Autumn in Japan
The bustling summer fades away, the sunlight hours shorten, and the wind starts to nip at your skin. The leaves colour themselves, fall away, and the year begins to draw to a close.
In the mild autumn breeze, you can feel the passage of the seasons with the whole of your being.
Sight, Smell, Sound, Touch and Taste
Awaken all of your five senses and
experience autumn in Japan.
the colours of autumn
The reddening of the leaves is the most colourful phenomenon of the year. All the trees painted red, orange, and yellow - it steals the breath away, and signals the arrival of autumn.
The red autumn foliage within the temple grounds, promenades lined with golden gingko, the sight of a world awash with colour from high up in the ropeways.
Find the colours that speak to you in the splendid autumn leaves throughout Japan.
the harvest moon
The harvest moon, the full moon in the eighth month of the lunar calendar, beloved since ancient times. It illuminates the sky, its light as crisp as the air of the autumn nights.
For centuries, in an event called Otsukimi - the Moon-Gazing - people have reveled in the night air, aiming their gazes up towards the moon.
Set your sights skyward in the cool night breeze.
(Incidentally, a bowl of Udon noodles with an egg is called Moon-Gazing Udon.)
Susiki, Japanese Pampas Grass Calling upon the god of the moon to watch over the prosperity of crops and offspring.
In Japan, the legend of a rabbit in the shadows of the moon has been passed down through the ages.
Make an offering to pray for the health and happiness of the family, and set your gaze upon the moon.
the autumn skies
When you notice the days getting shorter and your shadow growing longer - the clear skies above you, and a crisp breeze on your cheeks, this is what we mean when we say the smell of autumn.
In some Japanese stories, the autumn sky is sometimes likened to the hearts of lovers. This is because the shifting tides of romantic love often seem to take after the fickle weather of the autumn skies.
The somehow-melancholy scent of autumn may transport you back to memories deep within.
Wtih the intense now fading away, feel peaceful and at ease.
Owing to the long nights, it is said that this is the season to catch up on reading.
This is the season made for relaxation.
kinmokusei, the fragrant olive
On residential streets and in parks, its sweet scent wafts upon you.
It blossoms in numberless delicate orange flowers. A lovely little tree, the Fragrant Olive.
It is not rare for a Japanese person to know the arrival of autumn by the scent of the Fragrant Olive..
It can be found all over Japan, even on the street corners of wherever your travels may take you.
That feeling when the scent unexpectedly falls upon you perhaps this is the essence of autumn in Japan
The sweet scent of the Fragrant Olive is one you will never forge.
Chirping bell crickets
*chirp-chirp-chirp* *chirp-chirp-chirp* *chirp-chirp-chirp*
Together with the pleasant night air, a chorus of these autumnal creatures floats in through the window. Taking over for the cicadas of summer, they also portend the change of the seasons.
In Japan, called Bell Crickets because their crisp, clear call rings out like a bell, they have been the object of enjoyment for centuries.
Chilling on the balcony
During your day walking through down
Out on a stroll
Akimatsuri autumn festivals
There are endless Autumn Festivals to celebrate the harvest and pray for a bountiful crop.
All throughout Japan, you can hear the revelry of the festival bands.
Hear and feel the energy of the local people.
Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival
Massive Taiko floats are adorned with 300 lanterns and paraded about town.
Takahama Omanto Festival
Witness the power of galloping horses
Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival
Experience the roaring blaze
Gathering tree nuts is a treasured autumn pastime for children.
Little symbols of autumn, spread about the luxuriant carpet of fallen leaves.
Head off to the forest, the park, or just out for a stroll.
You will surely find them.
Japanese Larch Cones
Sawtooth Oak Acorns
japanese Oak Acorns
onsen, hot springs
Japan’s unique ancient culture of bathing, Onsen culture.
Onsen heal mind and body.
Soaking in an Onsen during the colder months, is truly one of the finer pleasures in life.
Gazing out on the colourful scenery, take in the autumn to your heart’s content.
View the autumn foliage while in an open-air hot spring
The famous tea-coloured waters of Kinsen (Arima Onsen)
Steam wafting up all over town (Beppu Onsen)
the bounty of the sea
In Japan, surrounded by the ocean, this is one of autumn’ s pleasures.
The Mackerel Pike in particular is representative of the autumn. In the early autumn, these fish can reach 20% fat content, and become especially succulent. Afterwards, they lay eggs, and with the approach of winter, their fat content diminishes and theirflavour begins to change.
It is also the best season for salmon and barracuda, among others.
Seasonal fish are extremely nutritious, and let you balance your nutrition ahead of the approaching winter.
Take advantage of the timing and experience the taste of the season.
Blowfish come close to the Japanese coast to lay eggs, and it is said that they are most delicious just before egg-laying.
Echizen Gani refers to male Snow Crabs caught in Fukui Prefecture, which you can tell by the yellow tags on their claws.
Salmon arriving on the coast along Tohoku and Hokkaido are called autumn salmon, or sometimes just the taste of autumn - literally translated.
the autumn harvest
The fall harvest, the bounty of autumn.Apples, Mikan oranges, persimmons - mushrooms and rice, potatoes, all come ripe for harvest, and the gourmet season begins.
Many Japanese people feel their appetites grow in the autumn. Because of this, people often refer to the Autumn Appetite, and it is said that this is the best season for eating.
The flavours of autumn brim over in the marketplaces and supermarkets. Experience what it means to be in season.