Skip to Content

Japan’s Newest Luxury Resort Offers Ideal Viewing for the City’s Famed Koyo

NEW YORK, NY. (October 28, 2014) – The viewing of "koyo" or autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries and the traditionally inspired The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto offers guests the ultimate leaf viewing experience. From November into the beginning of December, colorful leaves paint the city’s stately maple trees in a collage of reds, oranges and golden yellows.

With stunning vistas overlooking the Kamogawa River, Japanese gardens and the Higashiyama Mountains, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto allows guests to enjoy the vivid colors from multiple vantage points throughout the property. For a truly unique koyo experience, the famed concierge of The Ritz-Carlton, Akemi Koyama, can arrange exclusive access to witness the changing colors at some of the city's most revered shrines and temples as these are among the most sought after places in the country to partake in this much-loved pastime.

Although the word koyo literally means ‘red leaves,’ it is used to refer to all the colors of the autumn leaves. Taking outings to appreciate the beauty of the fall season and viewing foliage has been a custom in Japan since the eighth century, with mentions dating back to Manyoshu poetry and also included in the famed novel “The Tale of the Genji.” The extensive art collection at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto was inspired by “The Tale of the Genji” and so the artworks offer the ideal complement to the colorful canvas unfolding outdoors. For an added touch, guests can enjoy a tour through The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto as they explore over 400 of the hotel’s locally made artworks and step back in time to the historical world of the famous novel.

For as long as there have been seasons in Japan, the colors of trees have been a symbol for the fall just as the cherry blossom is a symbol of spring. In modern times, going on a picnic or a drive into the mountains or countryside to gaze at the magnificent leaves is a common pastime. Each year starting in mid-September the “koyo front” slowly moves south from the northernmost island of Hokkaido until it reaches the lower elevations of central and southern Japan toward the end of November. The foliage is at its peak in Kyoto in November, and some trees remain colorful into early December.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto opened in February 2014 and is Kyoto’s only international luxury branded resort. The property’s stately ryokan-inspired design pays homage to Japan's rich culture combining tradition with modern luxury. More information and reservations are available at www.ritzcarlton.com/kyoto.