Top 10 Places to See Autumn Colors in Kochi Prefecture
December 14, 2016
Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Japan. The climate is still warm, but without the humidity of the summer months. From late October, you can experience ‘momiji’；the changing colors of leaves. Kochi has many wonderful places to see autumn colors, but here are ten of the top spots.
Chikurinji Temple, Mt. Godaisan
See the leaves at Chikurinji Temple, number 31 of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Combine with a visit to the nearby Makino Botanical Gardens.
Address: 3577 Godaisan, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: The My Yu Bus from Kochi Station takes around 25 minutes.
Ioki Caves, Aki
Be brave by walking through the shallow waters of the Ioki caves and you will be rewarded! On the other side a waterfall, river and forest awaits you. This one is a real hidden gem.
Access: From Kochi City take the Tosa-Kuroshio Gomen Nahari Line train to Ioki Station. The caves are 8 minutes on foot from there.
Kuroson Gorge, Shimanto City
At Kuroson Gorge, you can try photographing vibrant red leaves reflected in the crystal clear waters of the famous Shimanto River.
Access: Around an hour by car from Ekawasaki Station on the JR Yodo Line.
Befu Gorge, Kami city
Befu Gorge is designated as one of the top 100 autumn leaves spots in Japan so you don’t want to miss this one!
Access: 40 minutes by bus from JR Tosa-Yamada station.
Yasui Gorge, Niyodogawa
View the red and yellow autumn leaves against a stunning backdrop of cascading waterfalls at Yasui Gorge.
Access: Around 90 minutes by car from Kochi City.
Tosayama – Auberge hotel
Nestled in a small mountain town, you can admire the leaves from this hotel’s outdoor baths, or enjoy an overnight stay.
Address: 661 Tosayamahigashigawa, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 40 minutes by car from Kochi City
This prefectural natural park has two kilometers of hiking trails perfect for leaf-spotting activities. After the hike, you can stop by the nearby Yunomori Onsen for lunch, or to experience the hot springs.
Access: From JR Sakawa Station, take a bus towards Ochide. Get off at Nanokawa bus stop and walk for around 7 minutes.
You can enjoy more waterside autumn colors by the Sameura Dam, the largest dam on Shikoku. Lake Sameura has been named one of Japan’s top 100 dam lakes because of its beautiful scenery.
Access: Approximately 30 minutes’ bus ride or drive from JR Osugi Station
Monet’s Gardens, Kitagawa Village
See autumn leaves at Monet’s only official garden outside of France, and whilst you’re there take a look at the garden’s blue water lilies. Entry is 700 yen per adult.
Address: 1100 Notomoko, Kitagawa-mura, Aki-gun, Kochi Prefecture
Access: From Kochi City, take the Gomen-Nahari train line to Nahari Station. Transfer to the Kitagawa municipal bus to access the gardens.
Mt. Shiraga near Motoyama
Take in the beauty of the leaves whilst conquering a mountain! Choose from two hiking trails, or perhaps combine your visit to the mountain with Motoyama’s autumn culture festival held in November.
Access: Around 2.5 hours’ drive from Kochi City
Happy leaf viewing!
Tanja moved to Shikoku from London in 2015 where she worked in tourism marketing. With a degree in Japanese and journalism, living in Japan allows her to combine her love of travel, writing and studying Japanese. When she’s not working, she can be found hunting down the best cafes around Shikoku!