If you love nature, East Hokkaido is the recommended travel destination for you. We understand that it’s hard to choose which area and locations to visit when the prefecture is so vast and full of options, so here is a reference to five of the most beautiful fall sceneries in East Hokkaido.
【Shiretoko Five Lakes (Shiretoko Goko)】
The Shiretoko Five Lakes is a beautiful location that showcases Hokkaido’s natural beauty, and is also designated as a World Heritage site. The fantastic view of the Shiretoko Mountain range and the surrounding nature which reflects in the waters on a clear day is one you must experience in person. There are various tours that will allow you to navigate through the area, so pick the one that suits your traveling style best.
■Spot Introduction: https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/what-to-do/shiretoko-goko-lakes
【Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park】
The beautiful cosmos flowers at Taiyo-no-Oka Engaru Park are a must-see during this season! Late summer to fall is the best time to visit Japan’s largest cosmos garden. More than 10 million cosmos flowers paint the garden in hues of pink, white and orange colors. It’s one of our most recommended places to visit in early fall.
■Viewing season: late August to late September
■Access: 50min drive from Monbetsu Airport, 8min drive or 30min walk from JR Engaru Station
■Spot Introduction: https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/what-to-do/taiyo-no-oka-engaru-park
【Meruhen no Oka】
Meruhen no Oka is a popular scenic spot in Memanbetsu, Hokkaido and is known for the picturesque image of seven larch trees lined up on top of a hill. This location also makes an appearance in the Japanese movie Yume, directed by Akira Kurosawa. The most recommended time to visit is at sunset.
■Access: About 10 minutes by car from Memambetsu Airport
【Abashiri Prison Sunflower and Cosmos Fields】
In September, cosmos and sunflower fields bloom on the site of the former farm of Abashiri Prison. This is a spectacular spot where you can simultaneously see both types of flowers blooming in one place! Tens of thousands of sunflowers and cosmos blooming along the shores of Lake Abashiri is a typical autumn scenery for this corner of Hokkaido, and fall flower viewing is a must when you visit.
■Blooming periods: From mid to the end of September
■Access: 10 mins from JR Abashiri Station or 30 mins from Memanbetsu Airport
Lake Notoro is where you can find the view of red coral grass, an unusual version of fall foliage alongside the Sea of Okhotsk in Hokkaido.
Here, instead of maple trees, the lake’s coral grass turns bright red during fall. The plant, which is in danger of extinction in Japan, creates a vast carpet of red which surrounds the wooden boardwalk for visitors to walk on. The view of the ocean stretching out beyond the red lake also adds to the experience.
■Best time to see the coral grass: mid-September to early October
■Access: 30-minute ride on Abashiri Bus bound for Saroma or Nakayubetsu from JR Abashiri Station (get off at Coral Grass Entrance stop). From there, walk for 5 minutes
■Address: 60-3 Ubaronai, Abashiri city