Tsukimi

Fall in Japan

Autumn in Japan is just around the corner. The season is full of festivals and events that mark the harvest time as well as the spectacular autumn foliage. Fall usually begins sometime mid-September through November, and the colors of autumn are in full splendor with the vibrant hues of red and yellow from maple and gingko trees, .

Fall is a great time to enjoy nature with mild weather, matsuri festivals, and delicious food. There are  many beautiful places in Japan to admire all the colors of the fall season as well as some other autumn events. Check out some of the activities to enjoy during fall!

Kinugawa River

Enjoy the colors of fall

There’s no better way to appreciate the culture, history, and people of Japan than taking a stroll in some of the most beautiful places in the country. Visit the scenic places while in Japan in autumn such as Imperial Palace gardens (Tokyo), Kinugawa River (Tochigi), and Hida Takayama (Gifu Prefecture).

Autumn moon viewing

Moon Viewing Events – Tsukimi

Tsukimi or literally “looking at the moon”, is the Japanese tradition of autumn moon viewing. Special moon-viewing parties date back over a thousand years. Tsukimi was initially a way of expressing gratitude for the bountiful harvest with the hope of having similar or better harvests in the future. The old lunar calendar had the full moon appear on the fifteenth night (jūgoya) of each month. The perfect time to view the moon is said to be on the fifteenth month of the eighth month. Other tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called tsukimi dango.

Assorted Japanese autumn food

Gorge on fall cuisine

Fall cuisine is one of the highlights of the season in Japan. There’s fresh autumn vegetables and other crops, fish like saury and bonito, autumn fruits like persimmon and pears, then there’s matsutake mushrooms, chestnuts, ginkgo nuts, seasonal wagashi made with autumn’s fare, yakiimo (roasted sweet potato), and more!

There’s never a dull moment when spending fall in Japan!