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A Fall Foliage Viewing Spot in Miyagi: Fiery Red Maple Leaves Covering a Famous Mountain to the South of Mount Zao

Miyagi Prefecture boasts Akiu Great Falls, one of the three greatest waterfalls in Japan and Matsushima, one of the Three Views of Japan, both of which are also famous fall foliage viewing spots. But if you want to appreciate the beauty of fall foliage in a quiet place, Choroko Lake in Shiroishi is recommended. Although not massively popular, the region has fiery red fall foliage and Mount Fubo (“Fubosan” in Japanese), a famous mountain to the south of Mount Zao.

Choroko Lake + maple fall leaves + Mount Fubo
Choroko Lake + maple fall leaves + Mount Fubo

Picturesque Choroko Lake in Fall

At the foot of Mount Fubo, which is to the south of Mount Zao that straddles on the border between Miyagi Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture, there is an ever-beautiful natural lake called Choroko Lake, which is 2 km in circumference and about 500 m above the sea level.

As fall approaches, the scenery of Choroko Lake is changing faster with time: exuberant greens tinted with the reds of maple leaves in early fall, fiery reds in mid-fall and reds alternating with yellows in late fall. No wonder this picturesque spot is the first choice for viewing maple leaves as recommended by the locals.

Exuberant greens tinted with the reds of maple leaves in early fall
Exuberant greens tinted with the reds of maple leaves in early fall
Choroko Lake in mid-fall
Choroko Lake in mid-fall
Choroko Lake in late fall
Choroko Lake in late fall

If you want to walk here, you can saunter around Choroko Lake or go to the nearby Yokokawa Valley for a stroll. You may follow the walkways specially built by the locals, and take a break in the park by the lakeside on your return.

Ambling along a walkway in the mountain
Ambling along a walkway in the mountain
Resting in the park by the lakeside
Resting in the park by the lakeside

No matter where you are strolling, you feel as if you were in a Shangri-la and were healed amid the tranquility of fall.

The background is Mount Fubo, a famous mountain to the south of Mount Zao
The background is Mount Fubo, a famous mountain to the south of Mount Zao

Video on Choroko Lake

Basic information on Choroko Lake

OPEN
Best time to view fall foliage
Mid October to early November
Address
Choroko, Shichikashuku, Katta, Miyagi Prefecture[MAP]
Access
Take a bus for Shichikashuku Town Hall at Zao Station of JR East’s Ou Main Line, get off at its terminal about 40 minutes later, then take a bus for Yokokawa Choroko, get off at its terminal about 25 minutes later, and walk for about 10 minutes.
Admission
Free
WEB
Official website