Autumn Leaves and Autumn Festivals in Nagoya and Aichi

The season of summer festivals has come to an end, and it is gradually getting colder in Nagoya: autumn is finally here. Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons for a visit to Japan, and depending on whom you ask, even better than spring!

While September, the official start of autumn can still be quite hot and humid, temperatures start to drop little by little in October. And in November autumn has really arrived, even in Nagoya which is typically quite warm.

Autumn is the season associated in Japan with autumn foods such as chestnut, sweet potato, mushrooms, and persimmons. And warming dishes like Nabe(the Japanese style hot pot) and Oden(different ingredients boiled in a soy sauce and Dashi based) are back on the menu at Izakaya and at home.

This post is all about the best way to enjoy the season by visiting the most beautiful autumn festivals and unforgettable autumn leaf viewing spots in and around Nagoya.

Beautiful Autumn Festivals in Nagoya That Celebrate the Season.

Between September and November you will find a variety of festivals held in Nagoya, at gardens, shopping streets, and really all around the city.

Here are our top picks of festivals that celebrate the autumn season.

Shirotori Garden Moon Viewing

Shirotori Garden Moon Viewing
Shirotori Garden Moon Viewing Tea Event, image via Aichi Now

The harvest moon, the full moon on the 15th day of the 8th month of the moon calendar, which usually falls in September or October is revered around Japan. Many events are held to enjoy the beauty of the full moon across the country. It is said that viewing the moon during the Jugoya (the 15th night) brings good luck.

The Shirotori Garden Moon Gazing Tea Event takes place on the three days around the harvest moon each year. 

Seiu-tei tea house in the center of Shirotori Garden was constructed with the rise of the harvest moon in mind. Participants at this tea event can enjoy the special view of the moon from there.

The ticket price for a 30-minute time slot during any of the three event days is 600 yen. Early ticket sales start at the end of July.

Due to the coronavirus, the Moon Gazing event has been canceled this year (2021). Instead, the garden opened up at night for a brief period of time with a light art exhibition throughout the garden.

Shirotori Garden (白鳥庭園)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 300 yen; Seniors 100 yen; Children under 14 free
Opening Hours: 
9:00 – 17:00; closed Mondays
Address: 
2-2-5 Atsuta Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0036
Website
 | Google Maps

Tokugawa Garden Moon Viewing

Tokugawa Garden Moon Viewing
Tokugawa Garden Moon Viewing Event, image via Aichi Now

At the Tokugawa Moon Viewing Event, you can visit Tokugawa Garden during the two days of the full moon. In 2021 that was September 19. and 20.

A decorative boat floating in the middle of the pond of Tokugawaen is lit up during the event and it is a beautiful sight to take in a Japanese garden together with the full moon.

During the event, the garden is open until 20:30. With the last admission at 20:00. The entry fee is 300 yen.

Tokugawa Garden (徳川園)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 300 yen; Children under 12 free
Opening Hours: 
9:30 – 17:30; closed Mondays
Address: 
1001 Tokugawacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023
Website
 | Google Maps

Nagoya Castle Autumn Festival

Nagoya Castle in autumn
Nagoya Castle in autumn

From the middle of October to the middle of November the Nagoya Castle Autumn Festival is held with many different events taking place at Nagoya Castle. In 2021 the event is held from October 23. to November 28.

There are concerts, food and game stalls, a tea ceremony, and countless other bigger and smaller events during the festival period.

Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 500 yen; Seniors 100 yen; Children free
Opening Hours:
  9:00 – 16:30 (last admission at 16:00); closed from December 29. to January 1.
Address: 
1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Website
 | Google Maps

Yattokame Cultural Festival

Yattokame Cultural Festival
A performer at the Yattokame Cultural Festival in front of Nagoya Castle

The Yattokame Cultural Festival is a journey through Japan’s traditional performing arts, history, and culture. For almost a whole month, you can enjoy a wide variety of Nagoya’s traditional entertainments: Noh theatre plays, Kyogen comedic performances, Geisha and Maiko traditional dances, street Kabuki plays, walking tours, and workshops. All highlighting the best of what Nagoya has to offer.

In 2021, it will be held from October 23. to November 14. Due to COVID-19, many of the events and performances will be streamed online on YouTube. Which makes it possible to participate in the festival from the comfort of your home even when you are half a world away. Check out the Yattokame Cultural Festival Youtube channel.

For more information on the Yattokame Cultural Festival read our dedicated blog post.

Osu Street Performers Festival

Oiran Dochu
Oiran Procession during the Osu Street Performers Festival

Every year in October the Osu Street Performers Festival is held.

The highlight of the festival is the Oiran Procession, an event to remember the procession of Oiran courtesans that would take place in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) when Osu was a red-light and entertainment district.

Today the procession is made up of volunteers living in Nagoya, wearing the impressive heavy costumes and wigs.

Other events include performances of jugglers, dancers, and mimes. Music and comedy performances are also on the program.

Nowadays street performers festivals are held all over Japan but it is said to have originated in Osu. The allure of such festivals is the close contact with the performers who perform on eye-level with the spectators.

The Street Performers Festival was supposed to be held on October 16. and 17. in 2021 but it has been canceled due to COVID-19.

Osu Shopping Street (大須商店街)
Address: 
Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Website
 | Google Maps

Nagoya Festival

Nagoya Festival
Parade at the Nagoya Festival

The Nagoya Festival (Nagoya Matsuri) is one of the biggest festivals in Nagoya.

Over a period of 2 days in October Nagoya sees multiple events going on throughout the city.

You can enjoy free entry to attractions such as Nagoya Castle and the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Parades featuring traditional portable shrines with mechanical dolls (Karakuri Ningyo), dance and music groups, and people wearing costumes from periods long past are just some of the highlights of this colorful festival.

There are stages set up around the city with a wide variety of performances, and food stalls with festival foods.

The Nagoya Festival was supposed to be held on October 16. and 17. 2021 but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 it has been canceled.

Arimatsu Float Festival

Arimatsu Autumn Festival
Festival Float at the Arimatsu Autumn Festival

The traditional townscape of Arimatsu comes to life during the Arimatsu Autumn Festival where three festival floats are pulled through the streets of the old Tokaido road (the main road leading from Kyoto to Edo).

The festival was supposed to be held on October 3. 2021 but has been canceled due to COVID-19.

Arimatsu (有松)
Address: 
Arimatsu, Midori Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 458-0924
Google Maps

Samura and Ninja Festival

Samurai Expo Centrair
Samurai and Ninja Festival

On November 21. 2021 the annual Samurai and Ninja Festival will be held at Odaka Ryoguchi Greens Park, with many Samurai and Ninja teams coming from many regions of Japan.

You will see Samurai and Ninja skits, performances, fire shows, falconry shows, and more.

Odaka Ryoguchi Greens Park (大高緑地)
Entry Fee: 
free
Opening Hours:
  open 24 hours
Address: 
Takayama-1-1 Odakacho, Midori Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 459-8001
Google Maps

Kakuozan Autumn Festival

Kakuozan in autumn
Nittaiji Temple in autumn, image via WAZOO’S BLOG

The Kakuozan Autumn Festival is one of three major seasonal festivals in Kakuozan in Nagoya. The festival features food stalls, a game corner and performances on stage, as well as an art and crafts market and workshops.

The street leading from Kakuozan Station all the way to Nittaiji Temple is lined with a wide variety of stalls offering fun for the whole family.

The Kakuozan Autumn Festival was supposed to be held November 6. and 7. 2021 but has been canceled due to COVID-19

Kakuozan (覚王山)
Address: 
Sanmoncho, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0064
Google Maps

Endoji Paris in Autumn Festival

Enjoji Autumn Paris Festival, image via Endoji Paris

Stalls and artists from without and within Aichi Prefecture turn the Endoji Shopping Arcade into a French shopping district for a weekend.

This festival was supposed to be held in November but due to COVID-19, it has been canceled for 2021.

Endoji Shopping Street (円頓寺商店街)
Address: 
Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 451-0042
Google Maps

Unmissable Spots for Autumn Leaves in Nagoya.

The best time to enjoy the changing of the seasons from summer to winter in Nagoya is at the end of November and beginning of December when the maple trees change to a bright red color. The yellow Ginkgo tree is usually most beautiful a bit earlier than that.

Shirotori Garden

Shiritorien in autumn
Autumn leaves at Shirotori Garden at night

Shirotori Garden is an amazing place to enjoy the autumn leaves, with around 1500 trees many of which are Japanese maple.

You can stroll around the garden during the day or visit at night. Art exhibitions are placed throughout the garden and the combination of autumn leaves and art creates a fascinating scene of nature and art.

Nighttime illumination is held from November 20. to December 12. On the following dates: November 20., 21., 26., 27., 28., December 3., 4., 5., 10., 11., 12.

The light-up starts from around 17:00 when it gets dark and will be until the park closes at 21:00 (last admission is at 20:30). The entry fee is 300 yen.

Shirotori Garden (白鳥庭園)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 300 yen; Seniors 100 yen; Children under 14 free
Opening Hours:
 9:00 – 17:00; closed Mondays
Address:
 2-2-5 Atsuta Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0036
Website
 | Google Maps

Tokugawa Garden

Tokugawaen in autumn
Tokugawa Garden in autumn

Tokugawa Garden has more than 300 maple trees that turn the most amazing shade of bright red in autumn, which makes it an amazing place for an autumn stroll in the crisp air.

You can enjoy the beauty of the garden during the day or during special light-up events. The Tokugawa Garden Autumn Leaves Festival is planned for November 20. to December 5. 2021 but there might be some changes and event cancelations this year due to COVID-19.

Tokugawa Garden (徳川園)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 300 yen; Children under 12 free
Opening Hours: 
9:30 – 17:30; closed Mondays
Address:
 1001 Tokugawacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023
Website
 | Google Maps

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden

Higashiyama Botanical Garden in Autumn
HIgashiyama Botanical Garden in autumn

The Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden have a yearly leaf viewing event from the middle of November to the beginning of December.

On some special nights, the botanical garden opens its doors at night to welcome visitors to a light-up event.

Dates for the light-up event in 2021 are yet to be announced.

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens (東山動植物園)
Entry Fee: 
Adults 500 yen; Children under 12 free
Opening Hours: 
9:00 – 16:30; closed Mondays
Address: 
3-70 Higashiyama Motomachi, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0804
Website
 | Google Maps

Meijo Park

Meijo Park in autumn
Meijo Park in autumn

Meijo Park, north of Nagoya Castle, has a wide variety of trees that turn color in autumn. The park is best enjoyed during a day-time stroll, preferably with a camera in hand. Enjoy the beauty of the season with Nagoya Castle as an amazing backdrop.

The park is open to visit at any time and is free of charge. 

Meijo Park (名城公園)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address:
 1-2 Meijo, Kita Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 462-0846
Website
 (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Atsuta Shrine

Atsuta Shrine in autumn
Atsuta Shrine in autumn

The grounds of Atsuta Shrine have dense vegetation with many old trees including the giant sacred tree with more than a thousand years. Take a walk through the shrine and enjoy the autumn leaves.

Atsuta Jingu Shrine (熱田神宮)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-8585
Website
 (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Not to Be Missed Autumn Leaf Viewing Spots in Aichi.

If you are fine with traveling a bit further afield you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular autumn leaf viewing spots.

Korankei Valley (Toyota)

Korankei in autumn
Korankei Valley in autumn

Korankei is without a doubt one of the most famous places in Aichi Prefecture to enjoy the autumn leaves. It is said that in the 17th century, the chief priest of Kojakuji Temple located in the Korankei Valley planted the first maple trees in the area.

The Taigetsukyo red bridge is one of the most characteristic and iconic images of the Korankei landscape.

The valley with its mountain and river is the perfect place for a hike or a walk in nature during the day, and staying until dark is highly recommended to enjoy the spectacular light-up event.

Countless food stalls selling festival and local foods are set up on one side of the river.

This year’s (2021) light-up event will take place from November 1. until 30. and will start at sunset until 21:00.

Korankei is open anytime however to visitors who would like to enjoy a walk in the fresh autumn air.

Korankei Valley (香嵐渓)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi 444-2424 
Google Maps

Obara Fureai Park (Toyota)

Obara Fureai autumn
Obara Fureai Park in autumn

This place is one of the rarest and most spectacular of all autumn leaf viewing spots, not only in Aichi Prefecture but in all of Japan. The reason for this are the Shikizakura cherry trees (also known as winter cherry blossoms) that bloom once in spring and again in autumn (October to December). 

It is one of very few places where you can enjoy cherry blossoms and autumn leaves at the same time. And the view is simply breathtakingly beautiful.

This year’s Shikizakura Festival in autumn is scheduled to take place from November 13. until December 5. but there might be some changes and event cancelations this year due to COVID-19.

Obara Fureai Park (小原ふれあい公園)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
456 Sonpachi, Obaracho, Toyota, Aichi 470-0531
Google Maps

Higashi Park (Okazaki)

Higashi Park in autumn
Higashi Park in autumn

Around 1,500 Japanese maples make up the Higashi Park. It is said to be one of the best places to enjoy the autumn leaves in the Okazaki area.

An illumination event takes place at some nights in November and December each year.

Higashi Park (東公園)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Ashinobe Kakemachi, Okazaki, Aichi 444-0011
Google Maps

Jokoji Temple (Seto)

Jokoji Temple in autmn
Jokoji Temple in autumn

During the Autumn Leaves Festival at Jokoji Park various outdoor events are held, with small food stalls selling Japanese snacks.

The hiking trail leading to Jokoji Temple located on top of a mountain is the perfect place to enjoy the autumn colors and the fresh autumn air.

The area around the bridge of Jokoji Park is lit up in the evenings lending the park a fantastical atmosphere.

Jokoji Temple (定光寺)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
373 Jokojicho, Seto, Aichi 480-1201
Google Maps

Shurakuen Park (Tokai)

Shurakuen Park in autumn
Shurakuen great Buddha in autumn

At Shurakuen Park you will find an impressive bronze Buddha statue. The park also has 750 maple trees of 7 different varieties. Which makes it a popular spot to enjoy the autumn leaves. 

Shurakuen Park (聚楽園公園)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Nishihazama Araomachi, Tokai, Aichi 476-0003
Google Maps

Momotaro Shrine (Inuyama)

Momotaro Shrine autumn
Momotaro Shrine in autumn

Momotaro Shrine is a magical place all year round celebrating one of Japan’s oldest and most popular fairy tales, the story of a boy born from a peach. During autumn the park surrounding the shrine is dyed in vivid colors of red, yellow, and orange making the place even more magical.

Momotaro Shrine (桃太郎神社)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Ohira 853 Kurisu, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0002
Website
 (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Mount Horaiji (Sinshiro)

Mount Horaiji in autumn
Mount Horaiji during the autumn season

Mount Horaiji is a famous place for enjoying autumn leaves from mid to late November. It is a popular hiking spot and spiritual pilgrimage path leading up the mountain past temples and shrines.

Over 4000 trees are bathed in autumn colors and reflected in the clear waters of the river below.

The Horaiji Maple Festival is held each year from the middle of November to early December with the main festival on November 23. each year. The festival sees performances, food stalls, and all manner of other events.

Mount Horaiji (鳳来寺山)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Horaiji Kadoya, Shinshiro, Aichi 441-1944
Google Maps

Jakkoin Temple (Inuyama)

Jakkoin Temple in Autumn
Jakkoin Temple in autumn, image via Aichi Now

Jakkoin Temple is known as the temple of maple leaves and therefore a top recommendation to visit during the autumn season.

The Jakkoin Autumn Leaves Festival sees different events on various dates in November and December.

Jakkoin Temple (寂光院)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
Suginodan-12 Tsugao, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0091
Website
 (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Fumonji Temple (Toyohashi)

Fumonji Temple in Autumn
Fumonji Temple in autumn, image via Aichi Now

Fumonji Temple is known as the autumn leaves temple of Toyohashi because it is surrounded by maple trees turning shades of red in the autumn. 

Ceremonies and rituals are held during the Fumonji Maple Festival to celebrate the season.

At Fumonji Temple you can enjoy a rare sight of cherry blossoms in autumn because the grounds have been planted with wild Himalayazakura trees.

Fumonji Temple (普門寺)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 8:00 – 16:30
Address: 
7 Nabeyamashita, Unoyacho, Toyohashi, Aichi 441-3104
Website
 (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Yuzenji Temple (Inazawa) 

Sobue in Autumn
Sobue in autumn, image via Aichi Now

Sobue town in Inazawa city is home to more than 10.000 gingko trees. In autumn in late November to early December the whole town turns a vivid yellow color.

One of the most popular places to see this is Yusenji Temple and the whole area around nearby Meitetsu Yamazaki Station.

A light-up event is held each year at the end of November but due to COVID-19 it has been canceled in 2021.

Yusenji Temple (祐専寺)
Entry Fee:
 free
Opening Hours:
 open 24 hours
Address: 
11 Yanagino, Sobuecho, Inazawa, Aichi 495-0002
Google Maps


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About the author

In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. Her goal is to make everyone interested in Nagoya, her adoptive home, online through her writing and offline through unique food tours.

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