Feel the Japanese autumn with “autumn foliage and a castle”

Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture)

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle in Nagano, with its contrasting black and white structure, is a national treasure. If you look over the moat, you can see the beautiful reflection of the castle with blazing red leaves on the surface of the water.

Matsumoto Castle

Best time to visit: End of October – Beginning of November

Directions: A 15-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.

Tsuruga Castle (Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture)

Tsuruga Castle
Lighting-up of the Tsuruga Castle

You can enjoy the autumn foliage at Tsuruga Castle (also called Wakamatsu Castle) from Tsuruga-jo Park, which surrounds the castle. The autumn foliage and the castle are lit up from the end of October to the midle of November every year.

Tsuruga Castle

Best time to visit: End of October – Beginning of November

Directions: About a 20-minute ride on the “Haikara-san” Tourist Route Bus from JR Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. Get off at “Tsuruga-jo Iriguchi” and walk for 5 minutes.

Okayama Castle (Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)

Okayama Castle

The exterior of the Okayama Castle donjon, the main tower, is stained black, which gives the castle its nickname: Raven Castle. The contrast between the black exterior walls and the red leaves is quite impressive.

Okayama Castle

Best time to visit: from the middle to the end of November

Directions: Take the Okaden Bus bound for “Okaden Takaya” or “Saidai-ji” from JR Okayama Station. Get off at “Kencho Mae” and walk for about 5 minutes.

Matsue Castle (Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture)

Matsue Castle

The roof of Matsue Castle has a beautiful shape, resembling a bird spreading its wings. Autumn foliage seen from Jozan Park, which surrounds the castle, the Hori River bank and the cruising boat which travels down the Hori River, all create a great autumn atmosphere.

Matsue Castle

Best time to visit: from the middle to the end of November

Take the Matsue City Bus or the Ichibata Bus from JR Matsue Station. Get off at “Kencho Mae” and walk for about 5 minutes.

Hikone Castle (Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture)

Hikone Castle
Lighting-up of Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle, a national treasure, is best seen from “Genkyu-en”, a garden next to the castle. The castle is lit up during the peak viewing season.

Hikone Castle

Best time to visit: End of November – Beginning of December
* “Genkyu-en” garden, next to the castle, is lit up from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm during the peak viewing season.

Directions: A 15-minute walk from JR Hikone Station.