Along with cherry blossom season, fall is a great time to visit Japan. In any country, fall leaves are beautiful and make for great photos and this holds especially true with Japan. Japan’s most famous fall leaf is the Japanese Maple Tree which turns brillant red in the fall. These red leaves are reffered to as “koyo” (紅葉) in Japanese. The photo on the left was taken at The Itchiku Kubota Kimono Museum and the one on the right on the grounds of the Golden Pavilion.
There are many sites in Japanese that give more detailed information, I cannot read Japanese very well, but even so, there are some sites that are very helpful. For example rurubu.com has a map of Japan and a small color picture of a maple leaf to represent the current status of the leaves in the area. If you want to find a different site, simply go do a google search for “紅葉” followed by the year (紅葉 2006) and you will get more sites in Japanese. The photo below was taken at Kinkakuji in Kyoto.
Below is a tentative schedule for Koyo in Japan for Fuji Five Lakes, Hokkaido, Hakone, Kansai, Kanto, Kyoto, Kyushu, Nikko, Shikoku, Tohoku and Tokyo; however, depending on the weather, these dates tend to change from year to year. The bulleted list below are places I have been to and personally recommend for the fall season.