Despite a sudden return to warm weather, autumn leaves have reached their peak in the following areas!
Kamikochi (open until Nov. 15)
Differing from the typical multi-color autumn foliage, the central area of Kamikochi turns a brilliant gold thanks to the large number of birch trees.
Karasawa area of Kamikochi
Karasawa is perhaps one of the most famous spots for seeing the fall colors in Nagano. Here the mountains are said to be “on fire” in the autumn. It requires a long hike from central kamikochi and an overnight stay at the Karasawa Hut, but it will be worth ever step. The leaves will fade soon, so now is the time to go! Check out this post on the Kamikochi site for more info and photos.
Norikura Highlands and Mt. Norikuradake
Another famous spot for seeing fall leaves in Nagano! The highlands are easy to access by bus from Matsumoto and there are several laid-back trails to walk. From there you can take another bus up to the summit of Mt. Norikuradake (though, the colors are starting to fade here). See more info on our Norikura page here. Also, see autumn photos of Norikura Highlands and Mt. Norikuradake on the Japanese Norikura tourism website.
Tengu no Taki (Waterfall)
Located in the Nagawa area of Matsumoto, off the beaten path, and a beautiful sight with the waterfall among the colorful leaves! Unfortunately, you need a car (or taxi) to get there. (See map)