Autumn Adventure in Niseko: Your Guide to Making the Most of Koyo Season

September 14, 2017
Before Hokkaido becomes a winter wonderland, see it transform with leaves coloured red, orange and yellow all around. Autumn marks the arrival of cooler weather and with it, the beautiful changing colours of nature. Koyo (changing autumn colours) season is fast approaching, so in anticipation we have compiled a guide of the season’s top viewing locations for autumn foliage, unmissable experiences and all the little things in between that will make your autumn adventure unforgettable. Autumn in Niseko is a remarkable season not to be missed!

Best Time to Visit

This year’s forecast predicts the best time to view autumn foliage in Hokkaido is from late September to late October.

Getting Organised

The chalets at Country Resort are designed to be your home away from home, equipped with everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable escape. Surrounded by tranquil forest and majestic mountains, experience the beauty of autumn from the comfort of your chalet.

For ultimate convenience and freedom, let our team organise a rental car for your stay so that you can visit top autumn viewing spots in neighbouring towns and indulge in the finest seasonal produce at local restaurants.

Some of the Best Autumn Viewing Spots Nearby

Mount Yōtei, Niseko

What's cooler than hiking up an inactive stratovolcano?

Described as one of the most scenic mountains in the world, your hike up Mount Yōtei will take approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the trail you choose to take as well as your fitness level. The mountain stands at 1,898 metres tall, offering stunning views of Lake Toya and surrounding towns. Witness autumn colours as far as the eyes can see, then head back down and reward yourself with an onsen. For a taste of the experience, watch some of our MnK team members during their recent Mount Yōtei hike by clicking here!

Mount Yōtei's crater, Image by Charlie Wood

Fukidashi Park, Kyogoku

Ideal for visitors in a hurry, or if you have some time up your sleeve pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Located only 25 minutes’ drive from Country Resort, Fukidashi Park is situated at the base of the eastern side of Mt Yotei. A popular autumn viewing spot amongst locals and visitors, you can explore the park’s open grass areas, walkways and bridges. Pack a picnic, and enjoy the famous mineral water produced by the spring. Afterwards, enjoy a soak at Kyogoku onsen.

Fukidashi Park's spring water pond, Image Source

Jozankei Onsen, Jozankei

What do you get when you cross a hot spring district with an incredible valley? One of the best autumn viewing experiences in Hokkaido, of course!

Jozankei Onsen is located between the high cliffs of the Toyohira River. The town is situated 1 hour, 15 minutes from Country Resort and 1 hour from Sapporo city. Visitors are free to walk around and can enjoy the beauty of autumn from a number of different sites. Notable viewing spots include Futami-Tsuribashi Bridge, Koyo Bridge, and Hoheikyo Dam. For a guided tour, book a seat on the Koyo Kappa Bus, or pay a visit to nearby ski resort, Sapporo Kokusai, and enjoy their Koyo Gondola. Enjoy easy access back to Niseko or through to Sapporo for a taste of Japanese city life.

Jozankei Onsen area, Image Source

Nakajima Park, Sapporo

Urban park meets nature retreat, located in the middle of downtown Sapporo.

Relax by the large inner pond of Nakajima Park, and take in the stunning colours of autumn foliage around you. Arrive at this popular viewing spot in approximately 2 hours from your chalet, by car or train. With Mt. Moiwa as your backdrop, you’ll never want to leave. To make the most of your experience, take a boat ride on Shobu-ike Pond and take in the beauty of close to 5,000 trees in transition. After a quiet and relaxing walk around the park, step back into the hustle and bustle of Sapporo and enjoy an array of autumnal delicacies at nearby restaurants, or one of the many food stalls at the Sapporo Autumn Festival.

Nakajima Park, Image Source

Taste What’s in Season in Autumn

Fuel your autumn adventure with the region’s best seasonal food. Keep your eyes peeled for the following:

• Cod roe (ikura)

• Shishamo smelt (which can only be caught on the Pacific coast of Hokkaido)

• Wild game such as Ezoshika venison

• Japanese persimmon (kaki)

This Autumn’s Unmissable Cultural Events

Unique autumnal events await, so be sure not to miss out on getting involved in the below.

Sapporo Autumn Festival

9 – 30 September

Excite your taste buds with the finest festival food and phenomenal Hokkaido produce at the Sapporo Autumn Festival. Explore the various festival venues and their unique atmosphere. Attendance is free, just be sure to bring along some spare change along to enjoy your favourite food items and drinks.

Food and wine galore at the Sapporo Autumn Festival, Image Source

Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market

5 – 9 October

Featuring documentaries, animated films and dramas submitted by filmmakers from all over the world. To see what's on show, visit their website here.

Watch Salmon Journey Upstream

October to November

Witness the magic of salmon journeying upstream at Noshi Park Bridge, or Chitose Salmon Aquarium. In autumn, salmon return from the ocean to Toyohira River. View salmon making their spawning nests from the bridges and riverfronts of Toyohira River and Kotoni-Hassamu River. Read more about the salmon season here.

Hokkaido offers stunning scenery at all turns, so be sure to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of autumn. In our opinion, autumn is one of the best seasons to visit so don’t wait until next year to discover for yourself. Click here to visit our specials and promotions page, and book your holiday in today.

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