Top 10 Things to Do in Japan in November

Best things to do & places to visit in Japan in November

Travelling in Japan in November?? It’s a great time of the year to enjoy gorgeous autumn leaves at many locations including Tokyo, Kyoto and around Mt Fuji, as well as winter attractions such as Onsen bath and winter illuminations. Today, I’m sharing 10 best things to do and places to visit in Japan in November!

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Japan in November

November is one of the best time to travel Japan with clean fresh air. The average temperature in November in Tokyo is 12-15°C (53.6-59°F). In the end of autumn, Halloween is over and autumn leaves are turning red and yellow in urban areas. As winter approaches, you can see gorgeous Christmas events and colorful illuminations staring in November.

1. Autumn Leaves

It’s all about autumn colors in Japanese autumn. The best viewing time at most of locations in Japan is through November depending on the location and type of trees. Here are some of the most popular autumn leaves viewing spots in Japan, Tokyo and around Tokyo.

Autumn Leaves Forecast in Japan

IN JAPAN: 10 Best Places to See Autumn Leaves in Japan

IN TOKYO: 10 Best Autumn Leaves Spots in Tokyo

AROUND TOKYO: Top 5 Autumn Leaves Spots near Tokyo

2. Kyoto

Where is the best place to enjoy autumn leaves in Japan?? I think Kyoto might be the best answer. Nothing can beat the spectacular collaboration of colourful autumn leaves and Kyoto’s gorgeous historic sites. From hidden gems to famous landmarks, numbers of temples and shrines in Kyoto display stunning views of autumn colours during the season, from early November to early December depending on the location.


3. Japanese Gardens

Traditional Japanese garden with autumn leaves and light up

Along with historic sites and parks, Japanese gardens are another popular spots for autumn leaves hunting. Many gardens are located within cities, and they are great oasis to stop by, and feel relaxed and Zen during your trip in the city. Moreover, some of gardens open in the evening for light-up during the season. Here are some of must-visit gardens in Japan and Tokyo.

IN JAPAN: 3 Best Traditional Gardens in Japan

IN TOKYO: 7 Most Gorgeous Japanese Gardens in Tokyo

4. Asakusa Tori no Ichi

Tori no Ichi Fair is a traditional festival held at Otori Shrine in Asakusa area, Tokyo, which originally started in Edo period. This annual event is set on the days of Rooster in Chinese calendar to pray for good luck and success in business. Traditional ornaments and decorations are sold with a vibrant atmosphere.

Official Website:

5. Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival

Mt Fuji and red maple leaves at Lake Kawaguchiko

Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko) is the most popular tourist destination among Fuji Five Lakes (5 lakes situated at the foot of Mt Fuji). Fuji Kawaguchiko Autumn Leaves Festival is held annually near the lake from early to late November, featuring gorgeous autumn leaves, the market and special events. Don’t miss the chance to capture the best view of the Lake, autumn leaves and Mt Fuji on the background!


6. Shirakawago Village

Shirakawago Village in autumn colour

As autumn arrives to this charming and traditional Japanese village, the scenery gets totally breathtaking by the surrounding nature such as trees and mountains with colourful leaves and golden brown rice fields. The special light-up event “Shirakawago Autumn Leaves Illumination” is held at Shirakawago Village for several days in early November.


7. Sumo Grand Tournament: Fukuoka Basho

The Sumo Grand Tournament takes place at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Fukuoka City in mid-late November. If you are lucky enough to be around during this time, don’t miss a chance to see one of the most spectacular things to experience in Japan!!

▶️Book your seat for Sumo Grand Tournament in Fukuoka 2023!

8. Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival

The stunning Ginkgo avenue at Meiji Jingu Gaien Icho Matsuri

Tokyo’s most popular autumn leaves event, Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival is held annually from mid November to early December in Aoyama area (near Harajuku and Shibuya). The event features the gorgeous ginkgo tree avenue which stretch for about 300 m in 2 lanes, and the market with food vendors and local products.


9. Onsen Bath

Onsen bath can be enjoyed through the year, but from November to March would be the best time as the temperature drops down, Onsen bath feels much better! Some of Onsen spots like Hakone, Nikko and Fuji Five Lakes offer amazing views of autumn leaves from Onsen bath during the season!

Best Onsen Spots in Japan:

10. Winter Illuminations

One of the biggest winter attractions in Japan, winter illuminations are starting from November at many locations in Japan. As they tend to get very busy during December, it could be a good idea to visit them in November. Here are some of the most popular winter illumination spots in TOKYO and JAPAN.

IN TOKYO: Tokyo Winter Illumination Guide

IN JAPAN: Japan Illumination Map: Best Winter Illuminations

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Hope you have enjoyed my list of top 10 things to do in Japan in November! For more info about travelling in Japan in autumn/winter, here are some more articles which you may wanna check out!

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