Autumn is one of the best times to come to Japan. Unlike the week or two that each area has cherry blossoms in full bloom, the autumn leaves stay bright for longer. It makes traveling much easier as you don’t have to worry too much about leaves changing sooner or later if the weather makes a sudden change. Even if it’s cold and the colors appear sooner, you shouldn’t be far away from a good spot, especially if you have a train pass. Therefore it can actually be the better choice for budget travelers.
The mountainous regions to the north, such as Hokkaido or Tohoku, will experience the autumn colors earlier, then over the next few months the lovely golden and orange leaves will be making appearances to the south. Keep an eye on this page as your trip or trips get nearer, so you are completely up-to-date on the best places to visit.
Here is the latest map from the Japan Meteorological Corporation. It provides a great estimate of the dates, but check back here often as they are often updated.
Looking for a comprehensive guide to traveling in Japan on a budget? Please have a look at my two books, Super Cheap Japan and Super Cheap Tokyo, which have awesome guides to the autumn locations and much, much more.