Japanese Koyo: The Beckoning of the Leaves
Japanese Autumn Leaf Viewing (known as 紅葉 Koyo), is a deeply rooted cultural activity enjoyed by everyone in Japan. The popularity of this activity can be tied to Japan’s respect for the beauty in the changing of the seasons. In autumn, leaves become vibrant colors, and the sight is exquisite to view. The Japanese maple, in particular, is beautiful to behold as it changes anywhere from a yellow hue, all the way to a radiant red. Koyo is observed throughout Japan anywhere from October to December.
Although there is no set “tradition” as to how to celebrate Koyo, Japanese and tourists alike flock to temples and shrines or other outdoor venues to view the changing leaves before winter comes. Many temples (お寺 Otera) allow visitors to linger in their tearooms during this season. Visitors are often seen eating a snack while marveling at the elegant scenery. Minoh City, in Osaka is a particularly famous spot, as they offer a unique fried maple snack that can be enjoyed anywhere in the city during Koyo.
Koyo can also be called “Momiji-Gari” (紅葉狩り), loosely translated into “Hunting for Maple leaves”. Although people do not always hunt for leaves, it can be understood that they are “admiring” or “searching” for the beauty in their surroundings. This is an integral part of the Japanese culture, appreciating the beauty and balance of nature. At Maple and Moon we strive to create the same allure in all of our products.