It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 10–20 m tall, with a trunk 30–40 cm diameter with rough, grey-brown bark. The leaves are five-lobed (the basal pair of lobes usually small), 7–20 cm long and 12–20 cm broad, with a 5–15 cm long petiole; the petiole bleeds white latex if cut. The flowers are produced in spring at the same time as the leaves open, yellow-green, in erect corymbs. The fruit is a samara with two winged seeds aligned at 180°, each seed 8 mm wide, flat, with a 2 cm wing.
It is an endangered species, confined to scattered locations close to streams and rivers
This tree is cultivated as an ornamental plant in the United States, but is not common in trade. It is most often found in arboreta. It withstands cold temperatures, urban conditions, and drought once established. It is a non-invasive substitute for Acer platanoides. A dense, uniform cultivar has been selected at the Morton Arboretum named Acer miyabei 'Morton' and marketed under the trade name State Street® maple. Japan is home to the rare, endangered Miyabe maple tree. It got its name in honor of the Japanese botanist Kingo Miyabe (1860-1951). The dark green leaves of the tree are divided into five lobes, which have rounded edges, noticeably different from the leaves of the forest maple (A. platanoides) growing in our country. The wings of the fruit - lionfish - grow in opposite directions.In Arboretum Mustila, the miyabe maple was planted in the early 1930s, on the steep South Slope, in a warm place sheltered from the north wind. The tree is constantly being tested by harsh winters, but it has held on steadfastly for many decades, while remaining fairly small.