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 Kudari line down the river is a great way to take in the view.
In 2020, the #GoTo campaign was on at the same time as the Autumn leaves festival and there were lots of “extras”. But this year, although the “Go To” campaign is said to be coming back, there are currently no additional events or discounts being planned in association with the Go To campaign.
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 are a bit different to “normal”. However, there is a festival and even light up at night…
The Nagatoro Autumn leaves period in 2021 is from Monday November 1st to Tuesday November 30th. Each location has their own individual dates for events, all outlined below. The flyer for the 2021 festival is not yet ready, but they said it will be in the coming days. But the information has been released on the official website already.
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
- Hodosan Shrine (there is also a sunset ride on the ropeway – detailed below)
- Kaede no Mori
Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park
Its great to see this back this year, they had no light up or any Autumn event in November last year. The park will light up their leaves at night from Friday November 12th to Tuesday November 23rd from 4 pm to 9 pm. Tsuki no Ishi Momiji Park has an admission fee of 200 yen (for adults) for the peak period of the autumn festival. Please do check with the official website for any last minute changes due to the coronavirus and / or weather.
Hodosan Shrine light up, Ropeway Sunset ride
Last year, 2020, Mt Hodo was the least effected by the pandemic and they were actually the only place in Nagatoro that went ahead with their Autumn leaf illumination event. They also had their sunset ride on Hodosan Ropeway. And this year they will have both again.
The sunset ride will operate from Thursday October 21st to Tuesday November 30th.
Hodosan Shrine will be lit up from Friday November 6th to Tuesday November 23rd from 5 to 9 pm.
Saitama Museum of Natural History
The Saitama Museum of Natural History also cancelled their November events in 2020, but at the moment the museum is planning to participate in the 2021 light up events. The light up is scheduled for 5 pm to 9 pm between Friday November 12th and national holiday November 23rd. During that period the museum will be free in on November 14th, as it is annually for Saitama’s “kenmin no hi”. The museum is only 10 minutes from the station.
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
The area’s starting point is just 5 minutes on foot from the Chichibu Railway Nagatoro Station. For an experience not to forget: you can take a steam locomotive from Kumagaya station to this area of Saitama.
By car, it is 3.2 kilometers from the Minano Nagatoro Interchange of the relatively new Minano Yorii bypass.