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Autumn Foliage Forecast 2006
famous viewing spots and color changing forecast
- Mid October -
Aomori Prefecture
Hachikoda Mountain Range | Aomori City

Hachikodasan is a mountain range stretching near Lake Towadako. Beautiful sceneries can be seen throughout the year, but if you want to get the best view of the autumn leaves, Kayano Highlands and Kasahara mountain path along National Route 103 are especially recommended. The main trees of autumn leaves grow at the 1,000-1,300 above sea-level points. A number of mountain plants grow near the peak, and turns into a magnificent flower bed during summer. If the weather is clear, the grand view from the peak allows you to see as far as Tsugaru and Shimokita Peninsula.
Oirase Ravine | Towada Town

Oirase Keikoku is a 14-km long ravine that stretches along part of Oirase River, a River flowing out from Lake Towadako and into the Pacific Ocean. There is a nice promenade built along the ravine and the area unveils its beauty with gorgeous red and gold leaves in fall. Early summer is also a good time to visit, for the fern and fresh green show gardenlike beauty in June. Several waterfalls scatter here and there in the ravine. Walking takes about 4 hrs for the 14km course, and 2.5hrs for the 8.9km course which is more popular. Be sure to walk from lower stream towards upper stream to get the best view of autumn leaves.
Lake Towadako | Towada Town

The National Park Lake Towadako is located on the borders of Aomori and Akita Prefectures, 10km wide east to west and 8km north to south. It is a huge crater lake at 400m above sea level. The beautiful view of two peninsulas sticking out into the lake, the coves and the clear water has attracted many visitors. A drive through the virgin forest is now quite easy with paved roads. Autumn leaves are especially fascinating from Hakka Touge, and the view you can get when you drive on National Route 103 from south Towada Station towards Hakka Touge is truly astonishing with the Lake suddenly coming into your sight. View from the lake is something too, but the view looking down the lake is also worth having.

>> Aomori Prefectural Guide

Iwate Prefecture
Hachimantai Plateau | Matsuo Village

Hachimantai is a plateau created by a volcano range, and has many swamps, marshes and mountain plants on its surface. To go to the top you can take the tollway, and in autumn you can get a magnificent view of colored leaves on this road. The 1,614m high plateau forms a mild slope, and from the parking area down to Hachimantai marsh runs a nice promenade. A number of hot spring resorts welcome many visitors near the plateau, and from the Akita side you can get the autumn view as you relax in the hot spring.

>> Iwate Prefectural Guide

Tokyo Prefecture
The Institute for Nature Study National Science Museum, Tokyo |

This is another park located in the the metropolis, yet you can enjoy a rich variety of seasonal flowers and insects among the hills and ponds in the 200,000 sq meters area park. Especially in autumn, the park becomes full with magnificently colored leaves including several kinds of maple, quercus serrata and other deciduous trees together with dark evergreen trees such as oak and chinquapin trees. Early kinds start to change colors from mid-October, leaves can be fully enjoyed until December. As the place is an educational institute for nature learning, are many plants and birds living in the park.

Nagasaki Prefecture
Unzen | Kohama Town

Unzen has been designated the first nationa park in Japan, and has been used as a summer resort by foreigners from long ago. From the peaks of the Unzen moutains, Ariake Bay and the moutains of Aso and Kirishima can be seen. From mid October leaves start to change colors and autumn leaves can be enjoyed. The view from the observatory at Nita-touge is especially outstanding for the entire view is just a carpet of red. Besides the autumn scene, for various moutain plants grow, you can enjoy beautiful scenery during all four seasons.

>> Nagasaki Prefectural Guide


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