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Local picks! Enjoying Kanazawa's autumn colors
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Local picks!Enjoying Kanazawa's autumn colors

The autumn leaves start to change their color from high up in the mountains and then gradually come down to towns. If you go anywhere around Kanazawa, you are sure to come across the best autumn colors. If you visit Kanazawa in October or November, be sure to go on a trip to admire the autumn colors.
*The best time to view colored autumn leaves varies from year to year.

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Yukitsuri and autumn color

Putting up Yukitsuri

Kotoji Lantern and autumn color

Autumn color

Maple leaves in a chozu (water basin)

Highlight of your trip! Kenrokuen Garden with its wonderful Japanese atmosphere

Kanazawa's autumn colors arrive a little earlier than Tokyo's. The best place to view the autumn colors in Kanazawa is Kenrokuen Garden. The trees are arranged according to the traditional sense of ascetic beauty that has been handed down since the age of the samurai, and enhances the beauty of their autumn colors. There are various types of green moss that contrast beautifully with the vibrant colors of the leaves.
You will find breathtakingly beautiful hidden spots all over the garden, so please take your time so as to not miss any of them.
Yukitsuri rope supports are attached to the branches of trees in order to protect them from damages under the weight of the heavy Kanazawa snow. The combined view of yukitsuri along with autumn colors is a sight unique to Kanazawa.
*The best time for autumn colors is usually mid-November to early December.


View from Sazaeyama hill

Autumn colors and Yukitsuri

Kanazawa Castle Park

Gyokusen'inmaru Garden

Stone walls at Kanazawa Castle

A must-see! The profound elegance of autumn colors against the night sky

The enjoyment of autumn colors in Kanazawa is not limited to the daytime; Kenrokuen Garden is illuminated at night during the autumn color season. Also, the neighboring Kanazawa Castle Park and Gyokusen'inmaru Garden are lit up on Fridays, Saturdays, the day proceeding a national holiday, as well as every day during the Kenrokuen Garden illumination period. Be sure to stay overnight so that you can see the delicate beauty of the autumn colors standing out in the darkness.
*The best time for autumn colors is usually mid-November to early December.


American Maple Road

The old site of the Kurando Terashima's house

The old site of the Kurando Terashima's house

Nagamachi Samurai District

Autumn colors and Komo-kake (protection mat for mud walls)

The view from Utatsuyama

Not to be missed! Famous places for autumn colors in Kanazawa

Of course, Kenrokuen Garden is not the only great place for seeing autumn colors. As there is a lot of nature in Kanazawa, you can find lovely autumn foliage in many parts around the city.
Spots of particular note include the “American Maple Road”, which runs from Kanazawa City Hall to Kanazawa Castle, the autumn colors located in the neighborhood gardens of the old site of the Kurando Terashima's house and Nagamachi Samurai District, as well as Utatsuyama, a hill that affords a panoramic view of the city.
*The best time for autumn colors is usually mid-November to early December. (The best time varies depending on the location.)



Nata-dera Temple

Ayatori Bridge at the Kakusenkei Gorge in Yamanaka Onsen

Kurotani Bridge at the Kakusenkei Gorge in Yamanaka Onsen

The nostalgic autumn colors of the countryside

If you venture a short distance outside of Kanazawa, there are places that may make you feel somewhat nostalgic, even if it is your first visit there. This kind of scenery is impressive. The place that has the earliest autumn colors every year is Gokayama, a World Heritage Site in Nanto City of Toyama Prefecture. You can get there in about 1 hour via an express bus from Kanazawa Station. The town will make you feel as if you've been transported to another world. The Nata-dera Temple (Komatsu City), where you can find vast precincts with towering bluffs, and the Kakusenkei Gorge in Yamanaka Onsen (Kaga City) are also some of the best spots in Ishikawa Prefecture for viewing autumn colors.
*The best time for autumn colors is usually late October to late November. (The best time varies depending on the location.)


Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road

View from the Sanpoiwa Parking Lot, the highest point

A popular view spot, Fukube Waterfall

Enjoying the autumn colors of the sacred Mt. Hakusan

The route from Kanazawa past Hakusan National Park to Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site, is called the "Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road". Its highest point is the Sanpoiwa parking lot, which is near the border between Ishikawa Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture, at an altitude of 1,450m. Here, the autumn colors are at their best a month earlier than on the plains. Moreover, since this road has a wide range of elevations, the colors can be enjoyed over a long period of time. If you visit in October, there will be colored leaves at their peak waiting for you!
*The best time for autumn colors is usually late September to early November. (The best time varies depending on the elevation.)
The Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road is closed in winter (from early November to early June).

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