Things to Do

Top spots to see fall foliage in the Akita Shirakami area

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The chill in the air is getting us more and more excited for autumn!

Top spots to see fall foliage in the Akita Shirakami area

Smell the sweet, caramel scent of the yellow katsura leaves.
Take pictures of the dramatic Japanese maple and enjoy fall drives through the vivid Shirakami area.

Here are our top spots for fall foliage in the Akita Shirakami area.

Kimimachizaka Park (Noshiro city)

Named by the Meiji emperor after receiving a love letter from his wife here (kimimachi can be translated to “wait for you”), this park is a symbol of love. In the spring, cherry blossoms bloom in all shades of pink and in the fall, red momiji (Japanese maple) trees line the walking paths. The contrast of the autumn leaves against the jagged, white cliff face is admired by locals. Grab lunch at the Futatsui Road Station and have a picnic while looking out onto the winding Yoneshiro River below. (Map)

Kimimachizaka Park in autumn.
Kimimachizaka Park

Mase-keikoku, Mase Valley (Happo town)

Apart from its beautiful fall colors, this valley is known to be a spot where visitors can see salmon swimming upstream to lay eggs. In addition, you can see picturesque Sanjugama — clustered boulders with small falls and clear pools of water. Free parking is available at Hachimori Bunakko Land, from which Sanjugama is a short fifteen-minute stroll. There is a small educational facility next to the parking lot. (Map)

Mase Valley in Happo Town

Tsurubeotoshi Mountain Pass (Fujisato town)

On the border of Akita and Aomori Prefectures, Tsurubeotoshi overlooks the Shirakami mountain range, and is a great fall photo spot for those driving through the area. (Map)

Rainbow over Tsurubeotoshi in Fujisato
Tsurubeotoshi Pass in Fujisato Town

Dairakyo Bridge (Fujisato Town)

The red bridge against the backdrop of the vibrant Dairakyo Valley is breathtaking. A perfect pit stop, this spot is in route to both Aomori prefecture and various hiking trails in the Akita Shirakami area. Until the 1950s there was a large mining community here, however after a large flood wiped it out in 1958, all that remains is a tall brick chimney in the distance. Maybe you can spot it from the bridge. (Map)

Dairakyo Valley
Dairakyo Valley in fall

Dakedai Forest (Fujisato town)

At Dakedai forest you can take an easy stroll through the bright yellow beech tree forest. Take a moment to admire the 400-year-old beech tree that stands majestically in the center of the forest, and enjoy the peacefulness of a forest that is said to have partly inspired Studio Ghibli’s movie, Princess Mononoke. (Map)

Dakedai Forest in autumn.
Dakedai Forsest in Fujisato Town

Other suggested things to do