I’ve been to Tokyo in November for … four times by now, and the fifth will take place this year, lol. Yes, I know! Other than the cherry blossom season, autumn is definitely my favorite time to go Tokyo (and Kyoto if I can afford it). Actually, those were the only two seasons I’ve ever been in Japan. Let’s just dive into the top reasons quickly you should visit Tokyo in November!
Why visit Tokyo in November
Because the autumn views are amazing.
No country does autumn foliage like Japan.
Autumn in Japan means more than nature’s explosions of blooming leaves. In fact, they have a name for it – “Momijigari“, which means: “going to see the autumn leaves”, aww so lovely! Autumn in Japan is totally an art: zen gardens for your admiring, spending time in nature with yourself or loved ones, and the perfect time for quiet contemplation as the year comes close to an end soon.
For Tokyo, in the city, there’re many parks and gardens to see autumn leaves. If you prefer day trips, consider taking one to Kamakura, a beautiful coastal town that will bring you lots of autumn surprises, or even Mt Takao, an easy hike for all ages.
Related resources: Japan-Guide.com’s post for 2017’s autumn forecasts & reports | The Culture Trip’s recommended spots to see autumn leaves in Tokyo
It’s cheaper and easier to plan for, as compared to cherry blossom season
Flight tickets and hotel prices for Japan shoot up for the cherry blossom months. Also, compared to sakura season, planning to capture the correct timing for autumn leaves is easier and more foolproof than trying to catch cherry blossom’s full-bloom time.
Also view: Photo-journal of Ueno during sakura season
November’s weather is PERFECT for nature walks, hikes & being outdoors.
The temperature in Tokyo during November averages between 9 to 15°C. This makes it superb for being outdoors, when you can visit nature parks like Ueno.
Hiking in Tokyo’s autumn weather is very, very pleasant. When I hiked Mt Takao,I had on layers and a winter jacket. I didn’t even have to remove my jacket all the way up to the mountain-top. Ps: It’s also because I’d already taken the cable-car halfway up the mountain.
–> View photo-essay: Hiking the gorgeous Mt Takao!
Great for any other forms of queueing (such as restaurants)
It’s definitely VERY pleasant to queue in cooling weather outdoors than in the summer heat.
Autumn means you can dress up in layers for photos!
Look awesome in your travel photos by styling your outfits in layered clothing and shoes, something people like us never got to do cos it’s always summer here. Don’t just think of it as taking photos for Instagram (no judging here) – these travel photos and memories will last a lifetime! =)
Soaking in a hot onsen will be a wonderful idea.
It would be a waste if you visit Japan without having a hot onsen. However, do note that it’s more challenging to find an onsen place in the city centre of Tokyo. I’d only been to an onsen (Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu – not recommended) near Mt Takao. The alternative is to go to Hakone (about 1.5 hours by train) for an onsen experience.
The cutest Japanese festival, Shichi Go San (7-5-3), happens in November!
On November 15 (or the weekends closest to that date), Japanese parents will bring their kids who turned 3, 5 or 7 to preferred Shinto shrines, for a day of prayers and gratitude. It’s cuteness overload, because the girls will be dressed in kid-sized traditional costumes and the boys – sometimes Western-style outfits. With hair done and accessories all coordinated perfectly. You’ll see the families taking plenty of photos at the shrine. If the dates are right for your trip, head to Meiji Shrine in Tokyo (or other Shinto shrines favoured by the locals) and be a part of this truly Japanese festival!
–> View photo-essay: Shichi-Go-San, origins, and tips!
November gives you better chances to spot Mt Fuji.
Mt Fuji is a shy one, with limited visibility in a year. November to January are generally the recommended months where visibility is higher, so if you’ll be going to Tokyo, you have a higher chance! Again, you need to choose the right places, such as head to Fuji Five Lakes region.
Related resource: How to see Mt Fuji at its best
Ready to book your trip? Check out the hotel rates on Booking.com!
Are you planning to visit Tokyo in November?
Mini guides on Japan!
• Tokyo for the first time? Here’s where to go!
• 15 reasons Tokyo is great for solo travel
• My preferred hotel in Tokyo: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku
• How to use Japan’s naked baths (onsen)
Inspiration from Japan
• Tokyo’s cutest festival: Shichi Go San!
• Day trip to Kamakura (Tokyo)
• Hiking Mt Takao (Tokyo) in autumn
• Checking in Kyoto: Yumotokan onsen ryokan hotel
• Seeing a geisha finally in Kyoto
Image credits: Mt Fuji’s photo is by skyseeker, image licensed under CC2.0. All other photos are taken by me.
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