Snapshots of Autumn

Autumn’s by far my favorite season, and Japan’s version is one of the most beautiful I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. It may be short and fleeting, but autumn in northern Japan still provides you with enough signs to let you know it’s arrived in all of its full-blown, scarlet-leaved glory.

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I live in the neighborhood of 桜川, which translates to “cherry blossom river” in English. In autumn, however, it might as well be called 紅葉川, or “autumn leaf river.”

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It’s just one long tunnel of orange, red, and yellow leaves. (Though I got a bit impatient and took this picture before all the leaves had changed.)
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Autumn is also the season of the apple. Aomori is home to the famous Fuji variety and produces about half of Japan’s apples. Orchards, their trees heavy with ruby orbs, abound in many parts of the prefecture, but most prevalently around the city of Hirosaki.

20131106-144553.jpgAutumn’s the time for harvesting rice in northern Japan, and these structures start popping up in rice fields all over the place. As far as I can gather, they’re for drying out the plants.

The sun begins to set earlier and earlier. This was taken at around 3:30 in the afternoon, and already the sun is starting to dip below the mountains.
The sun begins to set earlier and earlier. This was taken at around 3:30 in the afternoon, and already the sun is starting to dip below the mountains.
The cherry blossom trees in front of my school are quickly turning cherry-red.
The cherry blossom trees in front of my school are quickly turning cherry-red.
Autumn's the time for people to harvest their daikon radishes, too. And then they get hung out to dry.
Autumn’s the time for people to harvest their daikon radishes, too. And then they get hung out to dry. This also doubles as an “you know you live in the country when….” sign.
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But the number one sign that autumn has arrived? That would be that Settlers of Catan, the game of choice for many Aomori JETs, gets brought out more and more often to pass the hours of the chilly evenings.

4 thoughts on “Snapshots of Autumn”

  1. Alex, it’s so wonderful to see Autumn through your eyes. Things I would never have associated with the change of the seasons – harvesting rice and daikon radishes – now have new meaning. Enjoy the Settlers of Catan. Have you discovered “Pandemic?” All the best, Terri

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