Alpine Route & Mountainous Areas (mid-September thru mid-October)
At the high altitudes of Murodo and other areas around the Northern Japan Alps, the fall leaves begin to change color from around mid-September. The view from the ropeway is the most popular spot to view fall foliage on the Alpine Route.
Omachi Alpine Line (mid- to late October)
The access road for the Nagano side of the Alpine Route, named the “Omachi Alpine Line”, is a hidden beauty spot.
Mt. Koguma (mid- to late October)
The fall foliage around the forest road and along the hiking course are definitely worth a look. The cosmos flowers sway in the breeze at the resting point at the Lake Kizaki overlook, which provides a close up view of Mt. Kashimayari and Mt. Goryudake.
Takase Gorge (mid-October thru early November)
Climbing the embankment towards Takase Dam and looking back down gives beautiful views of the fall foliage on the left and right slopes. Both the fall leaves and the view towards the dam are spectacular. In particular the contrast of the emerald green lake and the colors of the fall foliage is a masterpiece. You can thoroughly enjoy the fall foliage on a one-hour round trip on the walking trail that takes you across two suspension bridges to Nigorisawa Falls, or a hike to Yumata Hot Springs. (See the course guide.)
In Takase Gorge, there are many beautiful fall foliage viewpoints around Nanakura, Kuzu Hot Springs, the Kitakuzusawa River, the Oirizawa Bridge, and Omachi Dam.
Three Lakes of Nishina (late October thru early November)
Around the lake, the scenes of coniferous and broadleaf trees reflected in the lake’s surface will soothe your heart. In the cooler temperatures of the early morning, a mysterious foggy scene appears.
Reishoji Temple (late October thru early November)
In the fall foliage season, you can enjoy seeing a variety of colorful leaves, including the valuable variety of ginkgo tree, “Ohatsuki Ginkgo”, producing seeds on its leaves. The temple gate and main hall form a wonderful composition with the fall foliage. Also, during this season, it is possible to enter the usually restricted main hall. The views through the hall’s windows are particularly picturesque. Beyond the door lies a pond in the east garden. With its small waterfall and elegant maple trees, it should not be missed.
See also here.
Karakemi Wetlands – Miyamaumemodoki Winterberries (late October thru November)
There is a community of red-berry-producing miyamaumemodoki plants here. The beautiful contrast of the red berries with the white morning frost and early snow creates a magical world.
Nakayama Highlands, Shingyo, Hotokezaki – Japanese Larch (early to mid-November)
Towards the end of the fall foliage season, Nakayama Highlands, Shingyo area, and the tree lined street from Hotokezaki Kannonji Temple to the Oide Bridge are decorated by the yellow leaves of Japanese larch trees.