Enjoy Mesmerizing Autumn Foliage in Baryo Park, Fukushima Prefecture



Baryo park is one of the most beautiful spots to see Koyo (紅葉; Autumn foliage) in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture. The park is famous for its 600 cherry trees that bloom in Spring, but it also has stunning colorful leaves in autumn around November every year. The leaves around Akashi red bridge change vividly during this time of the year.

Importance of Koyo in Japanese Culture

Koyo refers to the phenomenon of changing colors in autumn, mainly when it occurs to the leaves of deciduous broadleaf trees before the leaves fall to the ground. When autumn deepens, Japan is draped in a symphony of red and yellow hues from the fields and mountains to the cities. The koyo season in Japan typically begins in mid-September in Hokkaido, gradually spreading to the southern end of the Japanese archipelago in about 50 days. The change occurs when the low temperature at dawn is about 6 or 7 degrees Celsius, and the viewing season lasts between 20 and 25 days. The exact timing to see the leaves varies from year to year.

When autumn deepens, and the leaves start changing colors in the fields and mountains, “hunting for autumn foliage”, a popular activity in Japan, is in action. Known as momijigari, outings to appreciate the beauty of autumn has been a tradition since the ancient collection of Manyoshu poetry was compiled in the eighth century. And there are scenes that involve “hunting” for beautiful autumn colors in the classical Heian period novel “The Tale of the Genji”. The flashy colors of tree leaves have been a symbol of autumn, just as the cherry blossoms is a symbol of spring. Today, going on a picnic or a drive to the mountains or countryside to gaze at the beauty of autumn is a common pursuit among Japanese.

History of Baryo Park

Baryo park lies within Soma Nakamura Castle ruins the area. In 1563, in the middle of the Sengoku period era, Soma Moritane boasts power in Mutsunokuni Namekata county and expands its territory. However, from the south, Iwashiro Tsunetaka, from the north, Date Masamune and Terumune, father-and-son gradually began to oppress Soma’s territory. Then they built Nakamura Castle located north of the Odaka Castle of the main castle as a preparation for the Date’s invasion and strengthened the defense. Even then, the invasion of Date was intensely evolving and receding, but in the center, Toyotomi Hideyoshi started the conquest of Hojo of the Kanto region.

As a result, Date also interrupted the advancement to Soma and tried to determine the situation. Eventually, Date fell to Hideyoshi’s army gate and Soma also got to Hideyoshi’ s armament gate. After that grandson of Sakaritane, Toshitane, officially moved the base to Nakamura Castle and Soma Nakamura clan was established. However, the castle tower was destroyed by the lightning strike in 1670 and the lord at the time did not restore the castle. In addition, the Soma Nakamura Castle became abandoned by the abolition clan in 1871. The current Nakamura Castle Ruins are maintained by the Baryo park.

About Soma City

Soma city is in the coastal area of the southernmost province of Fukushima Prefecture in Tohoku district. It has a population of about 35,000 people. The area is 197.7 km². The characteristic of Soma City’s climate is that it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
There is an image that Fukushima prefecture has a lot of snow. However, since Soma city faces the Pacific Ocean, it does not snow much. The annual temperature difference is also small, so it is a livable comfortable area. In the long history of Lord Soma, Soma city was proudly born with its unique folk culture: a bon odori, Kagura, etc. The historic castle town is still present, and you can feel the cultural richness of the castle town, mainly from Nakamura castle ruins, from roads, and buildings.

Details and Access

Dates: November every year
Admission: Free
Place: Baryo Park
Address: Kitamachi Nakamura, Soma, Fukushima Prefecture
Official Website (Japanese only):
Access: Using public transportation, it is a 15 minutes’ walk from JR Joban Line Soma station. By car, it’s about 5 minutes from Joban Expressway Soma InterChange. There are 50 car parking lots on site.


Closing Remarks

Koyo and Momijigari are the way to enjoy autumn in Japan. By going out in nature, we appreciate the season and its beauty. Most of the trees turn their colors to red, yellow, or brown, and each tree has a different tone of those three colors. In Baryo park, you can enjoy Koyo and feel the history of the site at the same time!

If you would like to explore Soma city and Fukushima prefecture with a local guide who is happy to share with you more information and introduce you to hidden gems, please check the banner below!

Find Out How to Enjoy Autumn in Japan!

Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons in Japan. This is the season of Koyo or Momijigari. Momijigari is a tradition of admiring autumn landscape, very similar to Hanami – admiring cherry blossoms in spring. If you would like to know more about autumn foliage season around Japan and find out how to adore it in a traditional Japanese way, the following article will be helpful.


Pick the Best Autumn Foliage in Japan!

You probably know that autumn in Japan with its colorful leaves scenes is as prevalent among tourists and locals as spring with its cherry blossoms. Momiji or enjoying autumn leaves is an indispensable part of Japanese culture. I hope these articles raised your interest in Japanese autumn.
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Here`s the article for visiter to Kyoto:

To the people who want to see momiji in Osaka:

Here`s the article for visiter to Tokyo:

If you are planning to visit Fukuoka? :

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Hi! I am Maggie. I love traveling and telling people about cool things happening in Japan. Hope the article helps with your trip to Japan!

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