Autumn Leaves of Matsukawa Valley
Known as ‘koyo’ in Japanese, the autumn leaves of Nagano are an attraction to themselves and there is no better place to view them than the forests and mountains of Matsukawa Valley.
As the weather cools through October and November leaves turn amber, red, and yellow in a gradual process moving north to south. The region surrounding Matsukawa Valley’s Yamada Onsen and nearby Matsukawa Gorge are the ideal locations for soaking in the beauty and atmosphere of the leaves by walking the local trails and country roads as they are showered by colored leaves.
From Yamada Onsen, walk down the hill and over the red bridge which spans Matsukawa Gorge. Shortly after the bridge you will see the trail entrance (as picture below), which takes you along one of the best areas to view the leaves.
Timing is everything with the peak time for viewing the leaves varying from region to region and season to season. Japan’s ‘koyo’ forecast is closely watched each autumn, with several online resources available to help time your visit to the Matsuakawa Valley for this beautiful display of nature.
Via public transport from Nagano Station: using the Nagano Dentetsu Line headed to JR Yudanaka Station and get off at Suzaka Station. At the station, take the bus bound for Yamada Onsen, approximately 40-45 minutes. Get off at the final stop Yamada Onsen. Matsukawa Valley is located along the river.