In Japan, Hokkaido is the place where you can get to see the red and yellow autumn leaves as early as from mid September. The mountains and ponds such as Daisetsuzan and Sounkyo are especially popular for visitors in the recent years.
What is so great about the Nothern regions of Japan is that, there are lots of natural hot springs (onsen). So you can stay at an onsen hotel in Daisetsuzan in Central Hokkaido, and visit the famous toursist spot Akadake Ginsendai for the early Autumn leaves. Sometimes, if the snow starts falling early, you may have the chance to see the stunning view of light snow covering the red mountain.
You can also go by the route of the nearby Sounkyo in the morning, and have a walk through the Walkway of Momijidani (Red Leaves Valley) to the “waterfall of foliage”. You can take the gondola to the mid-level and take in the breathtaking view of the red and yellow mountain, rocky hill sides and waterfalls too. You can also take the exciting but safe chairlift rope-way further up to the Daisetsuzan and have a look at the even better scenary.
On the other hand, if you are not that much of a mountain person, you can also visit Jouzankei Onsen in Southern Hokkaido. The nearby Toyahira River Dam is a hot spot famous for recreation and Autumn leaves viewing. The river is hugged by red and yellow mountains from the two sides and the view is truly magnificent. During the season of red leaves, the rest house may even provide chestnut flavour ice cream for visitors!