One of Saitama’s most famous places for Autumn / Fall colors. The best time to view Autumn leaves in Nagatoro is generally November. Stretching six kilometers along the Ara river from Iwadatami, resplendent fall colors decorate the Nagatoro Valley. Trees include Momiji, Kunugi and Oak. Taking the famous ‘Line Kudari’ down the river is a great way to take in the view.
Nagatoro Autumn Leaves Festival
Coinciding with the stunning fall foliage there is usually an annual Nagatoro Valley Autumn Leaves Festival. Normally it is a month long autumn leaf / foliage / fall color viewing period celebrated annually from November 1st to 30th. But, in both 2020 and 2021, on account of the Coronavirus, things were a bit different to “normal”. However, there was a festival and even light up at night. The light up has been confirmed for 2023 too.
The Nagatoro Autumn leaves period in 2023 is from Wednesday November 1st to Thursday November 30th. Each location has their own individual dates for events. Updated on October 10th with all the details for 2023.
The three main day time autumn leaf viewing areas in Nagatoro are:
- The Iwadatami Area
- Kaneishisuikan Bridge
- Mt Hodo
Light up / illumination
The three main light up areas are:
- Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park – confirmed for 2023
- Hodosan Shrine – confirmed for 2023
- there is also a sunset ride on the ropeway
- Kaede no Mori – confirmed for 2023
Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park
In 2023, the park plan to light up the leaves at night from Friday November 10th to public holiday Thursday November 23rd from 4 pm to 9 pm. Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park has an admission fee of 300 yen (for adults) for the peak period of the autumn festival. (It went up in 2023, until last year it was 200 yen). Please do check with the official website for any last minute changes due to the pandemic and / or weather.
Hodosan Shrine light up, Ropeway Sunset ride
The planned light up period for Hodosan Shrine in 2023 is from public holiday Friday November 3rd to Sunday November 26th from 5 to 9 pm. There will also be a market at the shrine from November 23rd to 26th, between 10 and 4 pm (except on the 26th when it will finish at 3 pm). The sunset ride operates from October 21st to November 30th annually. More information in English on the sunset ride.
Kaede no Mori
Kaede no Mori is at the Saitama Museum of Natural History. The light up at Kaede no Mori is on from Friday November 10th to national holiday November 23rd 2023, between 5 and 9 pm. For one day during that period the museum is free in – on November 14th annually for Saitama’s “kenmin no hi”. The museum is only 10 minutes from the station. An exhibition about shells will be on at the museum for the period of the autumn leaves festival. It runs from October 28th 2023 to February 25th 2024.
The above image and the featured image at the top of post (in thumbnail view) are used with gratitude and taken from the Nagatoro Tourism website. 提供：一般社団法人長瀞町観光協会, 写真）一般社団法人長瀞町観光協会提供
From the quaint Chichibu Railway Nagatoro Station, which is one of the official top 100 scenic railway stations in the Kanto area. For an experience not to forget: you can take a steam locomotive from Kumagaya station to Nagatoro station on the weekends. Beside the station there is an equally scenic tourist information center. You can rent bikes here too:
By car, it is 3.2 kilometers from the Minano Nagatoro Interchange of the relatively new Minano Yorii bypass.