Red leaves

When shall we see red leaves at Koyasan? Let us introduce the best spots!

Koyasan, the sacred area of Shingon sect opened by Kobo Daishi Kukai, is a famous spot to enjoy beautiful red leaves. When it becomes dark, many people are moved by the fantastic illuminated red leaves.

We will introduce you the best time and spots to enjoy red leaves at Koyasan.

Enjoy red leaves at Koyasan

Koyasan was opened by Kobo Daishi Kukai more than 1,200 years ago as the sacred area of the Shingon sect. This place is also known worldwide as one of the best places to enjoy red leaves.

Every year, many tourists visit Koyasan to see the beautiful red leaves. The quiet time watching the dynamic red leaves at an elevation of 1,000m will heal your heart and bring you power.

When is the best season?

The best season of red leaves at Koyasan is from the end of October to mid November.

It is said that the most beautiful red leaves can be seen at the first half of November. (*Differs every year) Check the best season and visit Koyasan.

Will they be illuminated?

One of the most popular spots to enjoy red leaves at Koyasan, Jabaramichi, will be gorgeously illuminated at night.

Every year, the area will be illuminated from the last half of October to mid November. You can enjoy the illumination from 5:30 P.M. There are more than 52 shukubo stays in Koyasan, so how about enjoying the night after dinner?

The temperature becomes low after sunset, so don't forget to be ready for the cold. By November, the temperature often becomes lower than 5 degrees.

Bring winter coats, gloves and ear pads, and go out to enjoy the scenery.

How crowded is it?

The best season of red leaves only last for about a month (from the end of October to mid November), so the weekends and holidays during that period is very crowded. The crowded time is about 11:00 A.M. to mid P.M. of weekends and holidays.

If you want to quietly enjoy red leaves, we recommend you to visit Koyasan at week days.

If you will visit Koyasan on weekends or holidays, try to arrive at 8:00 A.M. and enjoy the red leaves during morning.

Best 4 spots to enjoy red leaves at Koyasan

Let us introduce our best recommendations to enjoy red leaves at Koyasan.


Jabara-michi starts from the entrance of Danjo Garan and ends near Toto.

Jabara-michi is said that it was named since this road is the stomach of a snake (Jabara means the stomach of a snake in Japanese). When the season of red leaves start, a tunnel of red leaves appear above the road. Look up at the sky, and there you see vivid red leaves. At noon, they shimmer bellow the sun light, and at night, they are illuminated beautifully.

The 2 faces Jabara-michi shows at noon and night will both move your heart.

Kongobuji Temple - Seimon

Seimon of Kongobuji Temple is another popular spot to enjoy red leaves at Koyasan. Seimon is the oldest architecture in Kongobuji Temple made in 1593.

The solemn architecture and red leaves create a beautiful harmony. But be careful when you take pictures; this place is so popular, so finish your pictures quickly when there are few people.

Another wonderful spot to enjoy red leaves in Kongobuji Temple is "Banryutei", one of the largest rock gardens in Japan. The beauty of the red leaves and the snow white sand make a beautiful contrast.

To walk in to Kongobuji Temple, admission fee is necessary.
*Over Junior high school students : 1,000 yen, Elementary school students : 300 yen (pre-schoolers : free )

Danjo Garan

The tower you see on the right of Jabaramichi is called Toto.

The features of the red leaves in front of Toto is its color - burning red. The vermilion tower and burning red leaves create a powerful harmony. The Toto was made in 1127, by the wishes of Shirakawa retired emperor.

It was once burned and lost in during the Edo era, and built again in 1984.

Danjo Garan is an area you can find Toto, Kondo, and one of the largest architectures in Koyasan apx. 48.5m high, Konpon Daito.

It is said that the architectures in Danjo Garan were first built when Kobo Daishi Kukai opened Koyasan. The scenery you will find after passing through the red leaves tunnel of Jabara-michi, "The coaction of high towers and red leaves" are wonderful.

Take your picture when other tourists are not around. The colorful red leaves with the blue sky is a great scenery.

The red leaves at Chumon, rebuilt at the 1,200th year of Koyasan in 2015, are also a sight.

Also check out the red leaves with Chumon - it has another beauty.


Eireiden, located in the middle of the approach to Okunoin, was created in 1952 to hold a memorial service for the ones who were lost during WW2.

When it becomes the season for red leaves, the approach will be full of red and yellow leaves.

Enjoy fantastic red leaves at Koyasan!

Koyasan is definitely a treasure bow of red leaves. There are so many great spots to enjoy the season with mother nature.

Take a step inside this mythic area during the best season and enjoy fantastic red leaves.