Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Autumn in Japan

I have almost collected the entire set of seasons here in Japan - last year I experienced winter in Hiroshima, and since I moved here I have had spring, summer and now am moving into Autumn. Autumn here is quite marvellous, being characterised by singing insects, warm days, brilliant light, little rain, cool nights and (finally!) dry air. It is everything I remember about Northern Hemisphere autumns from my childhood, right down to the smell of burning fields, woodsmoke and cut grass. In England in Autumn one could see haystacks scattered about the countryside; here one sees little sheaves of rice drying in serried ranks in the fields, or hanging in bundles from old-fashioned wooden racks. Everything is still green but promises to turn red and yellow soon.

All the shops here have dragged out their autumn decorations and new fashions, people are wearing autumn colours, and all the beer companies have special dark beer for the season. The feeling in the air is of a coming change, and the whole country is enjoying a pleasant moment's break between the breathless heat of summer and the encroaching nastiness of winter. It is a happy time and almost universally it is Japanese peoples' favourite season. Having spent so long away from this cycle, I feel invigorated and nostalgic at the same time when I find myself once again immersed in it. Also, of course, being a big fat wimp, I am dreading the end - in just 2 months the real hell commences. I will, as they say, be making hay while the sun shines!


Blogger Sgt M said...

Aaaahhhhh seasons.
I was hoping that I might experience something akin to that here, but since vegetation isn't in fashion on this side of the country I'll have to settle with changes in temperature instead.

8:04 AM  

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