Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beautiful Autumn in Japan

Vibrant Colours of Red, Gold, and Orange everywhere! Yes, one of my most awaited time has officially started ~ FALL in Japan, my favourite season of all!

Autumn 'Koyo' (foliage) in Kyoto, Japan

Autumn is indeed a beautiful time of the year. And in Japan it really is!  For this country is partly known for its unique, gorgeously balanced  'four-season' climate. Each season is distinct and has its own unique character. In contrast to some beliefs of other none-japanese residents Autumn here, like their Spring is very much anticipated and enjoyed by in fact - all ages. While it's true that Spring in Japan is the time and season which symbolizes new beginning, new birth, new life, cherry blossoms, start of the school year, and fresh graduates joining companies. Autumn for us, on the other hand is the perfect season for the great outdoors; delicious, seasonal gourmet; harvesting of crops; trips and family outings; and catching up on neglected healthy activities i.e. exercising, walking and all. Though some may find Autumn season a bit depressing as the cold Winter is approaching, people here are probably more than glad to bid goodbye to the hot, sticky days brought by the Summer. Humidity in Japan during the Summer months are usually high, so muggy and not that tolerable, even for someone like me- who originally came from the tropics.:) Starting late September when the rainy, typhoon days are almost over, it gets really, really nice here!

Wonderful Shades of Autumn even along the ordinary, residential areas.

AUTUMN in Japan means lots of wonderful things! Like any Japanese that is already fond of, about the Autumn, here are some that I enjoy :

* The shades and colour of Nature. Foliage here is really Lovely and Gorgeous! Breathtaking sight of the leaves, specially their 'MOMIJI' also known as 'maple leaves' are a sure heaven treat to the eyes.  :)

* The cool, breezy air that will greet you as you open your windows each fall morning and the clear, crisp weather at daytime (no more need for air conditioners! :D).

* The harvest of vegetables, fruits and rice. Japan boasts one of, if not  the best quality Rice produce in the world, I tell you! :)

* Some starts to stock up foods for the arriving Winter. Powdered chocolate drink in cans and in jars can be seen on sale in mostly every stores and supermarkets.

* Autumn, chic, cool clothes you'll see on every fashion magazines and displayed on almost any apparel store windows here. (this one I think tickles my interest the most!)  ahihih ;-) *giggles*

* 'SANMA' (Pacific Saury or Mackerel Pike Fish) freshly grilled, better known as 'YAKI SANMA'  here is back on the menus again both at home - on dinner tables, and in most restaurants and shokudo (eateries).

* Convenience stores are putting up 'Aki Menus' / Autumn Menus such as :
'NIKUMAN' (hot dim suns); 'ODEN' (a Japanese winter dish, consisting of a fine, mild broth with several ingredients in it, toppled with mustard paste for extra flavoring enjoyment, very affordable and served hot which is great for the cold months!);
and other authentic, hot Japanese beverages in the pantry. (bring on the atsukan and sake!)

* The very expensive yet they say the most tastiest among the varieties of wild mushrooms here. It's called 'MATSUTAKE' , and are at peak starting early October. Usually a great choice for extra-special Autumn occasions.

* Grade school students rehearsing for their own respective, annual, athletic event in their schools -  'UNDOKAI' which are normally held during the month of October.

* The Elderly suddenly waking up a little earlier, doing their usual walk, stroll and yogas. And even the not-so-old folks jogging along the neighbourhood - all sum up together to something - for everyone to enjoy that is, Autumn!

焼き秋刀魚 (さんま)or Grilled Sanma Autumn Fish with a special limited-edition Autumn beer from 'Kirin Breweries'.
"ODEN"  (おでん)

"YAKI SANMA" - grilled autumn Mackerel Pike fish is a regular sight on dinning tables during the Autumn months.

Matsutake Mushroom Dish or  松茸料理

Japanese-arrange versions of the Chinese Dim Suns known here as 肉まん(meat dim sun)  and  あんまん(black sweet bean curd dim sun)

運動会 * うんどうかい * UNDOUKAI ~  School Athletic day or Sports Fest held annually in every school in Japan during the Autumn.

I have been living here for almost 20 years now yet their Fall season never fails to amaze me. Just too many good things to look forward here every Fall!! :)  Pardon me for mentioning it again but as I said earlier, Autumn is a great, terrific time to go on trips and sightseeing in Japan. Striking Autumn colours, mild temperatures and clear days make Fall my most favourite season of the year! The viewing of  foliage has been already a popular activity in Japan since many decades ago. Today, the spectacular autumn leaves draw large numbers of crowds, both the locals and tourists, to 'famous koyo spots'  both in the mountains and in the cities. Me and my family have visited many of these 'koyo spots' each and every Fall for the last few years. I feel so blessed and lucky being able to see these wonderful 'gift' of the Great Almighty. You see, in our country, where I was born and raised, we only have two seasons, the 'wet and the dry' season, either always rainy or sunny. So you bet how much thrilled I am to witness foliage every year. And for that I am very grateful.....

Lovely shades of yellow Gin'nan Trees (銀杏) , along the Kiyosumi River, Tokyo
These Gin'nan or Ichou Trees are official symbols of the city of Tokyo.
Fall with backdrop of the mighty, biggest peak in Japan, Mount Fuji, Shizuoka-prefecture side. 

Colorful Leaves (koyo) are to the Japanese AUTUMN, what Cherry Blossoms are to SPRING.

Below are some more Autumn photos we had taken from our Fall trip in Mount Takao, the previous year... Hope y'all will enjoy them. :)

Son And I enjoying the foliage over at Mount Takao, Fall 2010.

Another pose from us in front of the 'Trick Art Museum' signs on the way up farther to the top of Mount Takao, Tokyo.

My husband's back silhouette while pushing our youngest child's stroller, on the way up to the steeply trails of Mount  Takao, late October of the year 2010.

Amazing colours of the trees up there! I took this picture of hubby and daughter Yuuna's back image  as we went up and reached this mid-section of  Mt. Takao via only hiking. We were torn between taking the cable cars or riding the lifts. Eventually ensuring the kids safety, we opted to ride and took the mini train-like cable cars from this mid-section of Kiyotaki station - to the almost top of Mount Takao - Oyama station.... 

My Lovelies with their Papa on top of the scenic peak of Mount Takao. Son enjoyed this part of the climb and hike. Especially from the cable car ride - to the telescope viewing of the city of Tokyo from this side's top of the mountain. Daughter Yuuna though was already quite tired and sleepy here.....

The urban metropolis of Tokyo from my lenses, taken from one of the top-side section of Mount Takao.

Yup, you noticed it right! This is my blog title banner photo. :D  One of my favourite among the many Fall photos I've  taken over the years.... From Mount Takao, Hachioji TOKYO /  高尾山、八王子市東京都

I wish Y'all (those who live in the JST zone especially) an Awesome, Lovely Autumn 2011 !!!
Happy Trails! ~~~

"For a man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."  
    ____ Edwin Way Teale

Credits: Photos used in this post came from Wikipedia; ただ写真ダウンロード; and Free Photos Japan Gourmet, except for the last 7 photos which are my personal property files.

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