Japan is a country where each of the four seasons never fails to present its’ distinct colors. For each season, the residents of Japan have their own ways of celebrating its’ beauty. From gazing at the fluffy pink cherry blossoms to the magnificent falling colors of autumn, from the refreshing taste of chilled watermelons to the heart-warming hotpot dishes of winter, Japanese society and natural environment have created, in my opinion, an incredible, time-realizing atmosphere all year round for the people to enjoy.
Since I was a child, due to my father’s occupation, I’ve moved around the globe and lived under the influence of all kinds of cultural backgrounds. However, none of them have given me the feeling of joyous holiday spirit in such a strong manner the way Japan has. Having just moved to Tokyo in September of 2015, I find myself ohing and wowing in amazement all the time, for the lifestyle is just unbelievably active holiday-wise. In this particular blog post, I would like to share with you the kind of unique autumn beauty in Japan which I’ve found to be especially mesmerizing.
Speaking of autumn, what comes to mind may very well be the falling and changing colors of leaves. Compare to the somewhat lacking greenery urban scenes of Taipei (Taiwan), the natural environment in the bustling city of Tokyo seemed much better preserved. Relatively large in area, there are many places and parks in Japan where one can visit in order to grasp the essence of autumn. However, if I were to just go over the famous tourist spots for leaf-viewing that would be too commercialized. The kind of beauty that I am interested in introducing is the type where you imagine yourself strolling casually on the way back to the dorm when suddenly, a couple of leaves gently brush by the top of your head as they subtly, softly fell on the ground. To me, that sort of experience is much more emotional and inspirational, making it worthwhile to talk about here. As a college student who needs to commute from dorm to campus on a regular basis, the path to Waseda campus is basically the same every single day. By the time the fall semester had started, around the end of September and the beginning of October, the feeling of autumn is not that strong yet, and the leaves on the sides of sidewalks still remain beaming with life and different shades of green. Then, as the pace of sunset quickens, roughly around the end of October, one can almost smell the crisp cool air which signals the coming of autumn. Now by this point some of you may be wondering by being able to smell the approaching of autumn, do I mean smelling autumn delicacies like grilled fish? Of course, I also smell the fish, but at this point I am still focusing on the leaves. To be more precise, by the smell of autumn I mean the smell of cool air mixed with the piled up leaves on the floor with a hint of earth. If you happen to be inside Waseda Campus by this time, then you would probably be familiar with the…uh…. distinct smell of Ginko. So you abruptly look up, and realized that everything has changed! That’s right, as you briskly walk by every day to catch the next lecture, the leaves had gradually been dyed by the colors of season, and now they are the vibrant, eye-catching colors of bright yellow, fiery orange, and passionate red. Then you look to the side, and was surprised to see that even the short bushes on the side, the ones that you had always thought to be evergreens, even they had caught up with the trend and put on a blazing red outfit.
To be continued…