Fall always comes to Tohoku and Hokkaido earlier than the rest of Japan. This year, we headed to the Hakkoda Mountains in central Aomori to check out the colors before the long winter settles and turns our world white for five months of the year.
Fall in the Tohoku region of Japan attracts people from around the country. Crowds often migrate to the Oirase Gorge area of Lake Towada to see some awesome golds, reds, and oranges which cover and line the flowing waters of the Oirase River.
We stopped at the Hakkoda Ropeway Station and took the cable car up to the Hakkoda Observatory which overlooks Aomori City and the bay. The area is home to a number of natural hot spring bath houses and one of the go-to locations for skiing and snowboarding in Tohoku during winter. We arrived at the top just as the sun was slowly heading below the horizon on one of the last rides up for the day. It's amazing to think that in a few weeks the entire area will be covered in meters of snow.