Japan is famous for its four distinct seasons, each breath-taking in its own right. Whilst many consider the Sakura/cherry blossom spring season to be the most famous, it is actually the Japanese autumn that is considered to be the most beautiful. Appreciating nature and the changing of the seasons has long been a part of Japanese culture and the changing autumn colours, locally known as Koyo (紅葉), is highly anticipated, with annual forecasts predicting when the leaves will change from green to stunning shades of yellow, gold and red.
Autumn in Japan is known as Aki (秋) and as the temperatures dip and the colours begin to change, "koyo spots" begin to pop up around Japan, drawing locals and travellers to watch the seasons change. As in other temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, the autumn/fall season lasts roughly from mid-September, through October and November, and into early December. Temperatures are cool but mild, ranging from about 7 Celsius (45 Fahrenheit) in the evening in late autumn, to as high as 24 Celsius (75 F) on warm September days.
Thanks to the abundance of deciduous trees all over Japan (26 individual species of trees are famed for their autumn colours), fall transforms the landscape with dizzying palettes of red, yellow, and brown. Most famous of these is the maple leaf momiji which is most representative of koyo and symbolises autumn in Japanese culture. Maples as a species are widely found throughout the world, but the small Japanese maple varieties are native only to China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula, making them a unique sight to see.
This is one of the reasons the changing colours of the autumn leaves in Japan are considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. So culturally ingrained is the pastime of enjoying the season that it even has its own term, momijigari. While it literally means “to hunt” the autumn leaves, it actually means “to seek out and admire” them. Some of the country’s best-known koyo spots include Oirase in Aomori Prefecture and Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture as well as numerous temples in Kyoto and Kamakura. If you are planning a trip to Japan during the autumn season, the Japan Travel and Tourism Association provides information on hundreds of koyo spots to practice momijigari, together with daily forecasts of the changing colours.
We have taken the inspiration of autumn in Japan for our new fragrance for the 2021 season, Rakuyo (落葉) - meaning “Falling Leaves” in Japanese. The scent is inspired by the appreciation of nature and the changing of the seasons. It evokes memories of exploring autumnal forests and parks and is a wonderfully rich and warming fragrance. Crisp leaves, warming spices and fresh bergamot are accompanied by lavender and geranium on a base of red cedar and amber. It is perfect as the nights start to draw in and to get cosy inside and we are sure you are going to love it.
Rakuyo is available as an aromatic soy candle, reed diffuser, wax melt bar, hand wash and hand + body lotion. Click here to view the full collection. Prices start from £8.00.