See Autumn Foliage in Japan

  • The Windsor Hotel Toya's lakeside lobby.

    The Windsor Hotel Toya's lakeside lobby.

  • Lake Toya in the winter.

    Lake Toya in the winter.

  • Autumn leaves by the Windsor Hotel.

    Autumn leaves by the Windsor Hotel.

Click image to view full size

Fall is the best time to visit Japan’s Lake Toya as the leaves are ablaze in fiery red and orange hues

The Place Lake Toya, Hokkaido, Japan.

The Route Toyako Onsen, the lake’s main town, takes about two hours to reach via the Hokkaido Expressway from Sapporo, capital of Japan’s northernmost main island.

The Draw Part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park, the Lake Toya area has scenery to spare: forested mountains, crystal-clear waters, hot springs, and the looming volcanic peak of Mount Usu.

Why Now? As with the cherry blossoms of spring, the Japanese adore viewing the colors of autumn leaves (koyo), and so will you. The season begins in Hokkaido in mid-September, and by October, the forests around Lake Toya are ablaze in fiery red and orange hues.

Where to Stay Perched above the western shore of the lake, the Windsor Hotel Toya (doubles from US$320) has both Western-and Japanese-style rooms and three Michelin-rated restaurants.

Christi Hang

Originally appeared in the October/November 2013 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Next Stop: Hokkaido”)

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