Momijigari: Japanese for “looking at the autumn leaves”
✈ Tokyo, Japan
Japan has been the source of many a romantic dream of faraway countries during my childhood. The Ninja and Samurai fad had something to do with it, and the rich and different movie traditions also played a part – but more than anything, the Japanese merger of tradition and aestethics always appealed to me. And now, I had the chance to soak in it.
Japanese art is probably more or less familiar to most people, but the sometimes rigid and in-depth approach the Japanese have to mundane things, like having a cup of tea, or sitting down, is something that the West has yet to get to grips with. And appreciating the seasons. I mean, we do that in the West (especially the summer, for obvious reasons), but Japan … they have taken it to another level.
Like so many other things in Japan, they seem to worship and nurture the inherent geekiness of something as vague as “appreciating the autumn leaves”. They have turned it into a sort of event, called momijigari. Wikipedia informs that the expression is a blend of the Japanese words for “red leaves” and “hunting”. So, they go hunting for red leaves. So did I, armed with my cameras.
The results are evident. Even though I arrived a week late for the most intense colors, the parks of Tokyo boasted some impressive autumn colors, and to me, this was an event well worth listing as a bucket list checkpoint. I embrace my inner geekiness, the Japanese way!