Before winter’s falling snow turns everything white, the trees of the city turn red and yellow

1October in Sapporo is the season for autumn leaves. Starting from Jozankei, the trees around the city, such as those in Odori Park and Hokkaido University‘s ginkgo avenue, are dyed deep red and gold. The best time for viewing is from the mid-October to early November. Here are a few of the best spots around the city to see the foliage.

Wake up early and go for a walk in a park near your hotel Enjoy the autumn leaves in the center of Sapporo

Walking in Odori Park, which cuts east to west through the center of Sapporo City, you can enjoy the different atmospheres of each block. Don’t miss out on the beautiful colors of the backyard trees of the Shiryokan (Former Sapporo Court of Appeals) on the western edge of Odori Park. Getting off the Subway Namboku Line at Nakajima Koen Station, you can enjoy the leaves along the ginkgo avenue which starts at the park’s entrance as well as at different locations in the park. With its calm atmosphere even though in the city, this park is recommended for those who want to enjoy a relaxed viewing of the fall foliage.

Best time to see: mid-October — early-November

Odori Park / Sapporo Shiryokan (Former Sapporo Court of Appeals) / Nakajima Park / Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara / Hoheikan (Historical Guest House) / Watanabe Junichi Museum of Literature

A leisure walk through autumn’s parks Also nearby is an observatory to gaze upon the city’s changing colors.

Maruyama Park is about a ten-minute walk from the Subway Tozai Line’s Maruyama Koen Station. Sunlight pours through the trees onto the ground blanketed with fallen leaves. Along the walking course, you may visit Hokkaido Shrine, Mt. Maruyama Primeval Forest, and the Maruyama Zoo. If you want to look over all of Sapporo City, head to Asahiyama Memorial ParkOkurayama Ski Jump Stadium, or Mt. Moiwa. If you climb to the summit of Mt. Moiwa via the ropeway, you can see the entire mountain envoloped in stunning fall foliage, as well as the expanse of Sapporo City beyond. The Hokkaido University campus is a great spot to view the leaves as well. The gingko avenue that stretches from Kita-jusanjo Gate all the way to Ono Pond is a magnificent spot of autumn leaves that can be reached by walking about 5 minutes from Kita Juni Jo Station on the Subway Namboku Line. Brilliant red leaves can also be seen in front of the Hokkaido University Museum.

Best time to see: mid-October — late-October

Maruyama Park / Maruyama Zoo / Hokkaido Shrine / Okurayama Viewing Point / Asahiyama Memorial Park / Mt. Moiwa / Lloyd’s Coffee Former Oguma Residence / Hokkaido University / Hokkaido University Museum / Sapporo Agricultural College Farm No.2

Stretch your legs and head towards the peace of the forest The fall foliage begins in the mountains

Spread out on the east side of the Subway Namboku Line’s Makomanai Station, the Makomanai Peace and Security Forest serves as a doorway to the deep forest where animals live. At the Sapporo Art Park‘s outdoor gallery, you can look upon outdoor scultptures while enjoying the fall leaves. Or you could go a bit further to the Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park. Recommened spots are the gushing 26-meter high Ashiribetsu Fall and the nearby 20-meter high observatory Moriminoto tower, from where you can look out on the surrounding scenery. The hot spring resorts of Jozankei within Shikotsu-Toya National Park are accessible by a one-hour drive from Sapporo Station. During the fall foliage season, you may hop on the “Koyo Kappa Buses” and let local volunteers guide you through the Hoheikyo dam and other famous fall foliage viewing spots in the area (reservation required).

Best time to see: mid-October — late-October

Makomanai Park / Rokka Library / Edwin Dun Memorial Museum / Salmon Museum / Sapporo Art Park / Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park / Jozankei / Hoheikyo dam