Autumn Leaves in Nagano: Join A Guided Tour

Autumn Leaves in Nagano: Join A Guided Tour


Boasting most of the tallest mountains in the country, Nagano and surrounding prefectures making-up Central Japan are blessed with an earlier, longer and more beautiful ‘koyo’ season thanks to the region’s higher elevation and cooler climate. Typically running from late-September to the end of November, the autumn leaves will be at their best at different times depending on your specific destination but rest assured, if you are headed this way in autumn, you should be able to see some spectacular colours.


During autumn, several of our group tours head to destinations known for the beauty of their autumn leaves, starting with our 1-Day Matsumoto Castle & Kamikochi Alpine Valley Tour*. Starting and finishing at Matsumoto Castle, this tour combines visits to two of the region’s most iconic destinations including an afternoon in Kamikochi.


Nestled high in the Hida Mountains, Kamikochi is considered the jewel of the Chubu Sangaku National Park. A true alpine oasis sitting beneath the high peaks of Mt Yari (3180m), Mt Hotaka (3190) and Mt Yakedake (2455m), the valley follows the Azusa River and from late-September onward, Kamikochi is also blessed with stunning autumn colours. From late-September onward, Kamikochi will be transformed in colour as the landscape turns all shades of red and yellow, orange and brown. Home to some of the most stunning autumn leaves in Nagano, booking this tour from late-September through to its conclusion in mid-November will reveal one of Japan’s most remarkable autumn landscapes.


At the same time, our 1-Day Wasabi-Picking Experience & Kamikochi Alpine Valley Tour* combines a visit to Azumino’s famous Daio Wasabi Farm with the rare chance to pick your own wasabi straight from its waterbed at a nearby farm, followed by lunch and an afternoon visit to Kamikochi.


Also running in autumn, our 1-Day Tateyama-Kurobe: Walking on the ‘Roof of Japan’ Tour* ascends the legendary Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route to spend a couple of hours walking the leisurely trails at around 2500 metres above sea level and in the shadow of the summit of Mount Tate – one of Japan’s three most sacred mountains.


Visitors making the journey in September and October are likely to be treated to some of Japan’s most striking autumn colours, as the grasses and shrubs of the alpine meadows burn visit red, orange and brown while the forests below can be enjoyed from the ropeway on both your ascent and descent from Murodo Station. With pick-up and drop-off in both Nagano and Hakuba, this tour transports high above to one of Japan’s most striking natural landscapes.


Of course our longest running and most popular day-trip, our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour*, is available every day of the year. Combining a morning visit to Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji Temple, followed by a guided sake tasting and lunch, and afternoon visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, the tour is designed for guests of all ages. While the monkey itself doesn’t have a lot of autumn leaves, anyone booking in late-October to mid-November there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy some beautiful autumn leaves at Kanbayashi Onsen – the small hot spring village that is home to the hot spring-loving monkeys of Jigokudani.


The final tour of autumn, our 1-Day Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival & Snow Monkey Tour**, takes place on November 23rd each year, takes place on November 23rd each year. With over 15,000 individual fireworks lighting-up the crisp autumn sky, Nagano’s annual Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival attracts over 400,000 people to the city to watch this amazing spectacle. As Japan’s largest and most beautiful autumn fireworks display, this tour includes reserved seating at the event with a visit to Nagano’s Jigokudani Monkey Park.


*Please note, the tours listed above are not designed specifically for autumn leaves and we cannot guarantee the condition of the leaves on any single day. However, guests booking any time from late-September until late-October for the first three tours, and late-October to mid-November for the fourth tour, have a good chance to catching some beautiful autumn leaves.

**As the final tour – Ebisu-ko Fireworks Festival & Snow Monkeys – takes place in the last week of November, it is likely that the leaves will have already fallen, however it remains one of our most popular tours of the year.



Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are a registered travel agent and the region’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region including seeking-out the best autumn leaves. Need some tips on where to find them? Our ’20 Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In & Around Nagano’ page has some great recommendations of ‘koyo’ destinations in the region and when you can expect to leaves to be at their best.


Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.


For guests wanting to access any of these destinations in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination. We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide – whichever works best for you! 

Why choose us? 

Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano and Central Japan.

Got a question about enjoying the autumn leaves in Nagano? Click on the INQUIRY button below or contact us and let’s get planning together!