end up going to Hokkaido city!!

Anyway, talking about the event, you will find over 400 delicacies that are from Hokkaido.

Japanese ramen

Hence, just like the Ramen Show, you have another opportunity of tasting another region’s signature dishes within Tokyo.

From seafood to regional Ramen, you will definitely find something that will go with your taste and preferences.

Join The Nagasaki Kunchi Feast

Organized in the city of Nagasaki, this feast dates back to 1634. The event is held from October 7th to 9th to incorporate different aspects of Europe and Chinese cultures, which have played a role in Nagasaki’s history.

The main highlight of this fiesta is the dance performances by various teams representing various city districts of Nagasaki.

These teams perform on a rotating schedule of 7 years, so the performances are always unique & fresh, even for the local spectators.

You will see various types of performances involving a dragon dance or large floats. While some dance shows are quite calm and peaceful, others get hectic and wild.

Therefore, if you are an energetic and fun-loving person, maybe the wild one will hit you. And in case you are a calm person, the peaceful one is also there for you.

Now, if this festival seems exciting, you have to purchase tickets in advance as they may get sold out several weeks before the event date.

Yet, there are some locations where you can watch freely, but note that those areas get really crowded, and you have to secure a spot in the early morning.

Watch Some Wild Men Bouncing at the Niihama Taiko Festival

I guess the title of this segment caught your attention!!

Well, why not? I think looking for something unique is the traveler’s first goal.

Therefore, when you visit Japan in October, Niihama Taiko Festival should be on your bucket list.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 🐲岸之下青年部公式アカウント🦊🐲 (@kishinoshita_seinenbu)

It’s because, during this feast, around 150 men bounce the 2 ton heavy floats with the rhythm of taiko drums.

The celebration takes place in mid-October (16th to 18th) on Shikoku Island and consists of about 47 floats shaped like giant taiko drums.

Every year nearly 250,000 spectators gather around to support these teams and cheer for them.

Watch The Tamagawa Fireworks Festival

Who said fireworks could only be enjoyed on new year’s eve?

When you are in Japan, expect a festive mood and glittering atmosphere every season. You can watch fireworks in both summer and autumn.

Tamagawa Fireworks

In October, numerous fireworks events are held across the country, but a remarkable one is the Tamagawa Fireworks Festival.

The event date varies each year, so please check out beforehand.

During the event, about 6,000 fireworks are held along the banks of the Tama River near Futakotamagawa Station.

All these fireworks light up the sky and create a breathtaking view.

Watching fireworks

The local couples are often seen in such events, so you may consider taking your partner too.

10 Superb Things to Do in Japan in November

Catch A Glimpse of The Spectacular Autumn Leaves

Just imagine yourself strolling through a place where you are surrounded by shiny gold, yellow and red leaves.

And those leaves are falling on you like a movie scene!

Well, maybe you are craving for such a scene to happen with you.

So, it’s time to come out from the dream and capture some instagrammable moments under these falling autumn leaves.

Autumn leaves falling

You may know that cherry blossom viewing is one of the famous things about Japan, but nowadays, autumn leaf viewing has become popular too.

Even it has special words associated with it, like “Koyo” which means red leaves & “Momiji-gari” meaning red leaf hunting.

Now the question is, where will you go to witness these colorful leaves, right?

Well, in October, highly recommended autumn foliage viewing locations are, Kamikochi (in Nagano), Arashiyama (in Kyoto), Nikko, Nara, and Kawaguchiko (in Fuji Five Lakes area).

Arashiyama in Autumn

Apart from them, Hokkaido also ranks high on our list. Here you can visit Hiraoka Jugei Center, Blue Pond, Onneto Lake, and Jozankei to catch a glimpse of these colorful leaves.

Cycling Tour at Shimanami Kaido Route

No one can be sad while riding a cycle. There is an unknown pleasure when the cool breeze touches your skin. You feel wild and free at the same time.

With a bunch of your friends or even alone, you can plan a cycling tour at the Shimanami Kaido route.

Shimanami Kaido

It is one of the ideal cycling routes in Japan that attracts cyclists from around the world.

While going through this stunning route, you will cross over seven bridges, the Seto Inland Sea, and six small islands.

The good thing is that bridge tolls are all free for cyclists, and there are English signs for foreigners.

Seto Inland Sea

Although you can bring your own bike here, I suggest you rent one from the terminals situated on Shimanami Kaido.

And the rental fee is approximately 1,000 yen per day. Several types of bicycles are available, such as tandem bikes, electrical cycles, and kids’ bicycles.

So, there are suitable options for everyone, and you may also plan this tour with your family.

13 Joyful Things to Do in Japan in September

Travel to Iya Valley, A Secret Place in Tokushima!

Most travelers think Japan is all about Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka. And that’s how they miss some of the less discovered places of this country.

One such example is Iya Valley, which is situated on the island of Shikoku in the Tokushima Province.

Although it’s a remote place, trust me, your journey will be well worth it. The Iya Valley area is surrounded by mountains and equipped with several vine bridges.

Iya Valley

From October to November is the best time to explore this valley, because during this time you will see its peak beauty.

For a thrilling and adventurous feel, you can hike the bridges just like the locals do. First, head uphill and try the Oku Iya Niju Kazura double vine bridge to enjoy the breathtaking environment.

Amazing Iya Valley

Then go for the Iya Kazurabashi, which is one of the three rarest bridges in Japan. Even the most daredevil persons quake in their boots while crossing this bridge.

So, if you are a scaredy-cat, you may avoid it. Otherwise, go for it without any hesitation.

Iya Kazurabashi

However, don’t worry about the safety, because the bridge is well maintained and is rebuilt every 3 years.

Now, you obviously won’t come this far only to enjoy nature and outdoor activities, right?

Well, in such a case, a visit to Hotel Iya onsen is gonna fulfill your heart’s lust. You can take a 5 minutes cable car tour to this hotel and take a glimpse of the spectacular autumn colors of the valley.

Iya Valley Japan

In the onsen, you will surely find the utter serenity of an open-air bath with the flowing river alongside.

Nothing but the sound of wind crinkling in the trees and the singing of birds will keep your mind calm.

Drop By The Lake Daigenta

Another top place in Japan to travel in October is Lake Daigenta, situated near the Yuzawa Ski Park in Niigata.

Here, you will be able to see colorful autumn leaves reflected on the lake’s pristine surface.

Lake Daigenta

This area also offers hiking, taking a boat ride, and camping opportunities. As there are several campsites in this place, you don’t have to worry about any inconvenience.

Visit Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido

Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan National Park is one of the most beautiful sights in Japan. Luckily, this area hits its peak charm in early October.

As this park is huge, I suggest you explore it by joining a ropeway tour.

Daisetsuzan National Park

There is also a hot spring resort named Asahidake Onsen that is located at the bottom of Mt Asahidake. Here you can enjoy the relaxing bath as well as the greenery view of the outside.

Alright, by far, I have given a guide on what to do in Japan in October.

However, you need to learn about some other things associated with October, such as weather conditions, costs, and crowd.

And that’s what I am gonna discuss from now on.

Japan’s Weather in October 2024

The weather in Japan in October is kinda warm but not too hot. Rainfall is very low this month throughout the country, making October one of the best months to visit Japan.

Look at the following chart to learn the average temperature in Japan in October.

As you can see, major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyoto have warmer days, but the nighttime temperature drops low.

In Sapporo (capital of Hokkaido), the temperature is much cooler than in the other regions.

However, Okinawa still remains hot in October but not as heated as in July or August.

But, without any doubt, the overall weather is suitable for traveling. If you prefer moderate temperature and a dry environment, October is an excellent time to plan your trip to Japan.

What to Wear in Japan in October?

While going to Japan in October, you need to be prepared with both light and warm clothes.

As you already know, the temperature drops during the morning and evening, you have to pack accordingly.

So, here’s a list of basic things you will need.

  • Lightweight cotton tops.
  • Long-sleeved shirts.
  • Light jackets or sweaters.
  • Long pants or skirts.
  • Rainproof jacket or umbrella.
  • Woolen light scarf.
  • Light gloves.
  • Comfy closed shoes and socks.
  • Heavier jacket (required while going to Hokkaido or the mountain area).
  • Hiking boots (if you want to go hiking).

Besides the clothes, don’t forget your travel document, mobile charger, power bank, camera, mini first aid kit, travel size backpack, toothbrush, and necessary skincare product.

Crowd and Cost in Japan in October

Because of the pleasant weather in October, foreign visitors come to Japan during this time.

Also, the arrival of the autumn season makes this month more special.

Especially in Hokkaido, Tohoku region, and mountain areas, the atmosphere is suitable, and the nature is breathtaking during October.

In fact, anywhere you can see the fall foliage will get busy with visitors.

Moreover, the regions like Tokyo and Kyoto are always crowded because these cities are filled with loads of attractions.

In late October, Kyoto sees more travelers because of the Jidai Festival, and that’s why hotel prices get a bit higher than usual.

Thus, I suggest you book your accommodation in advance for your good.

Anyway, if you are afraid of the crowd, I want to clarify something.

Firstly, festivals are all about gathering and celebrating, so you should not bother with this situation.

On the other hand, the crowd in Japanese tourist places is not over the top, and you can always enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Things To Do in Japan In October: FAQs

Is it cold in japan in october.

In Japan, in October it’s not too cold or hot, except maybe early morning and late night. The temperatures in the afternoons average around 20ºC to 23ºC. The temperatures in early mornings and late nights fall between 14ºC to 18ºC. 

Is There Cherry Blossom In Japan In October?

Sakurayama Park in Gunma Prefecture has 10,000 cherry trees, 3,000 of which are Yoshinos that bloom in the spring. The majority of them, though, are Fuyu Zakura, which are seen around mid-October and November. The winter sakura, or Fuyu Zakura, blooms twice a year: once in the spring and once again between October and December.

Is October A Good Time To Visit Japan?

October is one of the best times to visit Japan. The temperatures in Japan aren’t too cold and neither is it too warm or humid. The temperatures range between 14ºC to 23ºC in October in Japan. It gets slightly warmer in the afternoons and is pretty chilled in the nights and early mornings. So make sure to pack a couple of sweaters. Japan has moderate weather and is pretty dry in October with very little rainfall which makes it perfect for traveling. Also, the tourist crowd is much lesser as October is not the peak tourist season in Japan. The airfare and accommodation prices are also lower in October in Japan. 

Finally, our long discussion on things to do in Japan in October comes to an end.

I hope you have gathered enough information regarding this topic and are now fully prepared to decide on your bucket list.

Lastly, I wanna thank you for staying with me till the end and wish you an exciting experience in Japan.

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Visiting Japan In October – 23 Best Things To Do In 2023!

Japan in October

Take advantage of the best time of year to visit and explore Japan.

Japan in October is a time of change, and with pleasant temperatures, Halloween festivities, and the emergence of autumn colors, October is one of the best times of year to visit Japan. In many parts of the country, the heat of the summer has subsided, and with the chill of winter still far away, there are plenty of festivals and celebrations to enjoy.

From October until early November, towns and cities often hold matsuri , a festival or event that celebrates some aspect of the local community or culture. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the unique aspects of Japanese culture and dive deeper into the country in a way most tourists miss.

From lesser-known celebrations and events like the Saijo Sake festival and Naha Tug-of-War to huge festivals such as the Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony or Halloween in Tokyo Disney, there is so much that makes October one of the most popular months to visit Japan.

In this article, we’ll explore 23 of the best things to do in October in Japan FOR 2023!

Planning a trip to Japan? Take a look at my guide for Things to do in Japan for first-time visitors . Or, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your upcoming trip, check out these 15 Best Kyoto Food Tours and Foodie Experiences!

Japan in October – 23 best things to do in 2023

1. usj halloween horror nights.

USJ Halloween Horror Nights

If you happen to find yourself in the Kansai area in the weeks running up to Halloween, you must visit Universal Studios Japan for their special series of events.

The park is open as normal during the day, but as the sun sets it transforms into a real-life interactive horror experience as actors dressed as zombies roam the streets and haunted house walkthroughs pop up throughout the park. It’s a lot of fun for teens and adults but please note it may be a bit too intense for young children.

  • Where & When: Universal Studios Japan, Osaka. September 8 to November 5, 6 PM until the park closes.
  • Interesting Fact: Unlike Universal Studios Orlando, visitors at USJ are encouraged to dress up for Halloween Horror Nights.
  • More Information: usj.co.jp

2. Autumn Dessert Buffets

Autumn Dessert Buffets

The arrival of Halloween is marked by a series of amazing all-you-can-eat Halloween-themed dessert buffets around central Tokyo. Extremely popular among groups of Japanese girlfriends and couples, you must make a reservation in advance to secure entry to some of the city’s top buffets.

If you’re looking to satisfy your scary season sweet tooth, you can usually find the best buffets in some of the city’s luxury hotels. The Hilton properties, The Strings Hotel, and the Aman usually go all-out in their efforts.

  • Where & When: Hilton Tokyo, Conrad, The Strings, Prince Hotel, Beginning of October to early November.
  • Interesting Fact: Halloween dessert buffets are often themed. Popular choices have included Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Witch’s Castle, & Gothic Banquet.

3. Shibuya Halloween

Shibuya Halloween

The original and most famous Halloween party in Japan is not really an official event at all, but more like a gathering of thousands of people in Halloween costumes all hanging out around the streets of Shibuya.

Since 2019, the police have banned people from drinking alcohol outdoors due to a few incidents in the years prior which saw drunk people flipping cars over and getting a bit rowdy.

Despite the more sober atmosphere, it’s still worth a look if you want to see the great efforts partygoers have gone to with their costumes.

  • Where & When: Shibuya Scramble Crossing, October 31, from 5 PM.
  • Interesting Fact: Crowds around Shibuya Scramble Crossing and the surrounding area have been known to reach up to one million people on Halloween night.

4. Ibaraki Kochia Festival

Ibaraki Kochia Festival

While Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture is open to the public year-round, between late September and early November the park is best known for the vibrant red pom-pom-looking plants called Kochia (summer cypress).

An excursion to Hitachi Seaside Park in October is an easy trip from central Tokyo, making it an ideal day trip. As you enter the park you will quickly spot Miharashi Hill covered in the brilliant red color of more than 30,000 Kochia.

  • Where & When: Miharashi Hill, Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibarashi Prefecture. October 15 to 26.
  • Interesting Fact: Kochia seeds are edible and are known by the name Tonburi (land caviar). Although quite bitter on their own, the seeds can be used as a garnish.
  • More Information: hitachikaihin.jp

5. Cosmos Flower Festival

Cosmos Flower Festival

From mid-September until late October, Showa Kinen Park is filled with millions of colorful cosmos flowers across three fields offering a delightful photo opportunity at one of the largest flower festivals in the country.

Visitors are free to wander around the park and explore the 20,000 square meters of cosmos flowers in full bloom or participate in the cosmos-picking events and workshops taking place throughout the weeks-long event. The festival can be easily reached from Nishi-Tachikawa Station which is a 2-minute walk away.

  • Where & When: Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, end of September to late October, 9:30 to 17:00.
  • Interesting Fact: The park is actually known for many beautiful seasonal flowers, including Cherry Blossoms in Spring, Lotuses and Lilies in Summer months, and Christmas Roses in Winter.
  • More Information: Showakinen-koen.jp

6. Tokyo Ramen Festa

tokyo Ramen Festa

The Tokyo Ramen Festa (formerly the Tokyo Ramen Show) is an annual event held in late October in Komazawa Olympic Park in southwest Tokyo. The 11-day festival is the largest outdoor ramen event in Japan with more than 28 different kinds to try across 14 food stalls.

The festival has taken place every year since 2009 to help promote local seasonal foods and culture. Although entry is free, tickets are required to purchase ramen at one of the many stalls.

  • Where & When: Komazawa Olympic Park, Tokyo, 10:30 to 20:30, October 26 to November 5.
  • Interesting Fact: Japan’s most famous dish may have originated in China, but Japan’s first ramen shop, which opened in Tokyo in 1910, quickly became very popular, serving as many as 3,000 customers a day.
  • More Information: ra-fes.com

7. Tokyo Disney Halloween

Tokyo Disney Halloween

This year, Tokyo Disney Resort celebrates its 40 th anniversary, and visitors planning a trip to the most magical place on earth may be interested in the special anniversary Halloween events that take place during October, which are much more child friendly than the ones at Universal Studios Japan.

The festivities at Disneyland, which occur over a 6-week period, include a special spooky parade, a haunted mansion, fireworks, and novelty food items such as spooky-looking desserts and Nightmare Before Christmas-themed hamburgers. Visitors are also encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite Disney character as part of the Halloween celebrations.

  • Where & When: Tokyo Disney Resort, Chiba, September 15 to October 31.
  • Interesting Fact: There is an exclusive, invitation-only restaurant inside the Tokyo Disney theme park called ‘Club 33’. It is said that the original restaurant in Disneyland California was commissioned by Walt Disney himself to entertain his private guests.
  • More Information: tokyodisneyresort.jp/en

8. Karuizawa Momiji

Maruizawa Momiji

Any fans of the Japanese TV reality show Terrace House may recognize the small town of Karuizawa as the setting for the 2018 series, where the fall foliage is in peak season in mid-October. The festival period lasts around six weeks in total, with popular leaf-viewing spots including Kumobaike Pond and Kumanokotai Shrine, or guided walking tours of the area.

  • Where & When: Shirato Falls, Nagano, via Karuizawa station, late September to early November.
  • Interesting Fact: Just like the cherry blossom season in the spring, Kōyō is the act of viewing the color changes of autumn leaves. The changes in colors can be seen moving further north between late September and early December.
  • More Information: visitkaruizawa.com/en

9. Saitama Kawagoe Matsuri

Saitama Kawagoe Matsuri

Usually held near the end of October, this festival just outside Tokyo features elaborate two-story floats with giant dolls on top paraded through the city’s streets. The festival has taken place for more than 300 years and the highlight of the event is the “Hikkawase,” where festival floats compete through a traditional Japanese orchestra performance.

  • Where & When: Kawagoe Station, Kawagoe city, Saitama, October 14 & 15.
  • Interesting Fact: The most significant event in the Kawagoe calendar, in 2016 UNESCO placed the festival on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, ensuring better protection and awareness of the 360-year-old event.
  • More Information: kawagoematsuri.jp/english

10. Nagoya Festival

Nagoya Festival

Nagoya’s biggest autumn season event sees more than seven hundred participants in samurai costumes parade through the city’s streets to celebrate three local heroes who were influential during the Sengoku ‘warring provinces’ Period of the 16 th century: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Festival sites, including marching bands, festival floats, battle reenactments, samurai horseback archery, and martial arts performances, take place across the center of Nagoya City and concerts are held around Hisaya-Odori Park. The two-day event is usually held around mid-October and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city.

  • Where & When: Nagoya City Hall (festival start), mid-October.
  • Interesting Fact: Toyotomi Hideyoshi is often credited with establishing and spreading the way of tea as a way of consolidating his political power, known today as the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
  • More Information: Nagoya-info.jp/en

11. Kyoto Jidai Matsuri

Kyoto Jidai Matsuri

Considered one of the top festivals in Kyoto, the Jidai Matsuri (Festival for the ages), takes place on 22 nd October every year.

This event starts around midday at the Imperial Palace and features a five-hour-long procession to Heian Jingu Shrine to celebrate the history and culture of Kyoto. Participants wear costumes inspired by different periods and famous individuals from Japanese history, with many outfits made using the same techniques that were used 1,000 years ago.

  • Where & When: Between Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine, October 22.
  • Interesting Fact: Despite being relatively new (128 years old) it is one of the three main festivals of Kyoto, along with Aoi Matsuri in Spring, and Gion Matsuri in Summer.
  • More Information: discoverkyoto.com

12. Sawara-no-Taisai Aki Matsuri

Sawara-no-Taisai Aki Matsuri

The charming Edo-period town of Sawara holds a large autumn festival during the second weekend of October and makes for an easy day trip from Tokyo. Together with the summer festival ‘Yasaka-jinja Gionsai’, they are known collectively as the Grand Festival of Sawara .

The UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage-listed festival, which has taken place for more than 300 years, sees 14 giant floats bearing four-meter-tall historical figures pass through the town whilst paper lanterns light the streets lined with food stalls. It’s a real glimpse into old Japan.

  • Where & When: Sawara, Katori City, Chiba Prefecture, October 11 to 13.
  • Interesting Fact: Matsuri floats, known as dashi or sansha, were originally constructed to look like mountains, where people believed spirits resided. People often used to ride on top of the floats to welcome the gods during festivals.
  • More Information: suigo-sawara.ne.jp

13. Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

Nagasaki’s famous autumn festival of Suwa Shrine first began around 400 years ago.

One of the main highlights includes dance performances by one of seven groups representing the 58 different districts of the city, each year the groups are rotated. Dances such as the dragon dance, whale spouting dance, and kokkodesho are designated as Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties by the Japanese government.

The festival lasts for three days and usually begins around October 7th. Delicious foods include hashimaki – okonomiyaki wrapped around chopsticks and mochi potato.

  • Where & When: Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki City, October 7, 8 & 9.
  • Interesting Fact: One of the original purposes of the festival was to check for hidden Christians after Christianity was banned. During the three-day event, neighborhoods would open their homes to public scrutiny making forbidden religious objects difficult to hide.
  • More Information: Nagasaki-kunchi.com/english

14. Takayama Autumn Festival

Takayama Autumn Festival

Thousands of people travel annually to the small mountain town of Takayama to see the handcrafted floats covered with colorful decorations and marionettes.

The Takayama Festival is made up of two festivals, Sanno Matsuri in spring, and Hachiman Matsuri in autumn. The autumn season festival is a new harvest celebration and is usually held on October 9 th and 10 th . The festival atmosphere comes to life after dark when hundreds of lanterns are lit on each float and the procession begins so if you can stop overnight you can enjoy it to the fullest.

  • Where & When: Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, October 9 & 10.
  • Interesting Fact: The autumn festival, which originated sometime in the 16 th century, is the annual festival of the Sakurayama Hachimangu shrine, which is home to Ujigami, a guardian god which protects the residents from the northern half of Takayama city.
  • More Information: hi da.jp

15. Onomichi Lantern Festival

Onomichi Lantern Festival

The scenic coastal town of Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture has its own stop on the Shinkansen (bullet train) line making it an easy place to visit.

During the lantern festival in early October, approximately 30,000 lanterns are placed around the town. An overnight stay here is highly recommended to spend time the following day exploring the Shimanami Kaido, Japan’s most scenic cycling route that crosses the Inland Sea via a series of suspension bridges.

  • Where & When: Onomichi Station, Onomichi City, Hiroshima, October 7 & 8.
  • Interesting Fact: The lanterns are placed to represent the night lights of the many ships that came into the popular port when it opened almost 900 years ago.
  • More Information: onomichi-matsuri.jp

16. Nada Fighting Festival

Nada Fighting Festival

Held annually in late October, the Nada Fighting Festival is one of the most popular events in the castle city of Himeji, which sees participants slam their portable shrines into each other to the sounds of drums and chanting in a tussle for the prize of approval from the gods!

As the festival opens the mikoshi (floats) are taken to the shrine for a special purification ceremony by a Shinto priest. On the second day, the action begins as participants dressed in ceremonial headbands and fundoshi are also blessed before fighting their mikoshi until one of them breaks.

  • Where & When: Matsubara Hachiman Shrine, Himeji City, October 14 & 15.
  • Interesting Fact: Only men between high school age and 45 can participate in the fighting mikoshi and are separated by the weight of their mikoshi according to their age, with the oldest men carrying the heaviest float.
  • More Information: nadamatsuri.jp

17. Naha Tug-of-War

Naha Tug-of-war

The Naga Giant Tug of War event in Okinawa takes the tug-of-war games you played at school to another level!

Attracting thousands of visitors and with up to 30,000 participants, all are welcome to participate. The rope used in the event weighs 40 metric tons and is 200 meters in length, making it the world’s largest tug-of-war event. Alongside the tug-of-war, there are also other events including the traditional Eisa folk dance, festival stalls, and a parade that features lion dancing and martial arts performances.

  • Where & When: Onoyama Sports Park in Naha City, Okinawa, October 12 to 14.
  • Interesting Fact: After the event in 1995, the rope used in the festival was measured by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest rice-straw rope used in a tug-of-war.
  • More Information: nahaotsunahiki.org

18. Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido

Also called the Nishiseto Expressway, the Shimanami Kaido is a 70 km long scenic but challenging expressway across the network of bridges that span Japan’s Inland Sea, connecting Onomichi city in Hiroshima with Imabari city in Ehime prefecture.

For lovers of the Japanese countryside, a cycling route was constructed as part of the expressway with easily accessible ramps, inclines, and stops along the route. Since opening in 1999, it has become one of the most popular long-distance cycling routes in Japan due to the attractions and natural beauty of the islands. Early October is the best time of year to travel across the route due to the ideal average temperature and pleasant weather conditions.

  • Where & When: Starting points include Imabari or Onomichi, in the month of October (recommended).
  • Interesting Fact: Each bridge along the route has a stamp, available for only cyclists or pedestrians. Collect all five to complete the ‘Stamp Rally’ for a prize.
  • More Information: shimanami-cycle.jp

19. Huis Ten Bosch Biggest Fireworks Festival

Huis Ten Bosch Biggest Fireworks Festival

This theme park located in Sasebo, Nagasaki, is named after the Dutch Royal Palace of the same name and features many life-sized replicas of old Dutch buildings. It was built to reflect the strong historical connections between Japan and the Netherlands.

Japan’s largest theme park features many attractions in different themed areas of the park including the world’s largest triple-decker ‘Sky Carousel’.

On Saturday, October 7, the night sky will light up in a spectacular annual display that features some of the largest award-winning fireworks in Japan. The display also extends to Oct. 28 when a Halloween display takes place.

  • Where & When: Huis Ten Bosch Machi, Sasebo, Nagasaki, October 7, 6:45 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • Interesting Fact: According to the Guinness World Records, the world’s first robot-staffed hotel ( Henn na Hotel ) opened in the theme park in 2015.
  • More Information: huistenbosch.co.jp

20. Ashikaga Flower Park Illuminations

Ashikaga Flower Park Illuminations

Wisteria was introduced to Japan from the United States at the end of the 19 th century and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and romantic flowers in Japan. One of the best places to view wisteria flowers in Japan is Ashikaga Flower Park where different colors and species of wisteria cover 23 acres of park land.

In October, the ‘Light Flower Garden’ display covers the park with spectacular illuminations. Thousands of colorful blinking lights in tunnels, themed displays, and fields give the Ashikaga Flower Illuminations the title of one of the top illuminations of Japan.

  • Where & When: Ashikaga Flower Park, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, from the end of October to early November.
  • Interesting Fact: The park is perhaps best known for its impressive 150-year-old Wisteria tree which was designated as a national monument by Tochigi prefecture.
  • More Information: Ashikaga.co.jp/english

21. The Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremong

Now in its fifteenth year, the Grand Tea Ceremony in Tokyo is a display and a celebration of one of Japan’s most famous and cherished cultural pastimes, the tea ceremony. It is an opportunity for masters and beginners alike to enjoy and discover the history and traditions surrounding the ceremony.

The event isn’t just for locals, as foreign tourists can also watch and participate in outdoor tea gatherings in English. The event takes place over two weekends in mid to late October, at the Hama-rikyu Gardens and the Edo Tokyo Architectural Museum.

  • Where & When: Hama-rikyu Gardens, Tokyo, October 14 & 15, & Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, Tokyo, October 21 & 22.
  • Interesting Fact: Until the end of the Edo Period, the Tea Ceremony in Japan was both performed and attended by men only.
  • More Information: Tokyo-grand-tea-ceremony.jp

22. Saijo Sake Festival

Saijo Sake Festival

This small town 30 minutes outside of Hiroshima city is famous for its premium sake. The annual outdoor festival takes in early October over a weekend and draws hundreds of thousands of sake lovers to sample more than 900 different types of sake.

The event opens with Osakebayashi Mikoshi, a Shinto ritual that pays gratitude to the god of sake for a safe event. It is packed with other events including live music, tours of the 10 local breweries, a water tea ceremony, a karaoke tent, parade floats, and a bishunabe stand, a meat and vegetable hot pot dish cooked in sake.

  • Where & When: Saijō Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, October 7 & 8.
  • Interesting Fact: Saijo Sake is known as one of the premium sakes in Japan. In a narrow strip of land surrounded by mountains and nearby wells, sake has been brewed in Saijo for more than 370 years.
  • More Information: sakematsuri.com

23. Ueno Tenjin Festival

Ueno Tenjin Festival

Not to be confused with Ueno in Tokyo, the Ueno Tenjin autumn festival is located at Sugawara Shrine in Iga City, Mie Prefecture. The UNESCO cultural heritage-listed festival takes place across three days and features nine hand-decorated wooden floats pulled through the city by ropes.

One of the most popular elements of the festival is the procession of demons, or Oni, which can be seen nowhere else in Japan. When the celebrations move into the evening, thousands of paper lanterns beautifully light up the floats as they pass the many stalls of crafts and seasonal foods that line the streets.

  • Where & When: Sugawara Shrine, Ueno Higashimachi, Iga City, October 20, 21 & 22.
  • Interesting Fact: As they move through the streets, the demons stagger toward children to make them cry. According to legend, the children who cry will grow up in good health, so parents often move their children in front of the demons’ path hoping to be seen.
  • More Information: ueno-tenjin-matsuri.com

Dates to Avoid Traveling Japan in October

Sports Day – This annual national holiday is held on the 2nd Monday of October to commemorate the opening of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and promote sports. Expect domestic travel over the weekend prior to be busier than usual so it is a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible.

Japan in October Autumn Foliage Guide

tours to japan in october

Japan in October – Autumn Packing Guide

tours to japan in october

Looking for more ideas on what to do in Japan? Check out my 1-day Osaka itinerary , 5-day Tokyo itinerary , and 3-day Kyoto itinerary to help you plan the perfect trip!

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The Portable Wife

Home » Travel » Destinations » Visiting Japan in October: The Best of Autumn in Japan

Visiting Japan in October: The Best of Autumn in Japan

Why visit Japan in October - temple with orange bridge

The best travel experience of my life was visiting Japan in October. As a fall foliage fanatic, I loved seeing the country decorated in vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. And when you add in pleasant weather, cheaper travel, and traditional festivals, autumn in Japan becomes the ideal time for a trip.

Visiting Japan in October - Matsumoto shrine with red autumn leaves.

I’m sure cherry blossom fans are shocked to hear this bold statement! However, I’ve been to Tokyo and Kyoto for sakura season, and I still feel the fall season in Japan is superior.

Don’t believe me yet? Keep reading, and we’ll see if I can convince you…

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, click here .

Visiting Japan in October: What You Need to Know

Why is october a good time to visit japan, what to wear in japan in october, best places to visit in japan in october, other japanese autumn festivals in october, where to stay during autumn in japan.

Kanazawa stone bridge over river viewed during autumn in Japan.

I could fill an entire book about why you should travel to Japan in October! But that would be impractical, so I’ll offer you this list instead:

  • Magical walks through forests of red and gold
  • Hot onsen baths on crisp evenings
  • Centuries-old festivals with traditional events like horseback archery
  • Pumpkin-filled taiyaki
  • Comfortable, relatively dry weather across the country
  • Fewer crowds at tourist attractions and popular cities
  • Cheaper accommodation and airfare (compared to cherry blossom season and summer)

RELATED: 5 Day Japan Itinerary Ideas to Suit Any Travel Style

Is it cold in Japan in October?

Japan is a multi-island nation with a very diverse climate. October in Hokkaido looks (and feels) very different from October in Okinawa.

That being said, October is the rare month where weather is pleasant across the entire country. Even in the northern parts of Japan, high temperatures hover around 16°C/60°F.

As you head south, temps continue to rise. Central Japan (around Tokyo/Kyoto) and Kyushu see highs around 22°C/71°F, while Okinawa is a warm 25°C/77°F.

However, elevation plays a big role in how cold it gets. For example, the mountain areas of Kamikochi National Park are far cooler than nearby Matsumoto city, especially when the sun goes down.

You’ll find a fall packing list for Japan further down the post.

RELATED: 12 Essential Things to Avoid in Japan While Traveling

Will I see fall foliage in Japan in October?

Togakushi Mirror Lake with fall foliage and white clouds.

As I mentioned above, Japan is spread across multiple climates. This means that not all areas will get autumn foliage at the same time.

Koyo (fall foliage in Japanese) starts at Hokkaido in early October, and spreads south towards central Honshu over the course of the month. Mountain areas like Nagano will get autumn colors sooner because of the cooler temperatures.

By the end of October, autumn foliage will have peaked in places like Nikko and Aomori, but will have just kicked off in Tokyo and Kyoto.

This post will cover some of the best places to see autumn leaves in Japan. But to create your ultimate momijigari (leaf-peeping) trip, you should use an updated forecast .

The current year’s weather affects when the leaves start turning, so always check the koyo forecast before planning your itinerary!

Woman in red yukata representing what to wear in Japan in October.

Layers are the secret to dressing for autumn weather in Japan. Even in the northern cities, the midday highs in October are often warm enough for t-shirts and pants. But temperatures drop during the mornings and evenings, making a jacket essential.

I’m a big fan of minimalist packing and carry-on only travel. I managed to fit a week’s worth of clothes into my Tortuga Setout backpack, and they worked for 20°C/70°F days in Tokyo and 7°C/45°F evenings in the Nagano mountains.

Here’s what to include in your fall Japan packing list:

  • Lightweight tops
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pants/Long skirts
  • Lightweight* rain jacket (I bring my Columbia Waterproof Jacket on every trip)
  • Light gloves ( convertible mittens or touchscreen-friendly gloves are ideal)
  • Comfortable, closed-toed shoes (versatile white Adidas Classics are my favorite)
  • 1 dressier outfit (if planning to eat at a nice restaurant)
  • *Heavier jacket required if heading to Hokkaido or mountainous areas

Check out my hiking gear guide if you’re planning some outdoor adventures in Japan!

My Favorite Japan Travel Planning Books

These books win my travel blogger Seal of Approval for vacation planning:

  • Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen
  • Lonely Planet Japan
  • Super Cheap Japan: Budget Travel in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima and Surrounding Areas

Togakushi forest path with fall foliage during October in Japan.

Nestled in the mountains of central Honshu, Nagano prefecture is an ideal place to spend October in Japan. It’s a nature lover’s paradise, with waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic viewpoints galore.

Around mid-October, fall foliage spreads through the region, and peaks towards the end of the month. While nearby Tokyo is still pretty green, cities like Karuizawa and Komoro are awash in red and gold.

Luckily, Nagano is only an 80-120 minute train ride away from Tokyo, so you can easily take a leaf-peeping day trip.

Some of the best things to do in Nagano include visiting Shirato Falls in Karuizawa , hiking the Togakushi Shrine path, and watching the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani take an onsen bath.

Book your Nagano snow monkey trip here!

Kamikochi forest river path with distant mountain view.

Kamikochi is widely considered to be one of the country’s most beautiful national parks. The pristine mountain valley is stunning year-round, but this famous place in Japan truly comes alive in October.

From golden larches reflecting in Taisho Pond to red Japanese maple leaves drifting on the breeze, Kamikochi is a wonderland for fall foliage in Japan. And the main trails are accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels, so you can enjoy this autumn jewel without fancy hiking gear.

The only tricky thing about Kamikochi is that it’s somewhat remote, and there’s a motor vehicle ban in the park. However, it’s easy to travel here by bus if you do a little research.

Fortunately, I wrote a detailed Kamikochi hiking guide to help you have an amazing, stress-free trip!

Famous Hokkaido red bridge over river with golden autumn leaves in Japan.

Japan’s northernmost main island is a land of rugged natural beauty. Volcanic mountains and dense forests surround the island’s developed cities, providing plenty of opportunities for leaf peeping.

When people ask where to go in Japan in October, Daisetsuzan National Park is often the answer. Daisetsuzan is Japan’s largest national park, and it’s famous for being the first place in the country to get autumn foliage.

Don’t Forget Your Japan Rail Pass!

Buying a Japan Rail Pass will save you a ton of time and money when traveling across Japan.

I’ve purchased a JR pass for two out of three Japan trips, and here’s why:

– Free bullet trains and reservations : Quickly travel all over Japan to maximize vacation time.

– Easy to use: Just show your pass to the gate attendant and walk to your train!

– Affordable day trips: Visit popular places like Nagoya, Kanazawa, and more without spending a fortune on tickets.

Order your Japan Rail Pass now for speedy delivery!

Lake Towada

Lake Towada shoreline with view of fall trees and mountain.

This vast crater lake inside Towada-Hachimantai National Park is one of the most popular autumn destinations in Japan. Boat tours ferry guests around the lake, offering amazing views of the red and gold trees that surround the shore. And there are numerous hotels and onsen resorts that make for a relaxing home base.

Nearby Oirase Stream is also renowned for its stunning autumn colors, which peak around late October.

Save me for later!

Collage of Japanese castles, shrines, and bridges, with text overlay - "How to plan a trip to Japan in October".

Waterfalls, canyons, golden mountaintop shrines… If Nikko isn’t on your radar, it should be!

Nikko is best known for Toshogu Shrine, the opulent final resting place of shogunate leader Tokugawa Ieyasu. The village sits at the edge of Nikko Nationa Park, which boasts some of Japan’s best places for fall color in October. Highlights include Lake Chuzenji, Kegon Falls, and Ryuokyo Canyon.

Nikko is only 2 hours away from Tokyo by bullet train, so it’s a great autumn day trip option. Its beautiful and peaceful location also make it ideal for visitors traveling to Japan alone .

Nara deer in front of lake with shrine and fall foliage.

With sacred deer roaming ancient temple grounds strewn in autumn leaves, it’s no wonder Nara is a fall favorite.

Fall foliage in Nara doesn’t peak until November, but places like Mt. Wakakusa will take on color starting in late October. Even if the weather pushes back koyo , you can still enjoy the town’s amazing attractions, like Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Grand Shrine, without heavy crowds.

Check out my Nara day trip guide to make the most of your trip!

Kanazawa castle viewed through orange autumn leaves.

If you want to feel as though you’ve walked back in time, Kanazawa should be on your itinerary.

Use my Kanazawa day trip guide to plan your visit!

Unlike other Japanese cities, much of Kanazawa has been preserved since the Edo period. You can explore centuries-old neighborhoods, a ninja temple, and the iconic Kanazawa Castle against a backdrop of fiery hues. Kenroku-en Garden, with its red Japanese maples, is especially lovely in late October.

Kanazawa is on a direct shinkansen line from Tokyo, making it an easy day trip or secondary destination.

Book your Kanazawa historical walking tour here!

Fuji Five Lakes

View of Mount Fuji and lake framed by red and gold leaves.

Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japanese beauty. But the sacred mountain and surrounding lakes are perfectly accentuated by fall foliage.

Aside from taking in the natural splendor, the Fuji Five Lakes area is home to Fuji Q Highland amusement park, hot springs resorts, and multiple museums.

Plan your visit for the last few days of October for the best chance to see autumn colors.

Book your Fuji Five Lakes tour here!

Traditional Japanese temple with orange wooden bridge leading to it.

Kyoto in October is all about the festivals. Though autumn colors don’t arrive until the last few days of October, the lighter crowds and cultural events make Kyoto a great addition to a fall itinerary.

Check out my Kyoto 2 day itinerary to plan your visit!

On October 22nd, the grand Jidai Matsuri festival celebrates the founding of the city. Thousands of performers dressed as geisha, samurai, and other historical figures parade through the streets towards Heian Shrine.

In nearby Arashiyama, dozens of women dressed in colorful Heian period costumes participate in the Saigu Procession (Saigū Gyōretsu). This event recreates the purification and departure ritual of a royal woman leaving to serve as a shrine priestess.

Set up a traditional Kyoto experience or local tour here!

People dressed in Halloween costumes getting photo taken in Tokyo.

Visiting Tokyo in October is a great idea. While you won’t see much autumn foliage, the lighter crowds and Halloween festivities more than make up for it.

Halloween may be a Western holiday, but in the land of cosplay, it’s a full-blown celebration. All month, shops and restaurants decorate with displays and sell themed food and merchandise. And on the 31st, the streets of Akihabara look like an outdoor Halloween party.

For the ultimate Halloween experience, head to Tokyo Disney. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes alive with pumpkins, giant cobwebs, and skeleton wreaths. And experiences like the Haunted Mansion and Spooky Boo! parade transform the park into a magical must-see.

Book your skip-the-line Tokyo Disney tickets here!

If you’re looking for more traditional October festivals, you’re in luck. There are a number of fireworks festivals, parades, and fall markets in the city and surrounding suburbs. This article has a list of what to see and when.

Use my detailed guide to spending 6 days in Tokyo for an amazing experience!

Nagoya Castle with red tree and partly cloudy sky view.

Anyone interested in Japanese history and culture should visit Nagoya in October. Near the middle of the month, the city puts on its largest event: the Nagoya Festival.

It’s a cultural extravaganza featuring two days of parades, traditional folk music, horseback archery competitions, and plenty of must eat Japanese food . Modern elements, like marching bands and motor vehicles, are also woven into the festivities.

Autumn color doesn’t usually arrive in Nagoya until November. However, attractions like Nagoya Castle and the Sakae entertainment district provide plenty of amusement in addition to the festival.

Two men dressed in traditional Japanese clothing.

Kurama Fire Festival

Known as hi-matsuri , Japanese fire festivals are beloved by locals and tourists alike. On the evening of October 22nd, the hot spring village of Kurama hosts an epic, flaming processional up to Yuki Jinja.

Hundreds of villagers clad in traditional garb carry torches through the streets, and add them to the bonfire once they reach the shrine.

Nagasaki Kunchi

From October 7-9, parades and performances take over the city of Nagasaki. This popular festival has everything from sailboat-looking floats to energetic traditional dancing. Foreigners should check out this website for more information on how to watch the events, as seated tickets are difficult to buy outside of Japan.

Your best bet for enjoying this festival is to book a local guide .

Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival

On the evening of October 4th, more than 2,000 red paper lanterns drift through the streets of Nihonmatsu. Locals bob and weave as they carry the seven floats holding lanterns and drummers. It’s one of Japan’s most impressive lantern festivals, especially when the floats travel in front of Nihonmatsu Castle.

Nada Fighting Festival

If you think Japan is all about quiet rituals and pretty lanterns, think again! Every October 14-15, male residents of Hyogo prefecture put on a wild show of strength and destruction.

Day one of the Nada Fighting Festival involves a blessing and parade of decorated floats. But on the second day, groups of men in traditional clothing ram three floats together in an effort to destroy one.

All this action is set to beating drums and chanting onlookers, making it one of Japan’s more lively fall events.

Wooden pavilion over outdoor onsen bath in Japan forest.

From capsule hotels to fancy resorts, accommodation in Japan spans all budgets and travel styles. However, I highly suggest booking a ryokan   for your autumn trip to Japan.

Ryokans are traditional guest houses that offer an authentic Japanese cultural experience. Expect to find woven tatami mats in your room, a wooden soaker tub in the bath, and plush futon mats for sleeping.

When we stayed at Yuzuya Ryokan in Kyoto , we enjoyed perks like afternoon tea in our room and amazing kaiseki dinners overlooking a Japanese garden. It was an unforgettable experience!

Many ryokans also have onsen (hot spring baths), which feel incredible after a long day of leaf-peeping.

6 thoughts on “Visiting Japan in October: The Best of Autumn in Japan”

Ok this is AMAZING. I have to agree with you— I love Japan in the fall. We’ve been to Kyoto in November and it is absolutely magical with all the gorgeous foliage and delicious seasonal cuisine. Will have to visit these other destinations in autumn next time! Hokkaido looks incredible.

I’m glad we agree! Sakura season is lovely, but I think the reds and yellows of fall foliage bring out the best of Japan’s cities and landscapes.

How many days do you think are ideal for an October visit to Japan? Would 10 days be sufficient? If so, which cities and parks would you prioritize? We would likely travel from Oct 17-27. Thank you!

Great question, Vanessa! 10 days is a fantastic amount of time to spend in Japan. The leaf forecast changes every year depending on the weather, but you’ll definitely see some great colors in Hokkaido and mountainous areas like Nagano prefecture. I did my 5 day Nagano itinerary in late October and saw plenty of autumn foliage. Nikko, Sapporo, and Daisetsuzan National Park would be great as well.

Thanks so much for this wonderful article Chelsea! I visited Japan during sakura season and I have been wanting to visit Japan in fall. I have a tentative plan to have a small simple wedding ceremony in Japan next fall. Do you have any recommendations on this? I was thinking a small simple gathering in Hakone or Fuji lakes but open to more ideas. Goal is to have an intimate wedding with the beautiful fall nature background and then everyone can just enjoy being in Japan. Look forward to your thoughts!

That sounds lovely, Rachel! There are a ton of hotels and resorts in the Hakone/Fuji Five Lakes area, and I’d imagine many would be able to host your guests and do a wedding dinner. A ryokan would also be a good option if you only have a very small number of guests.

If you’re hoping for a view of Mount Fuji during the ceremony, I suggest an early morning or late afternoon ceremony, as the clouds and mid-day haze can obstruct the view. Waiting until the first week of November should give you more clear viewing conditions, as well as good fall foliage. Check out 37 Frames Instagram for some lovely Mt. Fuji wedding shots. Congrats and best of luck with the planning!

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  • Visiting Japan In October 2024: A Guide To Festivals, Places To Visit And More

23 Mar 2023

Visiting Japan in October can be one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences of your life. The onset of autumn coats the country in fiery reds, oranges and golds. Japan’s weather in October is moderate and pleasant which helps you to enjoy the beauty around you comfortably. Add to this, the various traditional festivals, cheaper travel options and a number of tourist attractions in cities like Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Kyoto. The festivals are scattered across the country that make visiting Japan in October a worthwhile endeavour to look forward to. This comprehensive guide will give you all the information you need to visit Japan in October.

Japan Weather In October

October is one of the most pleasant months to visit Japan. As the typhoon season ends, the weather in Japan in October is moderate (neither hot nor humid) and comfortable. Average daytime temperature in October hovers around 15 °C. Chances of rain drastically reduce and the hot and humid summer days of September give way to a warm and fuzzy October.

Why You Should Visit Japan In October

Why You Should Visit Japan In October

Image Source Trees just begin to turn colours in the higher elevations and you can see the gradual changing of colours as you travel from north to south in the month of October. Compared to Sakura season also known as “cherry blossom” season, there are fewer crowds. As a result, airfare and accommodation is cheaper to attract more tourists. Japan also has an extensive railway network and buying a Japan Rail Pass ticket will give you access to unlimited rail travel for a certain period. Also, there are various things you can witness in Japan in October as listed below:

  • Pumpkin Filled Taiyaki
  • Onsen Baths in Picturesque Settings
  • Comfortable Weather
  • Koyo (Fall Foliage)

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Traditional Festivals In Japan In October

The month of October is one of the most fun months to be in Japan. Check out these awesome traditional festivals which you can be a part of while visiting Japan in October.

1. Hokkaido Food Festival

Hokkaido Food Festival

Image Source Autumn in Japan ushers in the season to celebrate the new harvest and locals call it “Autumn’s Appetite”, to celebrate and try out the different kinds of seasonal food and ingredients. A number of food events are held in October, and one of the biggest is the Hokkaido Food Festival. This is an outdoor food event held in the first week of October for 4 days in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. It features around 100 vendors and over 400 delicacies from Hokkaido. Here, you can find a lavish spread, from seafood to regional Ramen.

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2. Niihama Taiko Festival

Niihama Taiko Festival

Image Source The Niihama Taiko festival is held in mid-October on Shikoku Island. It consists of 47 floats which are shaped like giant taiko drums. Various teams from the local neighbourhood, consisting of 150 men bounce the 2 ton floats wildly in the area to show their team spirit. This festival is attended by around 250,000 spectators who gather around these teams and support and egg them on as the float teams try to knock over the opposite team’s floats by charging and ramming into them.

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3. Nagasaki Kunchi

Nagasaki Kunchi

Image Source Held in the city of Nagasaki, this festival dates back to 1634. The event is heavily influenced by European and Chinese culture. The entire city of Nagasaki takes part in this festival with around 60 teams representing the various city districts. These teams perform a unique dance on a rotating schedule of 7 years, so it remains fresh to even the regular viewer. If you wish to attend this festival, you need to buy tickets months in advance as they sell out several weeks before the event begins. Some performances are staged at various locations across the city and you can watch them freely as they don’t require tickets.

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5 Places To Visit In Japan in October

If you are wondering about the places to visit in Japan in October, then worry not. Here is a list of top 5 places to visit that should definitely be a part of your itinerary.

1. Mount Takao, Hachioji

Mount Takao

Image Source If you’re visiting Japan in October, then you must include Mt Takao in your itinerary. Mt Takao is about an hour’s train journey away from the Tokyo metropolis. As you leave the busy skyline of the city and make your way into the hilly landscape, you are welcomed by the most breathtaking sight of the maple-covered sierra. Mt Takao is host to its very own Mt Takao Autumn Leaves Festival. It plays host to events like Taiko drum shows, workshops and parades. Other attractions include gorgeous hiking trails and a number of food joints to satisfy your appetite.

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2. Lake Daigenta, Niigata

Lake Daigenta in Niigata

One of the top places to visit in Japan in October is Lake Daigenta which is situated near the Yuzawa Ski Park. Here, you can see the colourful autumn leaves get reflected on its pristine surface. You can also circle the lake in a suspension bridge that surrounds it. Other options to explore the area include hiking or getting a rowboat, if that’s what floats your boat. There are various campsites available around the area to soak in the beauty. By the end of it, you’ll find it tough to tear yourself away from the landscape.

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3. Rikugien Garden, Tokyo

Rikugien Garden in Tokyo

Image Source Located in the heart of Tokyo is Rikugien Garden. It’s a popular destination throughout the year but if you’re visiting Japan in October, this park is at its peak during the autumn season. It will take you an easy couple of hours to explore this Tokugawa Shogun era garden by foot. Landscaped in an Edo-Period strolling garden style, it’s densely populated with maple trees that transform from green to shades of red and orange during autumn. Make sure to include this Garden in your plans when you visit.

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4. Iya Valley, Tokushima

Iya Valley, Tokushima

Image Source For the more adventurous traveller, another secret autumn hotspot to visit in Japan in October is the Iya Valley located on the island of Shikoku in the Tokushima province. It’s not the easiest spot to reach, but the journey is well worth it. Tucked between towering mountains and rocky gorges, the Iya Valley area is at its most vivid as October rolls into early November. You can cross the twisty vine bridges that hang in this remote valley as you make your way to Mt Tsurugi for those unbe-leaf-able views.

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5. Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido

Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido

Image Source One must-visit to add to your Japan itinerary is the Daisetsuzan National Park located in Hokkaido, the second largest main island of Japan. This national park is Hokkaido’s largest and one of the most beautiful in the country. Typically, this area hits its peak in early October. The park is so huge that the most effective way to explore it is if you join a ropeway tour. You can also visit the Asahidake Onsen, a hot spring resort that sits at the foot of Hokkaido’s highest peak, Mt Asahidake.

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5 Things To Do In Japan In October

There is no end to the crazy things which you can indulge in while visiting Japan in October. We have picked some of the best things to do to make your vacation memorable.

1. Witness Spectacular Sights

Witness Spectacular Sights

Image Source For anyone travelling to Japan in October, witnessing the spectacular autumn leaves must be at the top of their list of things to do. Autumn leaves peak in October in the northern regions of Tohuku and the main island of Hokkaido. Some of the other spots for viewing autumn leaves are Nikko, Nagano, Tokyo and Kyoto. You can take a Golden Route itinerary in early October to see a change in the autumn tint as you travel from north towards the south of the island.

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2. Hiking At Various Locations

Hiking At Various Locations

Image Source For the more adventurous souls, October is considered to be the best time of the year for outdoor activities. The weather during this time is moderate, and especially on the mountains, it’s the best time to see autumn leaves since most of them are closed down for public from November. There are various hiking spots around Tokyo for visitors to enjoy on a day-trip. Some of the best hiking spots around Tokyo include Kamikochi, Mt Oyama and Mt Takao-which is the closest nature from Central Tokyo.

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3. Visit The Temples Of Nara

Visit The Temples Of Nara

Image Source Get spiritual and roam the ancient temple grounds of Todaji Temple and Kauga Grand Shrine as autumn sets in. Fall foliage peaks in late October in places like Mt Wakakusa drawing huge crowds.

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4. Walk Back In Time In Kanazawa

Walk Back In Time In Kanazawa

Image Source Unlike other cities, Kanazawa has been preserved since the Edo period. Here, you can explore old neighbourhoods, ninja temples and the Kanazawa Castle against the fiery backdrop of red Japanese maples.

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5. Visit The Fuji Five Lakes Area

Visit The Fuji Five Lakes Area

Image Source The sacred Mount Fuji and its surrounding lakes are perfectly enveloped in fall foliage in October. The Fuji Five Lakes area has a number of attractions like onsen resorts, the Fuji Q Highland amusement park and a number of museums making it a must visit destination to explore.

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So, there you have the things and activities that line up for you in Japan In October. Plan a beautiful trip to Japan today and get ready to experience all of the above. And since its fall, the pleasant weather is going to impress you thoroughly. While you are on it, do share your lovely experience to this beautiful country with us.

Disclaimer:  TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note:  Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Japan In October

Is October a good time to visit Japan?

October is one of the best times to visit Japan for several reasons. The weather is pleasant during this time and compared to Sakura season, there are fewer crowds, the result of which airfare and accomodation is cheaper.

How many days are enough for Japan?

7 to 10 days is an ideal time to spend in Japan. You can easily cover all the sightseeing places in the stipulated time.

Is Japan safe for tourists?

Japan is an absolutely safe country for tourists. Although some areas are best to avoid late at night.

What can I wear in Japan in October?

It is advised to wear lightweight tops/t shirts during the daytime. However, at night it gets a little colder so don’t forget to pack warm clothes.

What is Japan famous for?

Japan is famous for its traditional arts, calligraphy. The country is also home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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  • 20 Best Things to do in Japan in October: Attractions, Activities & Tours

20 Best Things to do in October in Japan | Attractions | Activities | Tours

tours to japan in october

Last Updated: 10/08/2023

With autumn settling in and the fall leaves taking over the country, there are many great things to do in October in Japan! From sumo watching and paragliding around Mt Fuji to bathing in colorful rivers and visiting Huis Ten Bosch, there are lots to do when the latter part of the year kicks in.

Halloween is fast becoming a big deal in the country, and you can catch up with some of the festivities in burlesque clubs around Tokyo that put on sizzling performances for the masses. The things to do in October are also defined by World heritage temples and blue cave snorkeling.

For more ideas on incredible things to do in October, our list has got you covered!

1. Up-close Sumo wrestling action and special lunch

tours to japan in october

Go behind the stables and watch rikishi square up to each other in a circle ring in Ryogoku. Be sure to ask questions later on and have a go at Chankonabe, a traditional sumo wrestler’s meal!

田中企画

2. Nikko’s beautiful riches at your fingertips

tours to japan in october

Amassed with natural beauty like the Kegon falls at every turn, Nikko is a mystical mountain haven with a spiritual atmosphere. Explore Lake Chuzenji , the cultural theme Nikko Edo wonderland, Kinugawa hot spring, and more with an all-access, 4-day pass.

アクティビティジャパン(リンクティビティ経由EDO WONDERLAND 日光江戸村)

3. Visit a UNESCO World Heritage temple wearing Kimono

Kiyomizu-dera is an important landmark of Kyoto, and it is the site of a beguiling kimono rental experience. Rent beautiful traditional attire and take to the old Edo streets for strolls around autumn-colored trees!

京都 着物レンタル ミモザ 本店

4. Amazing Mt. Fuji & Hakone Tour from Tokyo

tours to japan in october

Hakone is a popular destination for those who want to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest and most iconic mountain. Visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the mountain from various vantage points in Hakone, including Lake Ashi and the Hakone Ropeway.

一般社団法人静岡富士山ガイド協会

5. Visit a lovely Dutch town in Nagasaki

tours to japan in october

If you fancy a trip to a 17th-century Dutch town, Huis Ten Bosch recreates the setting perfectly in Sasebo, Nagasaki . The presentation is complete with native architecture, encompassing a giant Ferris wheel and colorful tulips that are lit up in entrancing colors at night!

H.I.S. 訪日旅行営業本部

6. Minakami canoeing tour with autumn views

tours to japan in october

October is always a great time to go canoeing on Lake Okutone in Minakami. The summer shades have been replaced by rich autumn leaves, making for scenic paddling in meditative waters!

ワンドロップ アウトドアガイドサービス

7. Canoeing and bathing in Jozankei’s fall beauty

tours to japan in october

Fresh from Mt. Oizari, Toyohira river snakes about breathtaking scenery, passing through Jozankei. A canoe trip here means red and orange fall foliage and refreshing forest baths at designated points!

アミューズスポーツ(AMUSE SPORTS)

8. Experience Chitose’s impressive October shades

tours to japan in october

A whole new world awaits in nature-blessed Chitose. The tarmacked trails offer heavenly cycling within banks of orange seasonal trees in October, and you can follow the floral appeal into the water with a boat down an enchanting river!

HORTO札幌

9. A day in the diverse underwater of Miyakojima island

tours to japan in october

The underworld of Miyakojima is never a dull affair. Clownfish hide in colorful sea fans, and sea turtles are always wandering about looking for adventure. Go diving with all sorts of sea creatures in Miyakojima!

marine assist DEMI マリンアシストデミ

10. Let your inner child loose in Yanbaru

tours to japan in october

Have fun on vine swings above a stream tucked away in a beautiful part of Yanbaru forest, as you climb waterfalls and enjoy treks with your family. Forget your troubles and live life on the blissful lane!

冒険島

11. The clay is your oyster in Kyoto

tours to japan in october

Master the intricate art of using the electric potter's wheel and create beautiful pottery by shaping the clay with the power of your hands. There is no greater satisfaction than crafting your own useful souvenirs. Beginners are welcome to enjoy this soothing activity in Kyoto .

瑞光窯 京都清水店(zuikougama)

12. Marvel at the pumpkin limestone cave in Miyakojima

tours to japan in october

The yellow stalactites and limestone formations that curve into the shape of pumpkins have earned Ryugu Miyagi its nickname. This place is a great geological wonder, with enormous potential for Instagram-worthy selfies!

青色のシーズン

13. ATV ride rental around lake Kawaguchiko

ATV rental with friends around lake Kawaguchiko

Renting an ATV to explore the area around Lake Kawaguchiko is an exciting way to take in the natural beauty of the region. Adventurous visitors can enjoy the stunning views of Mt. Fuji while riding an ATV through the rugged terrain around the lake.

カントリーレイクシステムズ

14. Paragliding beside the clouds of Mt Fuji

tours to japan in october

Giving new meaning to the phrase “getting high,” paragliding in Shizuoka promises a potent dose of excitement. With Japan’s tallest mountain looming over the city, the views from up high are spectacular!

今井浜フライングスクール(Imaihama Flying School)

15. Beautiful autumn foliage and brewery explorations in Kameoka

tours to japan in october

Visiting Kameoka in autumn is a wonderful experience for nature lovers. The city's vibrant autumn foliage offers stunning views of the changing colors of the season, making it an ideal destination for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The scenery is painted red by fallen seasonal leaves, setting the tone for relaxing picnics and cultural experiences!

一般社団法人南丹市美山観光まちづくり協会

16. Show restaurant Burlesque clubs in Tokyo

Make the most of your Tokyo nights with burlesque club shows in Roppongi. Enjoy a variety of performances, including singing and pole dancing, accompanied by flash displays of LED waltzes!

17. Hot air balloon experience in Kumamoto

hot air balloon ride in Kumamoto

Located in the lush surroundings of Nantan, this paragliding experience in Kyoto offers a perfect blend of nature and tranquility. Watching the landscape merge into a uniform beauty from high up in the clouds is a divine and unforgettable experience.

株式会社KASSE JAPAN

18. Rafting in Saitama’s fall scenery

tours to japan in october

Rafting in Chichibu in October promises more than just exciting waves to ride out with friends; it also means colorful canopies that serve as perfect backdrops for picture-perfect memories. There is no greater bonding experience than enjoying the beauty of nature with your friends.

アムスハウス&フレンズ

19. Hang-gliding with views of Mt. Fuji

Float like a paper plane in the foreground of Mount Fuji and enjoy the winds and sunshine from high up in the sky. The view of Fujisan from this vantage point is truly breathtaking and magnificent.

忍野スカイスポーツ倶楽部

20. Snorkeling with clownfish in Ishigaki

tours to japan in october

An alluring vivid blue grotto in Ishigaki is home to fascinating fish such as the white and orange patterned anemonefish. Enjoy a range of fun watersports, including snorkeling tours, and be part of this unique marine adventure on the island!

石垣島ツアーガイドAll Blue(オールブルー)

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In conclusion, Japan in October offers a multitude of activities and attractions that cater to all interests. From the stunning autumn foliage to exciting outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone. Visitors can view Mount Fuji from Hakone, and rent an ATV to explore the area around Lake Kawaguchiko. Additionally, there are options for paragliding in Kyoto, rafting in Chichibu, and snorkeling in the vivid blue grotto in Ishigaki. Japan's unique cultural experiences, delicious food, and picturesque scenery make it a top destination to visit in October. Plan your trip now to experience the best of Japan!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q what is the weather like in japan in october.

A The weather in Japan in October is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures averaging around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. However, it can vary depending on the region.

Q What are some outdoor activities to do in Japan in October?

A Hiking, cycling, and visiting local parks and gardens to see the autumn foliage are popular outdoor activities during October. Additionally, some beaches in Okinawa and other southern islands are still warm enough for swimming.

Q Are there any festivals in Japan in October?

A Yes, there are several festivals in October, such as the Takayama Autumn Festival in Gifu, the Kurama Fire Festival in Kyoto, and the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki.

Q What should I pack for a trip to Japan in October?

A Pack clothes that are suitable for mild weather, such as long-sleeved shirts, jackets, and light sweaters. Comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella or raincoat are also recommended, as there may be occasional rain.

Q What are some popular day trips from Tokyo in October?

A Some popular day trips from Tokyo in October include visiting Nikko to see the autumn foliage and UNESCO World Heritage sites, taking a day trip to the Fuji Five Lakes region to see Mount Fuji and enjoy outdoor activities, or visiting Kamakura to see the beautiful fall colors and historic temples.

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At our company, in order for many customers to enjoy various activities all over Japan safely and with peace of mind, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's " Basic Policy for Countermeasures against Coronavirus Infectious Diseases " and " Let's Avoid the Three Cs "・ Based on the " new lifestyle ", we recommend the following infectious disease countermeasures to the operator.

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How to enjoy new activities in the after / with corona era

Even if you are a customer, when you continue to go out, in addition to avoiding so-called [three secrets], cough etiquette, thorough hand washing and alcohol disinfection, etc., on June 19, 2020 (Friday), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, sightseeing Please be aware of the [new travel etiquette ] announced by the Japan Tourism Agency, take actions to avoid the risk of infectious diseases, and enjoy activities and leisure activities safely.

Even now, there are tourist facilities and activity operators whose business hours and dates have changed. Please check the calendar status at the time of application and check the latest information with each operator even after the reservation is completed. Please check with each operator regarding whether or not there is a cancellation fee due to sudden closure of the facility, cancellation of the activity experience, etc.

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[Online experience] New experience online anywhere

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Japan in October: Cool Weather and Autumn Festivities

An Asian woman wearing a kimono in autumn park in Japan in October.

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Taking a trip to Japan in October means streets filled with vibrant performances as the month’s festivals, like the Tokyo Ramen Show and the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, take hold of the cities. Fiery colors begin to spread across the islands as nature provokes the exquisite rural landscapes towards autumn. October in Japan is a wonderful month, with many exciting events that you will be sure to remember forever.

  • KEVIN Kearney

Japan Weather in October

Okinawa Shisa and the beautiful sea during warm weather in Japan.

The weather starts to cool down in central Japan in October as the fall settles in, with thermometers averaging 20°C during the day and nights that dip down to 15°C. October in Hokkaido is accentuated by scarlet leaves and autumnal chills, as the temperatures in the capital city Sapporo shift between 16°C in the day and 8°C in the dark. The tropical Okinawa Islands are warmer in October than most of Japan and enjoy a balmy climate of 28°C during the sunniest parts of the day, maintaining a very pleasant temperature of 23°C overnight.

For a seasonal overview, please check out our guide on the best time to visit Japan .

Weather in Japan in October - Rainfall and Temperatures

Why visit japan in october.

Scenery of autumn leaves of Oku Saga in Kyoto City in Japan in October.

October is a very vibrant time in Japan, with many long-running festivals that are only improved by the arrival of the phenomenal autumn colors. Read on to see all the best reasons for visiting Japan this month.

  • Better rates: Flying to Japan in October means you’ll pay less for your trip than if you travel in the busy summer or winter periods.
  • Autumnal foliage: Enjoy the slow transformation of Japan’s breathtaking natural landscape as fall embraces the islands. A great place to witness the changing of the seasons is the spectacular northern island of Hokkaido, where autumn arrives sooner.
  • Fairs and festivals: If you want to experience traditional performances, visit Kyoto’s famous Jidai Matsuri. The best native foods can be sampled at the Hokkaido Food Fair.

Where to go and what to do

The pic of Japanese open air hot onsen.

Nature lovers can best immerse themselves in the shifting autumnal tones of rural Japan by visiting Hokkaido. The hiking trails of Mount Asahi at Daisetsuzan National Park weave through the undisturbed terrain as local fauna scurries through ruby-red leaves. The dazzling fall colors of Japan’s main island, Honshu, stand out against the backdrop of a thousand traditional torii gates around the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Closely packed together, these orange-red Shinto gates lead you on a journey through the leaf-covered hilly trails as they inspire you to contemplate their ancient spiritual significance.

Visit Tokyo as it shows off the best of Japan’s cuisine with two delectable food festivals in October. The Hokkaido Food Fair in Yoyogi Park features a hundred stalls selling countless delicious artisan dishes and drinks from the different regions of Hokkaido. Anyone wishing to try one of Japan’s most convenient dishes, the iconic ramen noodles, should visit the Tokyo Ramen Show that takes place towards the end of October. This event celebrates the rise of ramen as the nation’s favorite instant meal with a large choice of vendors who all sell the noodles with their own special regional twists.

If there is one event in October that truly shines a light on the rich tapestry of Japanese history and culture, it’s the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) in Kyoto. Widely considered as one of Japan’s biggest festivals, which occurs each year on October 22nd, the highlight of the day is an epic five-hour-long procession that features over 2,000 performers in hand-crafted traditional regional outfits that march from Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Heian Shrine. In Nagasaki, meanwhile, an immense party atmosphere takes hold of the city earlier in the month to celebrate the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival. The event focuses on elaborately carved and decorated wooden boats that are paraded around the city by representatives from each neighborhood.

As the weather cools down, the natural hot springs dotted around Japan can be very inviting to weary travelers who want a warm spot to sit and relax. Hakone is a famous onsen (hot spring) town near Tokyo that promises a hundred different onsen facilities where you can unwind in the comfortable water with a perfect view over the nearby Mount Fuji .

What to bring

Row of yellow ginkgo tree in autumn in Japan.

Japan still has warm, sunny days in October, so definitely bring some light daytime sightseeing outfits. That being said, the temperatures can drastically drop in the evenings and plenty of warm layers are recommended. The typhoon season may still be ongoing, so you should remember to pack a waterproof coat.

As greens fade to yellows and reds, Japan comes alive under the low October sun. Feel free to chat with our travel experts to get a customized itinerary for your Japan trip .

Check out tours to Japan in October for more information.

More information

Japan in September Japan in November Things to do in Japan Places to visit in Japan Planning a trip to Japan Private tours in Japan Group tours in Japan

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"Japan is one of the most captivating places on earth, where you can go from Tokyo's flashy streets to the snowy peak of Mount Fuji or a traditional ryokan in a day."

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Admire the snow-capped Mount Fuji

See the towering peak of Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan and a UNESCO-listed site. We’ll take you up to the 5th station of Mount Fuji, a spectacular vantage point at 7,545 feet, before taking a ride on the Kachikachiyama Ropeway with views of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi.

Take a high-speed bullet train to Kyoto

Board the high-speed bullet train to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and the ancient epicentre of Japanese culture. After whizzing through the country, you’ll meet the locals at a traditional ryokan and learn about traditional Japanese customs, then explore the Gion District and glittering Kinkakuji Temple, the symbol of Kyoto.

Experience a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

We’ll introduce you to a professional Tea Master who has spent many years learning the craft of the tea ceremony. You’ll learn about the history of Japanese tea making, and watch how the matcha is prepared with a bamboo whisk. You’ll even have a go at making (and tasting) your own tea.

Admire Osaka from the Floating Garden Observatory

The Floating Garden Observatory is an open-air viewing platform, stretching between the two towers of the Umeda Sky Building. We’ll take you to the top of the 567-foot buildings for panoramic views over Osaka, including the city’s dazzling rivers, bridges and soaring skyscrapers.

Wander through Ameyoko Street Market

With nearly 200 shops selling everything from fresh fish and spices to clothing and bags, you can spend hours roaming through Ameyoko Street Market. Located in Tokyo along the Yamanote Line tracks, it was once a black market selling American goods and sweets after WWII, when sugar was hard to find.

Our top 5 things to do in Japan

Our Japan tours take you from the dizzying heights of Mount Fuji and the bustle of the Ameyoko Market, to the tranquility of a Japanese tea ceremony.

Tokyo National Museum

The largest and oldest museum in Japan, Tokyo National Museum holds one of the world’s best collections of art and archaeological artefacts from Asia. There are over 110,000 items, including 87 National Treasures of Japan, and you can find everything from art along the Silk Road to medieval Japanese art.

Kotokuin Temple

Located in the city of Kamakuru, the Kotokuin Temple is a Japanese Buddhist temple of the Jodo sect. It’s home to the ‘Great Buddha’ or ‘Daibutsu’, a 37-foot bronze statue of Amida Buddha, constructed in 1252. The towering statue is a National Treasure and one of the most iconic sights in Japan.

Sensoji Buddhist Temple

One of the most famous temples in Japan, the Sensoji Buddhist Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. It was originally built in 628 but was rebuilt after being destroyed in WWII. Today, you’ll find a beautiful five-storey pagoda, woven with incense and crimson eaves.

Best museums in Japan

A Japan tour package with Trafalgar takes you through the country’s top museums, from one of the world’s best collections of Asian art, to the ornate temples of Tokyo.

Although sushi is now a popular dish around the world, you’ve never really tried it until you’ve eaten the best in Japan. Our Local Specialists will help you navigate the endless varieties of this iconic dish, from raw vegetables to fresh fish wrapped in rice and seaweed.

Hida beef comes from a Japanese breed of black-haired cattle raised in the fresh air and pure water of Gifu Prefecture. Hailed as the best beef in Japan, we’ll take you to the top restaurants to try one of the beautifully tender and marbled Hida beef steaks.

A beloved dish found all over the country, ramen is a delicious Japanese noodle soup. Each region has a different variation and it usually involves a tasty pork or chicken broth, seasoned with plenty of rich flavors like miso, soy sauce and spring onions.

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A Japan group tour with Trafalgar will have you indulging in the country’s fantastic cuisine, from fresh sushi to piping hot ramen.

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In Japan, the standard voltage is 100 V and the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard frequency is 50 / 60 Hz.

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Learning a few Japanese phrases will help you connect with the friendly Japanese locals, and offers the chance for some rewarding interactions.

Most shops and restaurants in Japan primarily accept cash, so it’s best to come prepared with some Japanese yen for your trip.

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Japan’s weather ranges hot and humid to freezing cold, with mild springs in between. Pack versatile layers to be prepared for all conditions on your Japan holiday.

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Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in October

Best things to do & places to visit in Japan in October

Mt Nantai and Lake Chuzenji in Nikko in autumn

October is the great month to celebrate the coming of autumn in Japan. There are amazing spots to enjoy the beautiful nature such as hiking and autumn leaves viewings. Also numbers of events are held this month such as Halloween parties and delicious food events. Here are 10 best things to do and places to visit in Japan in October!

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

Japan in October

Why should you visit Japan in October? The middle of autumn is one of the best months to travel the country comfortably. The average temperature in October in Tokyo is 16-20°C (60.8-68°F) while it is a little chilly early in the morning and at night. It is colder in northern parts of Japan like Hokkaido and Tohoku Region and warmer in southern parts like Okinawa and Kyushu Region than Tokyo. The island country offers a diversity of seasonal events and other things to do you can experience only in autumn.

What to Wear in Japan during Autumn: September, October and November

1. Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves at Lake Chuzenji in Nikko

In cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto, the peak season for autumn leaves viewing is usually in November, however in northern part and mountain areas of Japan welcome the autumn tint slightly earlier, and usually the peak season for the viewing is in October.

Some of recommended spots for autumn leaves viewing in Japan in October are:

Hokkaido ▷ 5 Best Autumn Leaves Spots in Hokkaido

Nikko ▷ Best Things to Do in Nikko

Nagano ▷ Top 10 Things to Do in NAGANO

October is considerably the best month for outdoor activities in Japan as the weather is moderate (not too hot, not too cold), and especially on mountains, it’s the best time to see autumn colours as many of them start closing down for public from November. Even around Tokyo, there are several hiking spots that visitors can enjoy for a day-trip.

Here are some of best hiking spots around Tokyo:

Kamikochi ▷ Japan Alps Kamikochi: Best Spot to Hike in Japan!

Mt Takao ▷ Mt. Takao : The Closest Nature from Central Tokyo

Mt Oyama ▷ Mt. Oyama: Hike on the Sacred Mountain in Kanagawa!

3. Kochia Carnival

Kochia Carnival at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki

One of the most popular seasonal events in autumn, Kochia Carnival is held at Kochia Hill in Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki Prefecture. The vast park is covered by cute and fluffy Kochia balls which are gradually turning its colour from green to burning red during autumn.

tours to japan in october

4. Food Festivals

Autumn is the season to celebrate the new harvest in Japan, and people often say the phrase of “Autumn’s Appetite” as there are various kinds of seasonal food and ingredients to try. Numbers of food events are held across the country during autumn.

One of the most anticipated food events in Japan is Hokkaido Food Festival which is usually held in early October. It’s an outdoor food event that is held for 4 days in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. The event features a large number of food vendors selling various Hokkaido specialties including seafood, ramen, desserts, etc.

More info: Hokkaido Food Festival in Yoyogi Park Tokyo

Delicious bowl of Ramen at Tokyo Ramen Show

Another popular food event in autumn is Tokyo Ramen Festa, which is the biggest Ramen festival in Tokyo featuring nearly 30-40 different regional Ramen dishes. Only the greatest Ramen shops are qualified to serve their proud Ramen bowls at this event, and guests can actually vote their favourite Ramen. The event is usually held in late October to early November.

Check out more food festivals in Tokyo:

Best Food Events in Tokyo

5. Autumn Dessert Buffets

All-you-can-eat dessert buffet has been one of food trends in Japan for the past years and it takes place at numbers of venues with different themes or seasonal ingredients through the year. One of the most popular theme for dessert buffets is autumn/Halloween. You find various high-quality dessert buffets with cute and photo-worthy Halloween theme and taste the flavours of autumn such as pumpkin, sweet potato, chestnut and persimmon. Check out the link below to find out the best dessert buffets in Tokyo for this autumn/Halloween!

Date: September to October

Best Autumn Dessert Buffets in Tokyo 

6. Halloween

Halloween in Japan is becoming bigger and bigger every year. With economic perspective, it’s now apparently the second biggest event in Japan after Christmas. So, there are more Halloween events to be held in Japan during October, and also it’s becoming a huge attraction to tourists. Famous theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan hosts a Halloween events every year and it’s their big seasonal attraction! Besides events, there are also numbers of brands and companies releasing Halloween theme products including the mega-popular Starbucks Japan Halloween merchandise !

Here are some of best spots in Japan to spend Halloween:

▶ 10 Best Spots to Spend Halloween in Tokyo

▶ Halloween Event at Universal Studios Japan

Learn How to Spend Halloween in Japan: How to Celebrate Halloween in Japan

7. Shimanami Kaido

The astonishing sunset view of the Seto Inland Sea

As I mentioned earlier, October is the best time for outdoor activities in Japan. One of the most recommended outdoor activities in Japan is cycling at Shimanami Kaido route. The route is often described as “the most ideal route for cyclists” and attracts cyclists from all around the world. The well-paved route is specially designed for cyclists with several stop-over points and scenic view spots.

tours to japan in october

8. Takayama Festival

Takayama Festival or Takayama Matsuri (高山祭) is a traditional festival held in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture. It’s counted as one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan along with Gion Festival in Kyoto and Chichibu Night Festival in Saitama Prefecture. Takayama Festival is held twice a year in spring (April) and autumn (October).

The autumn Takayama Festival is called Hachiman Matsuri which takes place at Hachiman Shrine and the old town of Takayama City and features traditional floats, decoration, procession and lanterns at night.

Related article:

Hida Takayama: 10 Best Things to Do

9. Tamagawa Fireworks Festival

Tamagawa Fireworks Festival

It’s not only during summer that you can enjoy spectacular fireworks in Japan. In October there are several fireworks festivals held across the country including Tamagawa Fireworks Festival (たまがわ花火大会) in Tokyo!

Official Website: http://www.tamagawa-hanabi.com/

10. Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field

The pampas grass field at Sengokuhara in Hakone

Sengokuhara Pampas Grass Field (仙石原すすき草原) is situated at Hakone, the popular Onsen getaway from Tokyo. During the season, the slope of the mountain is covered by with fluffy pampas grasses, which slowly turn into golden colour from late September to early November. Visitors can walk through the pampas grass field.

tours to japan in october

▽Check out this Japan Bucket List of 30 Best Things to Do throughout the year!▽

30 Best Things to Do in Japan

▽How to Get Internet Connection during traveling in Japan▽ ▶︎ Perfect Guide to Get WiFi Connection in Japan ▶︎ Which Pocket WiFi Rental is the Best in Japan? ▶︎ Which SIM card Option to Choose in Japan? ▶︎ How to Find and Use Free WiFi in Japan

Did you enjoy the list?? For more info about travelling in Japan in autumn, please check out these articles, too!

Japan Autumn Leaves Forecast

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Things to Do in Japan in October

October is one of the most pleasant months to discover Japan, in regards to the weather. There are no national holiday weeks, and the Japanese people stay home or at school to study. Schools and universities enjoy this month to organize sporting events. Fall is right around the corner, and it starts from the northern part of Japan flowing to the south.

Tourism statistics

Tourism attendance is pretty high, close to the levels in April . Just like for the spring   🌸 vacation, the European fall school vacation times are when Japan sees an increase in the number of tourists for approximately two weeks, which is shorter than the summer break. Therefore, we recommend travelers to book in advance for accommodation and activities in popular cities, such as Kyoto and Hiroshima .

Note that during this season, traditional lodging , such as ryokan with onsen   ♨️ (hot spring waters), are also rare, as Japanese or foreign tourists love to benefit from the unique ambiance in the mountain towns.

Climate and weather

Japan’s October weather is ideal for visiting. While morning temperatures may be a little chilly with the arrival of fall, the day is partly sunny with warm, beautiful light. Rainy  ☔️ days become scarce, moving aside for drier weather without clouds, ideal for enjoying family days out in the cities or countryside.

In Honshu’s heart, visitors can still experience temperatures up to 20 °C, while the island of Hokkaido will have some morning temperatures below 10 °C. Southern parts of Japan enjoy a gorgeous Indian summer, including Okinawa where the heat still allows for bathing in the ocean, despite a quite high humidity rate. As a general rule, the sun rises at approximately 6 a.m. and sets between 5 – 5:45 p.m., depending on the region.

National public holidays

As a general rule, one unique public holiday is not worked in October:

  • Second Monday of October -- 体育の日 Taiiku no Hi , Undô-kai, Health and Sports Day

Top things to do

The number of matsuri (festivals) is diminished compared to summertime; however, each city celebrates the gradual changing of the seasons. The last bit of heat allows visitors to enjoy the leaves changing colors, as well as days out in parks and gardens.

Below is a list of Japanese seasonal attractions and events in October:

Travel packing tips

Mid-season clothes are wise for October, when temperatures greatly vary between the day and when the sun sets in the evening. Therefore, it is preferable to layer several clothes that can be removed according to the temperature. Cotton pants and long-sleeved shirts are perfect for this period, as well as a windproof vest for hiking .

Shoes should be comfortable and waterproof for a good walk, along with an urban pair of shoes for evening in the cities. It is still too early for winter boots.

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Autumn in japan.

What does autumn in Japan mean? Autumn in Japan is the season of harvest and spectacular autumn leaves. Experience beautiful scenery, comfortable temperatures, and charming festivals when you visit Japan in autumn.

The autumn season in Japan is distinguished by its cool, pleasant temperatures and its striking scenery of reds and golds. It is also the time of harvest, where rice is cut, baled, and distributed. Additionally, many autumn festivals take place in celebration of harvest time, autumn foliage (koyo), and historic occasions. Experience an unforgettable vacation to Japan in autumn, the most comfortable season of Japan.

photo of Autumn in Japan

Visiting Japan in September Visiting Japan in September means less crowds and mostly clear skies. There are still occasional hot and humid days during September, but the leaves begin to change its color in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. From late September to October, the transition to autumn season begins in Hokkaido and Tohoku, where autumn leaves are first seen. The changing autumn colors then make its way southward to other parts of Japan. Visiting Japan in October During October, the colorful autumn foliage makes its appearance in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Nikko, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, and the Japanese Alps areas (Nagano, Takayama, Shirakawago). October is noted as one of the most pleasant times to visit Japan. Travelers can experience the beautiful Takayama Autumn Festival on October 9th to 10th, and remark the eye-catching kochia scoparia plant at Hitachi Seaside Park from mid to late October. Visiting Japan in November If you wish to see the peak of autumn leaves on the mainland of Japan, visiting Japan in November is your best bet. From November to early December, autumn foliage can be seen in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Shikoku, Hiroshima, and Kyushu. November is regarded as the best time to visit Japan. The weather is mild and cool, traveling tends to be quieter, and spectacular autumn colors can be seen at the must-see sites of Japan.

Japan Autumn Tours

Travelers on our Japan Autumn Tours can expect comfortable weather and striking autumn scenery. Enjoy the season of harvest, where many autumn festivals are held throughout Japan to give thanks or to honor their shrine's deity. Autumn in Japan is renowned for its attractive autumn foliage (koyo) found throughout the country. Book a Japan Autumn Tour to enjoy breathtaking scenery, seasonal foods, the Takayama Autumn Festival, autumn flowers, must-see cultural sites, and more.

Gain exclusive access to the best temples, gardens, and cultural landmarks on our Japan Autumn Tours. We have tours available to see world-famous attractions to even the rural parts of Japan.

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Japan Deluxe Tours

Visit the must see sites of japan with group sizes ranging from 12 to 35 people..

These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.

Deluxe-Plus Small Group Tours

Experience the culture of japan at a slower pace with groups of 10 to 18 people. (smaller group departure available).

These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.

Budget Group Tours

Our budget tours are designed for our guests who are on a limited budget..

Explore the must-see sights and enjoy the hassle-free trip to Japan at an affordable price. Our most cost-effective way to see the highlights of Japan while staying in budget-friendly accommodations. If you would like to have a quick stop to sample the must-see sights of Japan, or plan to explore Japan on your own but would like to take a short trip to learn about Japan before your self-guided journeys. These are the tours for you.

Active Small Group Tours

Travel japan more flexibly in groups of 6 to 13 people using public transportation..

Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.

Tokyo to Kyoto Autumn Tour

Group Tour | Budget           Book Now & Save $50

Group Tour | Budget     Book Now & Save $50

6 Days 5 Nights | from US $1898.00

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Kanzanji Onsen / Kyoto

Explore the top locations in tokyo and kyoto (with one day at mount fuji and hakone) during our 6-day tokyo to kyoto summer group tour..

tours to japan in october

Group Tour | Deluxe           Book Now & Save $100

Group Tour | Deluxe     Book Now & Save $100

5 Days 4 Nights | from US $1898.00

Nikko / Takasaki / Karuizawa / Yudanaka / Matsumoto

Discover what lies beyond tokyo in an itinerary that includes visits to destinations in nikko, karuizawa, and nagano, all during the stunning autumn season..

Tokyo Anime Tour with Hakone & Nagoya Autumn

7 Days 6 Nights | from US $2398.00

Tokyo / Hakone / Nagoya

Join our delightful autumn anime tour of japan, exploring anime and manga must-sees through tokyo, hakone, and nagoya..

Between Tokyo and Osaka: Autumn Tour

6 Days 5 Nights | from US $2498.00

Tokyo / Takasaki / Karuizawa / Yudanaka / Matsumoto / Takayama / Shirakawago / Kanazawa / Osaka

Explore the best destinations between tokyo and osaka, including takasaki, yudanaka onsen, karuizawa, takayama, shirakawa-go, and kanazawa, on this 6-day journey during the autumn season..

Between Tokyo and Osaka: Autumn Leaves Tour

6 Days 5 Nights | from US $2598.00

Explore the best destinations Between Tokyo and Osaka, including Takasaki, Yudanaka Onsen, Karuizawa, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, and Kanazawa, on this 6-day journey during the captivating autumn leaves season.

tours to japan in october

Group Tour | Active          

Group Tour | Active    

8 Days 7 Nights | from US $2940.00 (Limit to 13 guests)

Kyoto / Nara / Magome / Tsumago / Nojiri / Yabuhara / Narai / Matsumoto / Tokyo

A short small-group guided walking tour with three hikes of 3-6 hours of village-to-village walking on the nakasendo trail..

tours to japan in october

7 Days 6 Nights | from US $2998.00

Nara / Kyoto / Koka / Hakone / Mt Fuji / Tokyo

Perfect introduction for first time visitors with limited time..

The Golden Route Japan Tour Autumn

Tokyo / Mt Fuji / Hakone / Koka / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka

tours to japan in october

7 Days 6 Nights | from US $3098.00

Tour the must-see sights of Kyoto & Tokyo, enjoy cultural activities, and visit the best autumn leaves viewing spots in Japan.

Spring Tours (Mar - May)

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Autumn Tours (Sep - Nov)

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Travel Styles

Deluxe-Plus

Ultra-Deluxe

Walking Tour

Cherry Blossom Tours

Autumn Leaves Tours

Festival Tours

Special Interest Tours

Seasonal Attractions

Cherry Blossoms

Takayama Spring Festival

Kyoto Aoi Festival

Shibazakura Festivals

Baby Blue Eyes Flowers

Lavenders in Hokkaido

Gion Summer Festival

Tohoku 3 Great Summer Festivals

Awa Odori Dance Festival

Autumn Leaves

Takayama Autumn Festival

Snow Monkeys

Sapporo Snow Festival

Ice Breaker Cruise

Wakasagi Smelt Fishing

Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Things Not to Miss

Shirakawago

Miho Museum

Naoshima Island

Himeji Castle

Shiretoko Nature Cruise

Sushi-Making Experience

Kyoto Cuisine with Maiko

Green Tea Ceremony with Maiko

Ise Grand Shrine

Most Beautiful Places in Japan

Otaru Snow Light Path

Tottori Sand Dunes

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Miyajima Island

Motonosumi-Inari Shrine

Adachi Museum of Art

Shimanami Kaido

Takeda Castle Ruin

Kurashiki Canal Area

Takachiho Gorge

The National

Why everyone wants to travel to Japan in 2024

A little under 1,000 days. That’s how long Japan was closed to tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic, reopening in October last year . It wasn’t the longest lockdown, nor the strictest, but it was certainly enough to have hordes of travellers dreaming of the days when they could return to the Land of the Rising Sun.

While many ventured gradually back to the big cities this year, Japan has topped almost every recent 2024 travel trends list . It is the fastest-growing destination for Gen Z and millennial travellers, according to a recent survey by American Express.

It found bookings had increased by more than 1,300 per cent from 2019 to 2023. Japan has also been voted the number one country in the world to visit in Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

No particular city stands out. American Express found Niseko is trending, while Conde Nast added Kobe to its list of top destinations for 2024. The Unforgettable Travel Company, meanwhile, ranked lesser-known, up-and-coming destinations such as Ine, a Unesco World Heritage Site often described as the country’s most beautiful village.

In the UAE, travellers are searching for flights to Osaka, according to Skyscanner’s latest report , which found year-on-year searches for the city skyrocketed by 305 per cent, making it number one on their list of top 10 trending destinations for 2024. Etihad Airways has also recently added the city to its route network .

Often referred to as the Kitchen of Japan, Osaka is known as a foodie’s paradise, with an unparalleled dining scene that spans street food stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants. It is also the birthplace of some of the nation’s most beloved dishes. This includes takoyaki, balls of batter and octopus, which chefs in the city’s Dotonbori district make using a decades-old recipes. Or there’s okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese pizza, and mitarashi komochi, sweet and chewy rice cakes that make for the perfect souvenir.

“Japan’s second city is attracting a lot of attention as it is ramping up to hosting the World Expo in 2025 ,” says freelance travel journalist Julian Ryall, who lives in Tokyo. “But there are plenty of reasons to go before then.

“Osaka is Tokyo’s brash little brother and constantly looking to out-do the capital, which means it has lots of things to see and do, but it’s more down to earth.”

Ryall says nights out in Osaka are memorable, the people are more friendly and, naturally, the food is great.

Tokyo, as ever, will also remain popular in 2024. Skyscanner placed it third on its list for UAE travellers, with searches up 250 per cent.

The capital has plenty going for it, with major hotel openings this year creating a buzz, such as the Bulgari Hotel Tokyo, which overlooks the Imperial Palace, and the Bellustar, on the upper floors of a high-rise in Shinjuku entertainment district.

There are more exciting properties coming next year, too, including The Tokyo Edition, Ginza, which is accepting bookings from December 19 for stays early next year. And there’s Janu Tokyo , the inaugural hotel from Aman Resorts’ new sister brand.

Janu, which launches in March, will be part of the Azabudai Hills project, designed as a modern village filled with lush greenery and home to the tallest tower in Japan.

The city is a fitting flagship for the brand, says chairman and chief executive Vlad Doronin, who describes Janu as “energetic”, whereas Aman focuses on seclusion. “There is great appetite in the market for experiences and destinations which encourage connection, adventure and memorable interactions,” he says.

“Janu has been designed to cater to this increasing demand, seeking pioneering destinations which have an energy and vibrancy reflecting the values of the brand for our first outpost.”

Also in Azabudai Hills will be the much-awaited reopening of teamLab Borderless, the Guinness World Record-breaking digital art museum, in January.

Another big opening in Tokyo is the country's – and touted as the world's – first immersive theme park, taking over the massive space that used to be VenusFort shopping mall. Immersive Fort Tokyo will span 30,000 square metres and feature attractions, such as a theatre and dinner show, stores and restaurants.

But Ryall says it’s worth also getting out of the big cities while in Japan. “Tokyo can be overwhelming and Kyoto tends to disappoint me,” he says, adding that cities on the “well-worn Golden Route – Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka – are getting seriously over-crowded”.

Even if you explore the "Big Three" first, it is easy to get around Japan, thanks to the Shinkansen, or bullet train, the country's high-speed rail network. In March, a new extension will also make travel between Tokyo and the seaside prefecture of Fukui or the central port city of Tsuruga much quicker.

Around the country, there are plenty of other new openings on the horizon. In terms of hospitality, there's Kai Okuhida resort, opening in Takayama amid the Northern Alps mountain range, or Six Senses Kyoto, the luxury brand's first hotel in Japan.

For adventure travel, a new 370-kilometre hiking trail is planned for Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture. This area is usually popular during winter, but the so-called Hokkaido East Trail will bring hikers in during spring and summer, leading them through several stunning national parks.

Elsewhere, the Kurobe-Unazuki Canyon Route is expected to open in May or November and will operate between June and October, taking travellers through the heart of the Toyama prefecture via various modes of transportation, from elevator to funicular.

The second phase of the wildly popular Ghibli Park is opening in spring in Nagakute city, a three-hour train ride from Tokyo, while the world's first Nintendo museum will be finished by March in Kyoto.

Art enthusiasts should also love the Sapporo International Art Festival, held every four years but running in 2024 from January 20 to February 25.

While the language barrier might be daunting, Ryall guarantees getting off the beaten track is worth the effort. “Explore the countryside and leave the hordes behind. For hikers, look into exploring communities on the Nakasendo Way, the ancient paved track that is still recognisable to this day.”

Fukuoka constantly earns “rave reviews” from visitors, he adds, and advises no one should miss the city’s yatai, or open-air street food stalls. Morioka, which is on Honshu island and known for its spring cherry blossoms and autumn colours, should also be on everyone’s must-see list, he says.

“Yokohama and Kobe are both vibrant port cities with interesting histories. And for day trips from Tokyo, try the ancient capital of Kamakura or the historic castle town of Odawara.

“For anyone who enjoys winter sports, Niseko in Hokkaido cannot be beaten. And I’ve always thought that hiring a car is the best way to explore Okinawa, which is still part of Japan but has its own distinct vibe.”

Aerial view of coral cay with clear blue tropical water, boats and parasols, Kerama Islands National Park, Okinawa, Japan

RT Chicago to Sapporo Hokkaido Japan $1145 Airfares on EVA Air HELLO KITTY JET with 2 Free Checked Bags (Travel October - November 2024)

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RT Chicago to Sapporo Hokkaido Japan $1145 Airfares on EVA Air HELLO KITTY JET with 2 Free Checked Bags (Travel October - November 2024)

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tours to japan in october

Japan Sees Record 2.73 Million Visitors in December in COVID Recovery Year

Reuters

FILE PHOTO: People stroll near Kiyomizu-dera temple, a popular attraction among tourists, in Kyoto, western Japan June 18, 2022. Picture taken June 18, 2022. REUTERS/Satoshi Sugiyama/File Photo

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan welcomed a record number of visitors in December, official data showed on Wednesday, closing out a year of rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of foreign visitors for business and leisure rose to 2.73 million last month from 2.44 million in November, data from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) showed.

It was the highest-ever number of tourists for the month of December and about 8% higher than the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019.

For the full-year 2023, a little more than 25 million visitors arrived in Japan, the agency said.

Tourism to Japan all but halted for more than two years during the pandemic as the country put up some of the world's strictest border controls. But arrivals bounced back quickly after the government resumed visa-free travel for many countries in October 2022.

Arrivals exceeded 2 million every month since June last year, boosted by a weakening in the yen that makes Japan cheaper compared to other destinations.

Visitors this year are likely to break 2019's record of 31.9 million, but tourist spending last year may have already reached the government's goal of 5 trillion yen ($33.81 billion), said Teppei Kawanishi, general manager at travel industry consultancy mov Honichi Lab.

Average spending per visitor is about 30% higher than before the pandemic, driven in part by repeat travellers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other parts of Asia, Kawanishi said.

"Spending levels are very high nowadays," he added.

December saw record arrivals for any single month among people from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, the JNTO said.

That is helping to compensate for a slow recovery in visitors from mainland China, who made up nearly a third of all visitors and 40% of all tourist spending in Japan in 2019. The number of Chinese travellers in December was still 56% below pre-pandemic levels.

Inbound tourism has become a key part of Japan's economic recovery, but a severe shortage of workers is hobbling the sector's ability to keep up with demand.

"The industry cannot cope," said Wanping Aw, managing director of boutique travel agency TokudAw that specialises in private car tours of Japan. "Experienced personnel are burnt out and overworked and have no time to train staff."

($1 = 147.8700 yen)

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Tomasz Janowski)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters .

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