Autumn in Japan is incredible. It is one of the most popular seasons for tourists as Japan is breathtakingly gorgeous during the autumn and the food. Oh yes, the food in season during autumn include pacific saury, matsutake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, apples, and chestnuts.

The maple trees are a beautiful, riotous display of colour that can be seen all over Japan and the weather is pleasantly cool. But if you are facing a dilemma over which city or region to visit,  maybe you can try something unique and special instead that allows you to visit several locations. And by unique and special, I mean taking a train tour.

Is Japan in your travel plans? Do check our guide of the most unique places to visit in Japan and best ryokans to stay in.

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Experience Japan by Train

Image Credit: Japan Rail Cafe

Falling Maple Leaves in Japan

Image Credit: Pixabay

Everybody knows about the cherry blossom season in Japan and when I say everybody, I mean exactly that. Everybody. Think about Japan and sakura season is likely to be one of the immediate things that come to your mind. But Japan is also equally gorgeous during the autumn with red and orange-clad maple trees meld into a sea of red, orange and green to create a sight that you won’t soon forget.

Some great train stations to stop at to view the maple foliage are Kurobe Gorge, Arashiyama Kyoto, Rikugien Garden in Tokyo and Momojidani Park Miyajima. Be certain to check the maple foliage forecast to find out the best times to view this colourful sight in all its glory.

Food Glorious Food

Image Credit: Facetious

Autumn is a phenomenal season for foodies to visit. But heck, you don’t even need to be a foodie to visit Japan in any season. Autumn is a season where one can look forward to the bounty of the ocean, fruits and matsutake, a unique ingredient loved by the Japanese for its strong aroma and flavour.

Priced as exorbitantly as truffle and caviar, this prized mushroom only grows on the roots of pine and other select trees. The Japanese love the unique flavour and smell of this large mushroom and renowned chefs utilize cooking methods and techniques to preserve and enhance as much of it as possible.

The strong taste may not be for everyone, but not to worry as there is other great seasonal produce such as sweet potatoes, pacific saury (sanma) which is a sweet delicate fish that can be prepared in many ways to suit different tastes. And while any country has seasonal produce that obviously taste great in season, the Japanese take it a step further with seasonal fare affecting street food, cafe’s and even food chains take advantage of it and adapt their menu according to the seasons.

Autumn in Japan: Where should I head to?

Image Credit: Inside Japan

So the food is delicious and the maple foliage is gorgeous. We mentioned that a train tour could be a unique way to experience different parts of Japan and the “Golden Route“, is a popular route that many tourists take each year and for good reason.

It allows the traveller to have a diverse experience offered by different Japanese towns and regions. Even travelling in itself is an experience as you take the amazingly punctual, efficient and clean “shinkansen” (bullet train) to head to each destination with beautiful scenery passing by your carriage window.

The most common travel itinerary involves about a week and starts off in Tokyo and ends in Osaka. The towns that you get to visit along the way such as Hakone, Kyoto, and Nara are popular towns with their own experience, history, culture, and food.

For example, Nara is well known for interactions with tame wild deer, Kyoto has the bamboo forest, stone grilled unagi, and its decadent Kaiseki course meals. Hakone has a scenic train ride upon the Hakone Tozen Railway and the scenic views during autumn will be well worth your time and if you want to visit, it is highly recommended that you get the Hakone free pass. The free pass is an incredible deal and it allows unlimited rides of certain trains, buses, cable cars and even discounts to attractions.

Autumn Experience in Singapore: The Japan Rail Cafe

Image Credit: Japan Rail Cafe

The Japan Rail Cafe in Singapore operated by the JR East train company describes itself as such “At JAPAN RAIL CAFE, we bring to you the latest news on travel and information beyond the usual concept. We hope to communicate with you about Japan through our trendy food menu, items, and workshops conducted by native Japanese who are dedicated to our community.

Featuring a menu that changes with Japanese seasons and monthly, they look to be a comprehensive platform for real communication about travel news and information about collaborations with their partners to introduce different regions of Japan each month to visitors.

It is a great place to hang out with like-minded travellers keen to explore Japan and to find the best way to travel via the many Shinkansen routes such as the “Golden Route” and other lines if you want to avoid the tourist paths and head to places off the beaten track.

PSA: The Japan Rail Cafe is running an Autumn in The Train event running from the 11 – 14th of October and will even have a Pikachu meet and greet session.

Image Credit: Japan Rail Cafe

If you intend to head to Japan to view the beautiful Geibikei gorge in a Pikachu train. Then say no more for this is definitely the event for you. I heartily recommend heading down as when I was planning for my own trip several years ago, it was fairly difficult to find out about the different train routes, which tickets to get, foliage forecasts and more. To have all this information in one place is really a godsend and let’s be honest, it’s a Pikachu train, do I need to say more?


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