7 Reasons Why It’s A Good Idea to Go Tokyo in November

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

Reason #1:
Because the autumn views are amazing.

No country does autumn foliage like Japan.

autumn foliage at Hokokuji | Kamakura Day Trip in autumn • The Petite WanderessAutumn 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.

Also view:
Day Trip to Kamakura (Tokyo) in Autumn
Hiking Mt Takao (Tokyo)

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


Reason #2:
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


Reason #3:
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.


Reason #4:
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! =)


Reason #5:
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.

Also read:
How to use an onsen the right way in Japan
Soaking in an onsen for the first time


Reason #6:
The cutest Japanese festival, Shichi Go San (7-5-3), happens in November!

Why You Should Choose November to Visit Tokyo! • The Petite Wanderess

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!

Reason #7:
November gives you better chances to spot Mt Fuji.

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

.. and more about Tokyo and 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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Best Time to Visit Tokyo: November • The Petite Wanderess

Why November is the Best Time to Visit Tokyo! • The Petite Wanderess

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  1. All your beautiful posts of Japan in autumn have really made it my next fall destination…if I get to travel that is 😛 Thanks for sharing so much about Japan!

  2. Wonderful post. I can totally relate to that. I was in Japan late September, which was beautiful, but fall foliage has not turned into its full glory when I was there. Next time: November 🙂

  3. Ahhhh that fall foliage looks epic! I wanted to go to Japan this month and this post makes me wish I was! I’ve only been to Tokyo (and Japan in general) in the summer, and I am dying to go in the autumn! Hoping to go in November next year. Gorgeous photos!

    1. Thanks Caroline! I haven’t experienced Japan in summer before, curious how it will be like! Anyway, hope your wish for next November will come true!

  4. Tokyo truly looks like a dream world in November with all those amazing autumn colours. I would would love to visit Tokyo and get a glimpse of Mt Fuji!

  5. I have a friend who’s currently in Japan – I’m now SO jealous, even more than I already was!! Japan is a definite in my travel list, and this just confirms it. Thank you for sharing this; I now know what time of year I’m going to travel! 🙂

    1. Oh man how nice! I would love to stay for an extended period of time in this amazing country too! For now, fret not, we’ll save our dreams and work on them

  6. I’ve been to Tokyo at the end of November and it was amazing indeed! Loved Kamakura and Mt Takao too 🙂 Spotting Mt Fuji was particularly cool!

  7. This entire post is pure magic! I need to get to Japan ASAP. I always dreamt of going during cherry blossom season but now I’m torn haha autumn looks SO nice. My dream is to soak in an onsen with a monkey. Isn’t it Japan where those hot spring monkeys lurk? Anyways I’m rambling. Beautiful post!! <3

    1. Thanks Christina! You’re correct, the onsen with the monkeys are in Japan! But somewhere else in Japan though, just not Tokyo 😉 Glad you enjoyed this post!

  8. I have been dreaming of koyo in Japan for a few years now, putting it off only cos I think I’ll prefer to bring the kid when he’s a bit older. but seeing your photos, makes me want to go pronto! so beautiful!

    1. Thank you Cayce! Not sure about that, but I would think the photos make a lovely backdrop too for family photos! Your boy probably might not remember seeing the autumn foliage too, but you would! 😉

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