Peak viewing season: Mid-Late October
Surrounded by mountain peaks, this large park encompasses a number of lakes, with small islands scattered about the shore, reachable by walking bridges.
Access from Tokyo: Haneda Airport (Tokyo) …[plane]… Hakodate Airport (Hokkaido) …[bus]… JR Hakodate Sta. …[JR Hakodate Honsen]… Onuma Koen Sta.
Access by Car: By car, the park can be accessed by the Sangyodoro, Hakodate-Shindo, and the Kokudo (National Route) 5. [Map]
Website: Onuma Quasi-National Park (Japanese)
Peak viewing season: Mid October – Early November
Japanese Zelkova (keyaki) and maples (momiji) line the steep walls of this river valley. For a small charge, a boat ride will take you on a leisurely ride down the river.
Access from Tokyo: Tokyo Sta. (Tokyo) …[JR Tohoku Shinkansen]… Ichinoseki Sta. (Iwate) …[JR Ofunato Line]… JR Geibikei Sta.
Access by Car: Access by car from the Tohokudo Expressway Ichinoseki I.C. to Kendo (Prefectural Route) 19. [Map]
Website: Geibikei (Japanese)
Peak viewing season: Late September – Mid October
Actually the name of a region of mountains around the area, Zao offers excellent views from nearly 2,000 meters high of the surrounding mountains and lakes below. A ropeway offers quick and convenient access to the peaks. Snow, which also comes early to the area, combined with the changing colors of the leaves, creates a unique and beautiful scene.
Access from Tokyo: Tokyo Sta. (Tokyo) …[JR Yamagata Shinkansen]… Yamagata Sta. (Yamagata) …[local bus]… Zao Onsen Bus Terminal [Map]
Website: Zao Onsen, Zao Onsen Ski Resort (Japanese, English)
Peak viewing season: Throughout October
An arched bridge spans the valley below. In fact, the road between routes 459 and 70 offers splendid views of the surrounding hills and lakes. The Sky Line, Gold Line and Lake Line tollways are open to the public free of charge until November 15 (after this date the roads will be closed for the winter).
Access from Tokyo: Tokyo Sta. (Tokyo) …[JR Tohoku Shinkansen]… Koriyama Sta. (Fukushima) …[JR Banetsu West Line]… Inawashiro Sta. …[car]… Nakatsugawa Keikoku
Access by Car: The area can be accessed most easily by car. Take Kendo (Prefectural Route) 2 and Kokudo (National Route) 459 from the Banetsu Inawashirobandai Kogen I.C. [Map]
Website: Fukushima-ken Doro Kosha (Japanese)
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