Saturday, 1 December 2012

Seasonal sights

Summer in Japan is hot and sticky and ugly. Winter, in poorly insulated and badly heated homes, is cold and miserable. Spring and fall, however, can be gorgeous - sunny and warm and full of colour. In the spring it is the cherry blossoms covering everything in pompoms of pink and white, and then raining a snow of petals. In the fall it is ginkos and maples and a host of other trees turning colours from deep yellow to bright bright red. Some people have a clear favourite, the sakura (cherry blossoms)

or the koyo (fall colour),

but others, like me, can't choose just one. The sakura, with their fresh but ephemeral beauty and the koyo with its majestic and awe-inspiring ability to paint an entire hillside a rainbow of reds and yellows.

Well what if you didn't have to choose? What if you could have your sakura AND koyo too?!

Known as ju-gatsu sakura or aki-zakura (October or autumn blooming cherry), there are cherry trees that bloom in the fall, their delicate pink and white petals standing out against the showy vibrant trees.

Sure the sakura were rather scraggly, but sakura AND fall leaves?! Now that is having your cake and eating it too!


  1. The only autumn cherry tree I've ever encountered is in Shinjuku Gyoen. The first time I saw it, I was so startled I stopped dead in my tracks, to the annoyance of 31 794 kōyō hunters behind me.

    I vote for autumn colours. Let's just say it's because I'm in the autumn of my own life. Grin.

    PS: There's a surprise for you at my blog.

    1. I am enthrall led by the idea of cherry blossom in December. I went back again today and took more pictures! :D

      You pick fall foliage, eh? I thought I remembered you voting a different way in the spring... ;P

    2. I saw the one in Shinjuku Gyouen too! I think of it as a sakura tree doing zangyo :p

    3. It is one hardworking little sakura - it was still flowering in the rain on Saturday!