Saturday, January 15, 2005

Colours of Autumn

If you are planning to visit Japan and are wondering when is the best time to go, autumn is a good choice. Each year, starting in late September, the 'koyo front' (koyo literally means colorful autumn leaves) is slowly moving southernwards from the northern island of Hokkaido until it reaches the lower elevations of central and southern Japan in the end of November.

During autumn, festivals of harvest and thanksgiving prevail. It is time for rice farmers to give thanks for the abundant harvest that will result from their carefully and laboriously tended fields. Rice is offered to the gods, showing that the farmers themselves feast on the same foods as the gods. In this way, they believe that they will receive power from the gods.

One can take a two hour boat ride down the Hozu River, from Kameoka to Arashiyama (Kyoto), to enjoy the changing color of the mountain trees. Once you arrive in Arashiyama, everyone just walks from place to place and there are lots to see.

In Kyoto and Nara, the colorful leaves match with their historical architecture and are beautiful.

Food for thought :
"Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed." -- Sydney Smith
"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend." -- Robert Stevenson

1 comment:

Amanda Brightwell said...

Love the last one...wish I had seen it in person.