To-no-hetsuri Crags

To-no-hetsuri Crags

Tohoku’s Autumn Wonderland!

Autumn leaves🍂of scarlet red, burnt ombre, rustic amber accentuates the beauty of mother earth!

Blessed with the wonders of nature, the Tohoku region of Japan houses some of the most beautiful sights for autumn leaves spanning across 6 prefectures – Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima!

It is so much more than it meets the eye!


Recommended spot for viewing autumn leaves in Tohoku, Japan🗾

~6 Most Beautiful Spots to See Autumn Foliage in Tohoku!~

Oirase Gorge [Aomori Prefecture]

Oirase Gorge

Nestled in the deep forested mountains of Aomori, lies the Oirase Mountain Stream.

Embodying a height of 200m, this magnificent mountain stream flows from Lake Towada.

With a flow of approximately 14 km, its gushing waterfalls flowing from the upper to lower stream almost resembling white threads with a variety of rock formations is an enchanting delight before your eyes!

A promenade is present along the premises’s mountainous paths to explore the exotic forest on foot, accompanied by the soothing sounds of rushing water and a widespread autumnal foliage of burnt ombre and scarlet red overlapping trees!

This mountain stream is marked as one of the renowned national scenic spots in Japan!


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late October to early November
  • Types of autumn leaves: Katsura, beech, tochi, itaya maple, hauchiwa maple
  • Best viewing spots: Ishigedo no Se, Choshi Falls, Ashura Flow, Kumoi Falls


Geibi Gorge 【 Iwate Prefecture】

Geibi Gorge

During the fall, a visit to Iwate prefecture is a must!

Simply because it’s home to one of the most exotic sights for a vast display of autumn leaves – The Geibikei Gorge.

This gorge is a 2-kilometer long gorge with towering cliffs and oddly shaped rock formations that surround a river.

In autumn, combinations of burnt ombre and red autumn leaves can be seen draped across the river’s surface, with trickles of it on the cliffs and rocks, painting a delightful sight of an authentic autumnal landscape!


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late October to early November
  • Types of autumn leaves: Zelkova, Maple, Oak
  • Best viewing spots: From the boat ride into the gorge


Hachimantai [Akita Prefecture]


Located between the border of Akita and Iwate Prefecture, the view of the autumn leaves can be enjoyed through a blissful train journey along the Hachimantai Aspite Line and Jukai Line.

Its route offers a wonderful scenic drive where the sight of exotic maple and beech leaves of authentic autumn colours, surround the entire landscape!

Furthermore, the sights of autumn leaves can be explored through a walking trail leading to the Ohnuma Pond, where a pool of hot bubbling volcano mud can be found surrounded by hot water streams.

Go beyond this trail to experience a unique gender-separated onsen bath called the Goshogake Onsen, where you can apply volcanic mud onto your skin.


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late September to Mid-October
  • Types of autumn leaves: Betula, rowan, beech, maple, birch
  • Best viewing spots: Hachimantai summit observatory, Fukenoyu observatory, Onuma nature research road, Yuse Valley walkway


Naruko-kyo Gorge [Miyagi Prefecture]

Naruko-kyo Gorge

Located at the north-west of Miyagi prefecture, lies a wondrous gorge of Naruko (also known as Narukokyo).

This deep gorge is formed by the erosion of the Oya River, whose river bank is surrounded by 100 meter high steep cliffs formed by oddly shaped rocks.

From late October to early November, this gorge unleashes an autumnal scenery at its finest!

Adding to the excitement, the view of the observatory deck from the Narukokyo Rest House is a glorious sight to witness a field of ripe autumn leaves dispersed across a mountainous landscape! Moreover, there is a 2.2km Ofukasawa Trail within the premises, that provides a pleasant walking path for viewers to take a stroll and enjoy the lushful scenery of the gorge.


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late October to early November
  • Types of autumn leaves: Japanese maple, Urihada maple, Itaya maple, beech, etc.
  • Best viewing spots: Observatory deck from Narukokyo Rest House


Mogami River [Yamagata Prefecture]

Mogami River

Hop on the Mogami River Basyo Line Descent, that takes you on a superb boat trip while enjoying an autumnal scenery of the Mogami gorge.

As the boat descends slowly, be charmed by the songs and mimicry sung by the well-trained boatmen, as you journey across the gorge with magnificents views of nature.


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late October to early November
  • Types of autumn leaves: Maple, Beech, Oak
  • Best viewing spots: From the boat towards the Shiraito Waterfalls


To-no-hetsuri Crags [Fukushima]

To-no-hetsuri Crags

The Tou No Hetsuri is a unique tower built out of strangely shaped rocks and enormous stones formed by the erosion and weathering of the Okawa cliffs over tens of thousands of years.

The foliage of autumn leaves can be found plastered over the white rocks that create a vivid colour imprint of red and yellow.


  • Best time for autumn leaves viewing: Late October to early November
  • Types of autumn leaves: maple, oak, etc.
  • Best viewing spots: The Suspension bridge leading to the tower



All the must-see spots above can be easily accessed with JR trains🚃 and Shinkansen🚄 covered by JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area).

Make sure to purchase the pass before you leave for a vacation and enjoy beautiful fireworks and wonderful local food with saving on travel expenses!


JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)

Explore the Tohoku region with JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)🎫 to save on the travel budget!

The pass covers 5 days of unlimited rides on JR trains🚃 and Shinkansen🚄 in the area.

Click the link below to get more information:


Related articles