Autumnal beauty in Kyoto

紅葉 | kōyō

The shades of red that the Japanese maple leaves had taken by the end of November seemingly reached uncharted levels of beauty. On a Thursday out in Kyoto with three friends from the same research unit at Kobe University, I learned the true meaning of momiji and kōyō. It is so much more than maple leaves turned red – kōyō is the miracle of autumn. It’s the autumnal counterpart of sakura. It’s nature at its finest.

maple leaf on roof tile

It’s all about that distinct colour palette, ranging from an almost green, bright yellow, to a deep and utterly autumnal red

yellowish leaves
leaf above water

The thing about sakura and momiji is that it’s best enjoyed with friends

abundance of red to yellow leaves
orange maple leaves before a gate

We were not the only ones taking out our cameras to capture the beauty of Japanese maple leaves from greenish-yellow to reddish-brown. The Nanzenji temple area is dotted with an abundance of maple trees and it was incredibly photogenic.

two people looking at momiji

I think these are the most beautiful autumn leaves I have ever seen, even for me as a Japanese person

– my Japanese friend Tarō
momiji, a tiled wall and bicycles

As night fell, the maple leaves became shrouded in mystery… and another kind of beauty.

red maple leaves

Thank you Tarō, Dendō-san and Chris for taking me to this wonderful place when the kōyō was at its best!

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6 thoughts on “Autumnal beauty in Kyoto

  1. 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Antoon Van Boxstael 14 December 2018 — 02:17

    Your first sentence seems the beginning of a novel! And the pictures!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. María del Rosario Flores Martínez 13 December 2018 — 19:03

    Beautiful season 🍁 🍂 and wonderful country. Very nice friends of yours, Hänsel! I would like to go again.
    I ❤ Japan

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Andreas Van Boxstael 13 December 2018 — 18:35

    Would like to use one of the pictures as a background for my smartphone.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Sonja Schoevaerts 13 December 2018 — 18:07

    Mother nature colors 50 shades of red.

    Liked by 5 people

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