The Leaf Hunt

Datum: 23. 10. 2018

In mid-October when the days in the Alps become shorter, the sun sits a bit lower and cobwebs float through the air, “Koharu“ (Little Spring), begins in Japan. Also referred to as “Indian Summer“ in Japan, this time is a prelude to a beautiful display of colour. Nature seems to rethink before the approaching winter and shows its beauty in all its splendour on the leaves of trees.

In mid-October when the days in the Alps become shorter, the sun sits a bit lower and cobwebs float through the air, “Koharu“ (Little Spring), begins in Japan. Also referred to as “Indian Summer“ in Japan, this time is a prelude to a beautiful display of colour. Nature seems to rethink before the approaching winter and shows its beauty in all its splendour on the leaves of trees.

Momiji or Kouyou, refers to the colourful leaves of autumn, they are celebrated similarly to the cherry blossom bloom of spring. The weather report on TV provides updates of the current state of colour and dedicated websites publish skyrocketing visitor clicks. Twitter and Instagram are in on the game with posts showing Acorn, Gingko and other varieties of trees in every imaginable shades of colour. The Red Leaf Hunt “Momijigari“ or “Kouyougari“, Autumn Leaf Hunt are excursions for the Japanese to admire the changing colours that take them to mountains and forests, rivers and lakes, gardens and parks and temples and shrines. These journeys through nature play a major role and have been rooted in Japanese culture for centuries.

Although the Momijigari or Kouyougari walks had been traditionally reserved for the noble and upper class, over time citizens from all walks of life have begun to visit the beautiful landscapes to admire the splendour of the changing autumn leaves. Today, between the months of September and December nearly the entire country, from north to south sets out to view nature’s beauty. Much like the short show of cherry blossoms in spring, the beauty of change in autumn foliage serves as a reminder to the transience of all things earthly. As with the bright pink of spring the intense colours of yellow, orange and deep reds lift the mood and bring people together in nature.

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