Blogtober 20: Autumn days when the grass is jewelled

I think of Autumn as being the season when leaves actually start falling, I guess. The road I grew up on had loads of big old horse chestnut trees and as a kid we used to kick through the leaves to find fallen conkers to see if we could find one that might become a sixer. I always used to hate the autumn because it meant the start of school, the days getting shorter, everything getting colder and the weather being rubbish.

These days, though, I think Autumn might be my favourite season. This is definitely because summer in Japan is so hellish 😂 It used to be – when I still lived in England – that I preferred the spring and summer infinitely more! Finally coming out of the dark winter, searching the hedgerows for snowdrops peeking through before the first of the spring flowers bloomed, having one plant after another to look forward to as the earth warmed up again, the fields full of the new season’s lambs, and everything wonderful. In Japan, Spring is a bit… meh. Like don’t get me wrong! The deep pink and white ume blossoms are so elegant and the sakura a candyfloss explosion, and they’re perfectly magical! But after that there’s nothing really special until the rainy season hydrangeas, and after that it’s all just a case of gritting your teeth and bearing it until the end of the summer. I miss the English spring, with splashes of bright and pale yellow here and there as first daffodils and then primroses come into flower, followed by oceans of bluebells under woodland trees before the roses and summer flowers come into bloom.

But Autumn in Japan! The delicate-looking spider lilies and soft zebra grass, the sudden drop in humidity, the clearer air and the freshness in the mornings! And the food, autumn food is so good. We’ve already had hotpot twice. My husband just said this evening, “We haven’t eaten saury, so it doesn’t feel like Autumn yet…” – seasonal foods are such a big deal here and they aren’t in the same way in the UK at all. (The Pacific saury catch was incredibly low this year and the prices are high.) And then you have the autumn leaves.

A couple of years ago we had a short drive down to Hakone to look at some of the glorious autumn foliage, except we took the dog with us and he gets horribly carsick so it wasn’t fun for him at all 😅 Last year I was still in my first trimester so was not doing very well (🤢) but hopefully this year we can properly enjoy the stunning autumn leaves when they eventually turn. Moving to Japan and gradually drifting more towards Shinto has made me really come to love the winding down of the year (I genuinely love the end-of-year cleaning, New Year itself, and all of the New Year traditions). Such a wonderful time to relax!

In a perfect world, I’d spend spring and summer in the UK and then move back here mid-October for the autumn and winter. How about you? What’s your favourite season? I know it’s not uncommon for certain types to overwinter in warmer climates; what would be your ideal?

10 Thoughts

  1. 100% agree. I’d spend spring and summer in Sweden, fall and winter here, overall speaking. I will say I don’t actually hate summer here, though, even though I know I’m one of the few that feel that way haha. I just don’t like working in the heat. If it’s my day off I don’t mind it so much, it makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation, kinda 😂

    But I also have gone from spring to fall for favorite season. Spring is lovely and I so much enjoy it not being cold anymore, but it was much more impactful in Sweden (maybe because nature is just dead over winter and spring means everything comes back but in Japan we still have flowers and stuff in the middle of winter WHAT). Fall however is beautiful there too, but more so here, and yeah. THE FOOD. I love seasonal foods and fall is definitely an overall winner.

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    1. Now you mention it, I definitely didn’t mind summer half as much when I was working full time! I think the year we moved house in August before the AC was installed(!) was what killed my affection for summer here 😂

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  2. Autumn has been my favourite season since I could think. Maybe it’s because my parents named me after the “Autumn River” (my Vietnamese name means Autumn River)? But there are other reasons, too. I love Japanese Autumn for the same reasons as you *_* aaah I love German autumn because of its colours as well. The park near the house I lived in as a child (we moved just after I started elementary school) had huge horse chestnut trees and maple trees and…lots of trees. And they would all turn bright yellow in autumn. We call it “Golden October” in German. I loved it (still do), it’s so pretty!

    Other reasons why I love autumn…
    1. moderate temperatures
    2. no hayfever

    My second favourite season would probably be winter (at least back home, in Japan it’s a bit mixed) because I like the atmosphere of the Christmas Markets back home… and I do like illuminations etc in Japan but it’s not quite the same. Also winter gets the Birthday Bonus.

    I like spring in Japan better than back home, though because I am allergic to fewer species of plants over here so my allergies are not quite as bad (I still feel like dying, though… but less so than back home… does that make sense)

    Summer… was never my favourite. In Japan it’s… well, y’know. And when I was a child… after all the things that went down, I think deep down I felt like it was exhausting to spend even more time around my parents… I did have fun on vacation with them but …. yah. So in an ideal world for me, I’d just go back to Germany for the summer to escape the heat and humidity… although a few certain someones are working on making summer season fun for me here, too, so we’ll see what happens.

    Sorry this comment was all over the place ._.

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  3. These are such pretty picturesss 😍

    I’m sure this comes as a big surprise, but I am very much a fan of summer ^^ ‘ But I definitely understand why you’d feel differently, especially this year with a baby and a puppy to take care of : <

    Spring and autumn were such weird seasons in Finland, I never got along with them. Spring just doesn't really exist, it tries to start in April and May but it's constantly interrupted by late snowstorms and you never *feel* like it's spring. Autumn is kind of the same, except that it just gets cold (as in below freezing) and dark and stays there. I'm interested to see if I'll start to like them more here.

    Honestly, my ideal would probably be a fairly consistent ~25C through the year somewhere in the tropics ^^ '

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  4. I grew up in a country without seasons! We just used to study about seasons in our Geography textbooks and I wondered how people survived in minus temperatures!

    My hometown, Kisii and the capital, Nairobi where I grew up have the perfect weather throughout the year. While most people think the tropics are hot, our high altitude counters the equator effect. The average temperatures are 20-25 deg Celcius. It gets to 28C in the hottest month, and down to like 15 during the coldest month when we’ll be shivering in our sweaters! We just have rainy and dry seasons. The length of the days remains the same. No seasonal foods or clothing. It’s only a difference of jacket on or off. Boots when it’s rainy or cold, or strappy sandals when it’s dry and sunny.

    Then I moved to Japan and started appreciating the beauty of the seasons. Autumn is my favorite season in Japan. The fresh crisp air, the abundance of apples and kaki, the autumn foliage. Summer is my worst, it’s simply too hot and humid. Spring is nice too but it heralds summer, so meh. Winter in Ishikawa was terrible, we would be excited to see snow on the first day but it would soon become dreary. I love winters in Tokyo, it’s sunny. Sunny winters are nice.

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