Mount Akita-Komagatake in Autumn: Brilliant Foliage Attracts Visitors

Guide to Japan

Mount Akita-Komagatake in Senboku, Akita Prefecture (spanning the border with Iwate Prefecture), is a popular destination especially during the summer, when its many alpine plants are in bloom. But it is also well worth visiting in the autumn, when its slopes are full of brilliant foliage. On weekends many come to hike and take pictures. The leaves start turning at the summit, with an elevation of 1,637 meters, late in September, and the foliage season is at its height from early through mid-October. The leaves of the alpine Aleutian avens (chinguruma) turn deep red, and this colorful carpet is dotted with the yellow and orange colors of maple trees (kaede). Near the summit visitors can enjoy a view of Lake Tazawa (Tazawa-ko), whose blue surface stands out against the autumnal tints of the mountain slopes.

A road up the side of the mountain ends at a parking lot by the entrance to the paths extending to the summit. But private vehicles are not permitted to use this road on weekends and holidays through the end of October. Visitors can park their cars at Arupa Komakusa, a facility on the Tazawa-ko Plateau (Tazwa-ko Kōgen) with hot springs open to day visitors, and take a bus up the mountain from there. After coming back down, they can drive or ride a bus 15–20 minutes to Nyūtō Onsenkyō, a cluster of hot springs surrounded by autumn-colored woods.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Cable Networks Akita.)

autumn foliage Tōhoku Akita mountain