Colorful leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. The viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries and today draws large numbers of travelers to famous koyo spots both in the mountains and in the cities.
Momijigari from the Japanese momiji "red leaves" or "maple tree" and kari "hunting", is the Japanese tradition of going to visit scenic areas where leaves have turned red in the autumn.
Each year, starting in mid September, the "koyo front" slowly moves southwards from the northern island of Hokkaido until it reaches the lower elevations of central and southern Japan towards the end of November. Some trees around Tokyo and Kyoto remain colorful into early December.